Warning! The following contains spoilers for American Idol Season 18's Top 7 Disney Night/Mother's Day Special. Read at your own risk!
American Idol Season 18 is quickly running through its final stretch, and will decide its big winner next week. In past seasons, the judges tended to ease up on their criticism this late in the competition, knowing every word they utter potentially impacts how the audience votes in each round. That wasn't necessarily the case with Katy Perry for the Top 7, as the pop star appeared to throw some major shade at one contestant while critiquing another.
It all went down shortly after Francisco Martin's performance of "You'll Be In My Heart," which the judges were high on. Especially Katy Perry, who thought he excelled where another competitor arguably fell short. Perry specifically called out fellow Top 7 performer Louis Knight when complimenting Martin on what he did well in his Disney Night song. All while dressed as Mrs. Jumbo from Dumbo, no less. In her words:
What you gave us at the end is kind of what I wanted from Louis Knight. I mean, look, this is a competition; let's get real. There's only one Idol and you were spot-on with your performance and then at the end, you let us have it with the talent of your voice.
The words cut through the air like a knife, and even Luke Bryan couldn't avoid reacting to it as he whistled in surprise upon hearing Katy Perry's comparison of Francisco Martin and Louis Knight. Perry seemed to understand mid-sentence that what she said sounded harsh, but continued explaining to make it through to American Idol's endgame, people must bring their A-game.
Perry's choice of words was met with mixed reactions from American Idol viewers on social media, many of whom took notice of how uncharacteristic the negative-skewing commentary felt this late in the season. Given that the performance itself had little to do with Louis Knight, some felt the commentary was a bit unnecessary.
Katy Perry is certainly one of the more outspoken (and highest paid) judges on American Idol, but comments that directly call out competitors for their shortcomings are more rare these days. This may be what made it jarring for some to hear, and caused others to think Perry was a bit shady for aiming down.
It was a pretty harsh statement to make, knowing that two of the night's Top 7 won't be performing next week in American Idol's Season 18 finale. Even so Katy Perry had her supporters on social media who praised her for being honest and saying what they believe needed to be said, regardless of when it happened.
Was it mean of Katy Perry to call out Louis Knight? Maybe, but she's on American Idol to be a judge, and all she did was make an observation that she apparently wasn't alone in thinking.
Of course, who knows how deep Katy Perry's words cut? American Idol viewers certainly heard what she said, but it remains to be seen whether or not the shade will influence the votes and keep Louis Knight out of the finale. This isn't the first time Perry has been tough on him this season, and he's survived this far, so I think it would have taken a far weaker performance to really take him out of the Top 5.
American Idol Season 18's finale airs on ABC on Sunday, May 17, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for the latest on the competition, and for more news happening in television and movies.