Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Katy Perry Waves Goodbye To ‘American Idol’ Era With Tears, Flying Pizza and a Towering Dress Paying Tribute to Contestants

By Michael May 20, 2024

Katy Perry ended her seven-year American Idol run in style on Sunday night (May 19), singing, table jumping and pizza-tossing her way off the stage during the three-hour season 22 finale. While the episode was ostensibly meant to crown this year’s winner — which it did, spoiler alert, in singer Abi Carter — it was also a night to celebrate Perry, who announced earlier this year that she would be leaving the series after serving alongside Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan since the show jumped to ABC in 2018.


In a testament to Perry’s up-for-anything attitude, Idol ran a clip package mid-way through Sunday’s show featuring highlights from her often wild-and-wacky run. From Bryan jump-scaring his partner early on to Perry visiting Luke’s farm for a lesson on corn science, crying with contestants, modeling a series of increasingly outrageous outfits and getting ice cream smooshed on her face by her cohorts, Perry looked happy, and emotional, as the last hour ticked down.

Just before the final votes were read, Perry, 39, took to the stage one last time to perform “What Makes a Woman” from her 2020 album Smile with finalist Jack Blocker. Initially seated while wearing what looked like a metallic bustier, Perry began to rise up as Blocker sang the second verse, revealing an expansive dress plastered with the faces of Idol contestants who’ve appeared on the show during her run. Soaring high above the stage as paper butterflies rained down all around her, Perry’s dress was the perfect lasting image of the singer’s sweet embrace of her Idol era.

“143, I love you,” Perry said as she held up heart hands. Later in the show, as Katy munched on a slice of pizza, the women of the top 12 performed a medley of Perry’s songs, including “Teenage Dream,” “Dark Horse” and”California Gurls.” The performance ended with Perry jumping to her feet and climbing up on the judge’s desk to flex her arms as Bryan pelted her with beach balls.

With the sand running out following Carter’s coronation, Perry let the tears flow freely as this year’s winner sang Billie Eilish’s Oscar-winning “What Was I Made For?” to cap her golden season 22 run, with Richie sharing a last, long hug with Katy as confetti rained down around them.

Idol has been renewed for a 23rd season, but at press time Perry’s replacement had not yet been announced.

Check out images from Perry’s final night below.

By Michael

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