Sara Beth gave an impressive performance and was moved forward, but ultimately quit the competition show.
Sunday night marked the end of the road for American Idol contestant Sara Beth Liebe. The 25-year-old musician made headlines following her March audition episode when she called out Katy Perry for some "mom shaming" comments the judge made about her being a young mother of three.
On Sunday's episode, Sara Beth fought to work on her confidence during the show's Hollywood Week and even received some one-on-one help from former Idol runner-up, Clay Aiken.
The performer was clearly nervous, admitting, "I don't think I realized quite how hard it would be to be away from my kids. They're all still really young. I feel like I'm gonna try my best 'cause I'm here and so that's what I should do. There's a lot of guilt that comes when you leave your kids to do something completely selfish. I'm just gonna try to keep my head on straight."
Sara Beth performed a powerful cover of The Police's hit song, "Roxanne," and impressed the judges and her competitors, some of whom gave her a standing ovation. But before anyone offered commentary on her performance, Sara Beth said, "This opportunity is really rad, but this is actually gonna be my last performance 'cause my heart's at home. So I'm gonna get home to my babies. They kind of need me. So thank you."
She then ran off the stage. Judge Luke Bryan said, "That was a mistake," and Perry noted, "The thing I see in her is her fighting spirit."
Perry asked Sara Beth to return to the stage in an attempt to urge her to keep trying to move forward in the competition.
"I know that life is scary. I also know that it's easier to walk away than to be rejected. But, then, I also know that you lose out on your fullest potential," Perry told the musician. "And I know that you love your family, for your kids. I know that as a mother, but remember self love is just as big as motherly love. Don't leave the competition."
Sara Beth still seemed unsure, telling a producer she didn't feel like she could win Idol and that she didn't feel she was "cut out for show business."
Sara Beth's team of contestants was moved through to the next round by the judges and Perry told her, "You got a yes and you may get another yes in the future. Do not give up."
Sara Beth added, "I appreciate you. I'm really humbled and grateful, and Katy had some really nice things to say."
Despite Perry's encouragement, Sara Beth still decided to leave the competition, noting she wished her kids were older.
"I'm sure that when I get home I'll regret it. I probably will go, 'Damn, Sara, you should have stayed, and you should have done it,'" she shared.
Perry was clearly disappointed by Sara Beth's decision, saying, "Man that sucks. It's not easy for anyone. Everyone has their own story."
After the moment aired, Sara Beth took to her Instagram account to share an incredibly personal video of herself in the middle of a panic attack while the episode was being filmed.
"I was having a literal panic attack because I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and shock," she wrote. "It's mind-blowing and so humbling and has made me realize how badly I want to do music. Six months ago, I didn't know that yet. But I'm also allowed to make hard choices that are best for me."
Prior to her exit, Sara Beth made headlines for her uncomfortable audition in which she shared with the judges that she is a mother of three. Perry made a joke about the young mother that Sara Beth later said "wasn't super kind."
As Perry reacted to Sara Beth being a 25-year-old mother of three, Sara Beth said, "If Katy lays on the table, I think I'm going to pass out."
"Honey, you've been laying on the table too much," Perry quipped, referencing the young mother's family.
Sara Beth later gave her reaction to the moment in a TikTok, saying, "It was embarrassing to have that on TV, and it was hurtful and that's that. I think that women supporting and uplifting other women is so cool and I think that mom shaming is super lame and I think that it's hard enough to be a mom and it's hard enough to be a woman."
American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.