Katy Perry Reflects on 'Public Spats' With Fellow 'American Idol' Judges as Season 20 Finds Top 14 (Exclusive)
By Zach Seemayer
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All on the same page! Katy Perry was seeing eye-to-eye with her fellow judges during the first live round of American Idol season 20 on Monday, which the songstresses admitted was a nice change.
Perry spoke with ET's Matt Cohen on the carpet at the Desert 5 Spot in Hollywood after Monday's new episode, where the season's Top 20 were whittled down to the Top 14. Based on performances and voting, 10 contestants were automatically safe, while the remaining 10 were in the danger zone and singing their hearts out for one of the four spots awarded by the judges.
"We picked our four and it was unanimous, which is great," Perry shared. "Because this season has been interesting, in that we've had some real public spats over a few contestants -- like Sam Moss and Grace Franklin."
Perry has worked alongside fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryant since Season 16, when Idol was revived and moved over to ABC from Fox, and the singer said that this season has seen her clash with them a bit more than ever before.
Perry admitted that, when it came Bryan and Richie's thoughts on a few contestants this season, she "didn't really agree with them" at all.
"Those boys, like, it's true, they may have been a little bullied by my direct, black-and-white yes or no [choices] these past seasons," she said, reflecting on their more emphatic disagreements. "So they're like, 'Were not gonna take it anymore!'"
However, when it came to Monday's first live show, it seems that everyone was pretty well in agreement. The 10 safe contestants included Ava Maybee, Christian Guardino, Lady K, Huntergirl, Dan Marshall, Leah Marlene, Nicolina, Noah Thompson, Emyrson Flora and Fritz Hager.
When it came to the four singers who would be joining them in the Top 14, Perry, Richie and Bryan voted to save Allegra Miles, Jay, Mike Parker and Tristen Gressett.
This means that six contestants were sent home packing -- Cameron Whitcomb, Katyrah Love, Cadence Baker, Sage, Elli Rowe and Jacob Moran.
Addressing the challenges and stress of cutting people at this stage in the game, Perry explained how impressive and special it is to get this far in the first place.
She also reflected on her outlook when it comes to feedback and constructive criticism.
"I feel like, every season, artists see us and they are trusting us more and more," Perry shared. However, she also explained, "The real world out there is not easy, and you can't be too soft."
"I like to be firm and fair and fun and hopeful and supporting, but don't lie to them. Because they need the help," she shared. "I keep people around who say no to me all the time, or debate me all the time, and that's a real big key to success."
One contestant that didn't manage to make it through, Moran, took a big gamble with his performance, belting out Perry's 2016 hit "Rise." Many fans felt that Perry herself wasn't exactly feeling the cover, and it didn't earn him the love he needed to nab a spot in the next round.
Perry explained that, in general, it's a real challenge to sing an artist's song to them -- particularly on Idol.
"I definitely have a perspective. You've got to sing it and interpret it in a different way, you've got to reinvent it," she said. "Or you've got to sing it and sing it so well that you put it to bed, and I can't sing it again. And that's happened."
That being said, Perry still loves it when it happens, because she feels like she's managed to inspire. "If my songs mean anything to anyone, than I feel like I'm doing my job, and I'm happy," she explained.