EXCLUSIVE: Katy Perry is ready to QUIT American Idol after facing FURIOUS backlash all season – and believes she was ‘thrown under the bus’ by producers who wanted her to look like the ‘nasty judge’

Katy Perry wants to quit American Idol after six years over fears she is being repeatedly ‘thrown under the bus by producers’ who she believes have purposefully edited her to look like the ‘nasty judge’.

The 38-year-old popstar has faced a slew of controversy and scandal this season – and now sources tell DailyMail.com that she has grown tired of dealing with the backlash from viewers, reaching breaking point when she was booed for doling out criticism to contestants.

Although Katy has faced criticism in the past, the insider revealed that this season has been particularly tough on her, particularly when she was dragged into a mom-shaming scandal that prompted one singer on the show to quit.

‘Katy feels like [the producers] threw her under the bus,’ the source said. ‘She feels like her comments could have been removed.

‘Katy became aware of the harsh criticism. Getting booed really upset her. She was trying to stay in her lane, do her job and go home.

‘She went into it thinking she was going to foster young talent. For her good intentions to be misinterpreted it was not what she wanted.

‘She has accomplished so much in her career and is now being looked at as a nasty reality show judge.

‘Katy’s wanted out for some time now, but this season was way too much for her to handle.’

Although Katy has faced criticism in past seasons, season 21 was the toughest for her to maintain fan approval. At the start of the season, she was accused of ‘mom-shaming’ Sara Beth Liebe, 25, telling the young mother of three that she had been ‘laying on the table too much.’

Another wave of backlash came during Hollywood week when Katy told struggling hopefuls Carina DeAngelo, 25, and Nutsa Buzaladze, 25, that their performance was ‘underwhelming’ – adding that their ‘energy was broken.’

In the wake of both incidents, Katy was slammed on social media – and that criticism has continued to dog her in the weeks since, with several fans crying out for her to be ‘replaced’, even dragging her into the ‘rigging’ row that erupted when this year’s winner, Iam Tongi, was crowned.

Now, DailyMail.com’s insider says, she’s decided enough is enough and is ready to call it quits altogether – walking away from a reported $25 million-per-season pay check in the process.

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However, the source insisted that money doesn’t matter to the chart-topper – and that no pay check will ever be worth the damage she feels the show is doing to her ‘legacy’.

‘[Katy’s decision to quit] is not a money thing,’ the insider shared. ‘For her, it is starting to be more of a legacy issue. She does not want her career defined by a talent competition show where she isn’t even performing.’

Spokespersons for Katy and American Idol did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

In a telling sign, Katy dodged questions about her future on the show when speaking to DailyMail.com in the wake of this season’s finale – simply stating that she was ‘just so grateful’ that American Idol had been renewed for another season.

‘Oh, I’m just so grateful,’ she said when asked what she’d like to see on the next season – before her fellow judge Luke Bryan, 46, jokingly responded: ‘Other than me [getting] fired?’

‘Right, right, right,’ Katy went on, before Lionel Richie, 73, scolded them both: ‘Don’t put that out there, okay?’

Although Katy let Luke and Lionel take the reins when it came to questions about the way in which this season ‘turned out’, remaining pointedly silent when the judges were asked to share their thoughts on ‘how this season compared to others’, she did share some insight into her motivation for taking part in the competition.

‘This is not a karaoke show, it’s not a show about the judges. We are one little part in it, but this is ultimately about peoples’ stories and sounds and voices that need to be heard,’ she said.

Auditions for season 21 of American Idol began on August 3. Since the show switched from Fox to ABC, contestants have been able to try their shot at fame in the summer months, from June until August.

Last month, Katy announced she was adding several new shows to her Las Vegas residency, Katy Perry: Play at the Theatre At Resorts World Las Vegas.

The lineup – consisting of 22 shows total – continues in Sin City tomorrow night and goes until November 3. She has the month of September off.

Katy has faced backlash nearly every season since she joined the show.

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During season 16, she was blasted for kissing 19-year-old contestant Benjamin Glaze, who wrote his own song, Stadium.

After revealing he was never kissed before, Katy came up and gave him a kiss directly on his lips.

‘I was a tad bit uncomfortable,’ Mr. Glaze told The New York Times. ‘I wanted to save it for my first relationship. I wanted it to be special.’

Katy didn’t fail to offend this past season.

During tryouts, Katy was accused of ‘mom-shaming’ 25-year-old Sara Beth Liebe.

Sara sang Amy Winehouse’s You Know I’m No Good, and Perry interrupted her performance, saying ‘Come on, we need more,’ as Sara continued.

‘That’s not enough,’ Katy said when Sara was done singing. ‘Try Bennie and the Jets,’ she instructed, adding that Liebe had nothing to lose because it’s ‘not her dream yet.’

Katy urged her to ‘show us what your voice can do, take it to the limit, no looking back.’ She added, ‘Sing it like it’s your new dream.’

Sara tried to incorporate Perry’s advice into her second song while Perry continued shouting demands at her while she sang.

‘More of that! Hold it out,’ Katy said before dubbing her ‘Accidental American Idol.

Sara then shocked the judges when she said that she had three children at home.

Katy pretended that she was going to faint, prompting Sara to say, ‘If Katy lays on the table, I think I’m going to pass out.’

Sara said that she found Katy’s comments ‘hurtful’ and went on to discourage others from taking part in ‘mom shaming.’

‘At the start of my audition before I sang, I mentioned that I had three children and was a young mother and Katy Perry made a joke that wasn’t super kind,’ Sara Beth said.

‘I don’t have too much to say on my feelings about it because it’s probably pretty self explanatory.’

‘But, I did want to take this opportunity to say that I think that women supporting and uplifting other women is so cool and I think that mom shaming is super lame.’

On the following episode – after singing The Police hit Roxanne – she told Katy, Lionel and Luke, ‘This opportunity is really rad, but this is actually going to be my last performance, because my heart’s at home.’

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‘So, I’m going get home to my babies. They kind of need me.’

Fans of American Idol were quick to criticize Katy’s behavior.

‘I really do not like how Katy Perry just treated Sara Beth on American Idol. They let Katy Perry bully this woman on live national tv before she even started singing. So ugly,’ a fan wrote on Twitter.

That was the first of several incidents this season where Katy caused backlash.

In a following episode, Katy was accused of causing ‘psychological warfare’ against two struggling singer, Carina and Nutsa.

She told Nutsa that she was going home when the top 26 was announced. She then revealed that she was not serious and that she was moving onto the next round.

Carina was later eliminated. In an April episode, Katy came for Nutsa again and was booed when she ‘advised’ her that she should change her wardrobe.

Wearing a shimmering gown and sparkly boots, Nutsa performed Paris (Ooh La La) by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Katy was not impressed.

‘Nutsa every time you take the stage it’s like you glitter bomb the stage,’ Katy told the contestant. ‘Listen, one thing that I would like to see from you is not one piece of glitter the next time. I know that is going to be hard.’

‘Katy got booed!’ said judge Luke Bryan, 46 after he and Lionel Richie, 73, stood up in shock.

‘First time in six seasons,’ Katy clapped back.

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