Luke Bryan defends Katy Perry after 'American Idol' backlash: She 'gets picked on for going out and trying to have fun'

Speaking to Fox News at the Country Music Association Festival this week, the 46-year-old — who appears alongside Perry and Lionel Richie on the show’s judging panel — said that he doesn’t think the “Roar” singer deserves the hate she gets.

“Katy gets picked on for going out and trying to have fun making a TV show,” Bryan said. “You can’t be so safe in the moment that you’re so homogenized, you can’t ever go for a joke or go for a fun moment.”

“It makes me appreciate her even more, just how big of a scale she’s had to deal with that her whole career,” he added.

The “Firework” singer has been appearing as a judge on the ABC show since its revival in 2018. However, throughout season 21, she has been criticized for comments she has made to contestants.

Contestant Sara Beth accused Perry of “mom shaming” her during her audition.

During the audition stages, after 25-year-old contestant Sara Beth Liebe revealed that she was a mom of three, Perry told her: “Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much.”

Shortly before she quit the show, Liebe addressed Perry’s comments in a TikTok video in which she said that “mom shaming is super lame” and that Perry’s quip had been “embarrassing” and “hurtful” to her.

Elsewhere, Perry was booed by audience members for the first time after she called out contestant Nutsa Buzaladze for always wearing glittery outfits.

Bryan said he and his fellow judges do “the best” they can but recognize that they can’t, and won’t, win over every viewer because their role on the show is to critique “kids that people at home fall in love with.”

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Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie have all been appearing as judges on “American Idol” since 2018.

“I think we get set up, as judges, you know, we kinda fall on the sword a lot of times,” he said. “And get set up to where people can get very vocal on socials and stuff.”

“Sometimes, you just gotta say stuff,” he continued, adding: “It may be my year, next year” to fall out of favor with audiences.

Bryan isn’t the only one to come to the pop star’s defense.

After it was rumored that Perry was possibly leaving the show in light of her controversial season, another season 21 contestant took to Instagram to emphatically deny that she had been rude to him or other contestants.

Alongside a photo of him and Perry, Oliver Steele, who finished in the top eight, wrote: “Katy is not a bully, nor does she shame people.”

He continued, in part: “Katy has an incredible ability to not just tell what emotional state you’re in, but to be able to tell what’s holding you back. I love all the judges, but Katy always seemed to be able to look into my soul and tell exactly what was troubling me, or what it was I was struggling with.”

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