Home > Culture > Sara Beth Liebe Unexpectedly Quits ‘American Idol’ After Katy Perry’s ‘Mom Shaming’ Joke

Sara Beth Liebe Unexpectedly Quits ‘American Idol’ After Katy Perry’s ‘Mom Shaming’ Joke

Sara Beth Liebe just walked away from her chance at winning American Idol, after calling out judge Katy Perry for a “hurtful” “mom-shaming” joke.


According to the 25-year-old hopeful, however, it wasn’t the “Firework” singer’s remark that made her quit — but it did have to do with her children. “This opportunity is really rad, but this is actually going to be my last performance, because my heart’s at home,” Liebe told Perry and co-judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie after performing her first round Hollywood week song — “Roxanne” by the Police.

“So, I’m going get home to my babies,” she continued on the Sunday (April 2) episode before making her grand exit. “They kind of need me.”

Both the judges and the show’s producers were shocked. Bryan called the decision a “mistake” and Perry pleaded with her to change her mind, but the young mother of three stood her ground. “I don’t even know what show business is,” she said. “I’ve been a mom since I was 18. I’ve been married since I was 18. … I don’t think I realized quite how hard it would be to be away from my kids.”

“They’re all still really young,” Liebe told a producer backstage. “There is a lot of guilt when you leave your kids to do something completely selfish. … I feel like I’m not gonna win the show anyway, so I might as well go home.”

The decision aired just a few weeks after the aspiring singer addressed a joke made at her expense by Perry during her initial audition for the show. “Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much,” the “Dark Horse” pop star had said after discovering that Liebe was 25 and a mother of three.

“It was hurtful and that’s that,” the contestant later said in a TikTok about the interaction. “I think that 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.”

Billboard previously reached out to Perry after Liebe’s comments, but did not receive a response.

Even though she won’t be continuing with Idol, it looks like Liebe will continue to practice music in other ways. She recently announced on TikTok that her original song “Bruises” would be arriving “very soon.”

Better yet, it looks like Perry’s “mom-shaming” comment is water under the bridge now, as far as Liebe is concerned. After Sunday’s episode aired, the former contestant posted another TikTok reflecting on her experience, adding in her caption, “Can we talk about how gooooood Katy looked in that shade of purple…?”

“Sometimes we are presented with big opportunities and situations and we have to make big decisions,” she also wrote. “I’m so GRATEFUL.”


Gratitude is the ONLY word that comes to mind. I can’t wait to continue supporting my new friends and to continue making music. ???? that’s what it’s all about afterall. Oh and also, can we talk about how gooooood Katy looked in that shade of purple and how Lionel SLAYED that orange jacket? ????????????????

♬ original sound – Sara Beth

Reminisce on Sara Beth’s short time on American Idol by re-watching her original audition below:

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