Mother to mother. Katy Perry tried to convince American Idol’s Sara Beth Liebe to stay on the show after the contestant previously claimed the “Roar” singer mom-shamed her.
“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,” the 25-year-old contestant told mentor Clay Aiken on the Sunday, April 2, episode of the competition series. “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.”
Despite receiving applause for her “Roxanne” performance, Liebe told the judges that she had hit a crossroad. “This opportunity is really rad, but this is actually gonna be my last performance ’cause my heart’s at home,” she told the panel. “So I’m gonna get home to my babies. They kind of need me. So thank you.”
Liebe ran off the stage, prompting Luke Bryan to say, “That was a mistake.” Perry, meanwhile, added, “The thing I see in her is her fighting spirit.” The “California Gurls” songstress, 38, then asked Liebe to return to the stage and tried to talk her out of leaving.
“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 explained. “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.”
After Liebe’s team of contestants moved on to the next round, Perry told her, “You got a yes and you may get another yes in the future. Do not give up.” The kind words, however, couldn’t persuade the young mom to change her mind.
“I appreciate you. I’m really humbled and grateful, and Katy had some really nice things to say,” she told the cameras. “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.’”
Perry, for her part, was disappointed by Liebe’s choice, noting, “Man that sucks. It’s not easy for anyone. Everyone has their own story.”
Weeks earlier, Perry was accused of mom-shaming by Liebe at her audition. During the March episode, the judges were surprised to learn that Liebe was a mother of three at only 25 years old.
The “Prism” singer stood up and leaned against Bryan, 46, to show how shocked she was, which prompted the contestant to say, “If Katy lays on the table, I think I’m gonna die.”
Perry — who shares daughter Daisy, 2, with fiancé Orlando Bloom — then joked, “Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much.”
Liebe later shared via TikTok that the comment “wasn’t super kind” and hurt her feelings. “I think 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,” she continued. “If you’re a good mama and you love your babies, that’s all that really matters, and other comments just don’t feel necessary.”
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The “Last Friday Night” songstress, for her part, previously told Us Weekly in October 2017 that she and the other judges don’t “believe in being nasty” on the show. “I think what we believe in is being constructive and giving constructive criticism because it doesn’t help anyone and people are really sensitive and we understand because we’ve all walked into a room like that at one time in our lives,” Perry concluded.