American Idol Contestant Sara Beth Quit The Show After Katy Perry’s “Mom-Shaming” Remark

“It was embarrassing to have that on TV, and it was hurtful.”

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Katy Perry’s candor and sense of humor make her an ideal judge on American Idol, but it also makes for some occasional cringe. On the April 2 episode, contestant Sara Beth quit the competition in the midst of the Hollywood rounds, following a comment Perry made during Beth’s audition that has been criticized for mom-shaming. After finding out that Beth was actually a 25-year-old mother of three, not a high school student as the judges had thought, the singer pretended to faint, causing Beth to remark, “If Katy lays on the table, I think I’m going to pass out!” Perry quickly retorted, “Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much!”

At the time, Beth laughed off the comment and made it through to the next round. She didn’t blame Perry for her departure, instead saying she wanted to return home to her three children. “This opportunity is really rad, but this is actually going to be my last performance, because my heart’s at home,” she told the judges before singing The Police’s “Roxanne.” However, a month prior, she said that Perry’s joke “wasn’t super kind” in a TikTok video and explained her reaction.

“It was embarrassing to have that on TV, and it was hurtful,” she said, without calling out Perry by name. “I think that women supporting and uplifting other women is so cool and I think that mom-shaming is super lame.” She concluded her video with a message aimed at all mothers. “Keep loving your babies,” she said. “Nobody deserves to feel crappy about that. If you're a good mama and you love your babies, that's all that really matters. Other comments just don't feel necessary.”

However, Perry grew to like Beth even more after the audition. In fact, she attempted to convince Beth to reconsider leaving by giving her a pep talk with fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, revealing that they voted for her to go through to the next stage. “I know life is scary,” the Grammy nominee said. “But then I also know that you lose out on your fullest potential. I know you love your family, your kids; I know that as a mother. But self-love is just as big as motherly love. Don’t leave the competition. You’ve opened a door you thought you’d never open, and you got a yes. And you may get another yes in the future. Do not give up.”

The judges’ pleas did not persuade Beth from staying in the competition. “I’m really humbled and grateful, and Katy had some really nice things to say,” she told the camera. “It would be nice if my kids were a little older. I understand how big of an opportunity this is. But I still kind of want to get home. I am sure when I get home, I will regret it and be like, ‘Man, you should have stayed.’”