An "American Idol" Finalist Defended Katy Perry Against Bullying Allegations

An "American Idol" Finalist Defended Katy Perry Against Bullying Allegations
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News, Politics, Culture, Life, Entertainment, and more. Stories that matter to you.Celebrity·Posted 15 minutes ago

An "American Idol" Finalist Defended Katy Perry Against Bullying Allegations

"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."

SVKcZytTe_large.jpg?crop=365%25252525253A365%25252525253B14%25252525252C0&downsize=120:*&output-format=jpg&output-quality=autoby Mychal Thompson

BuzzFeed Staff


An American Idol finalist is rallying behind series judge Katy Perry amid the bullying allegations.

Eric Mccandless / ABC via Getty Images

Oliver Steele, a 24-year-old singer, made it to the top 8 of Season 21 of American Idol, and he recently took to Instagram to defend Katy against bullying accusations and address rumors that she is leaving the show.

View this photo on Instagram

@oliversteelemusic / Via

"I've seen a lot of rumors going around the internet about Katy Perry possibly leaving Idol, and I don't necessarily know what’s true and what's not," his caption began. "Here is what I know about @katyperry. Katy is not a bully, nor does she shame people."


Eric Mccandless / ABC via Getty Images

Oliver went on to describe how Katy actually helped him gain confidence throughout the process. "I remember being nervous at my audition, nervous during Hollywood week, hell even nervous throughout various points in the competition," he said.

Eric Mccandless / ABC via Getty Images

Oliver suggested that Katy was able to connect with him on a deeper level and singled her out from the other two judges, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. "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."


Eric Mccandless / ABC via Getty Images

"It's one thing to teach someone to believe in their ability, which the judges are fabulous at. Katy reminded me to believe in who I am as an artist," Oliver added. "She challenged me to push myself, to take on challenges that made me uncomfortable. I'm a better musician and artist after Katy Perry pushed me to believe in my potential, and to exceed my limitations."


Eric Mccandless / ABC via Getty Images

"I dunno if you'll see this, but I hope you stay on American Idol," Oliver wrote. "You’re a guiding light, an incredible teacher. And you made me believe that I am my own hero. Thank you for everything. ❤️"

Eric Mccandless / ABC via Getty Images, Leon Neal / Getty Images

Oliver's defense of Katy comes after she was accused of making a "mom-shaming" comment about another American Idol contestant during the season's earlier auditions.


Eric Mccandless / ABC via Getty Images

When contestant Sara Beth Liebe revealed she was a 25-year-old mother of three, a comedically overwhelmed Katy pretended to lie down on the judge's table, which prompted Sara to say, "If Katy lays on the table, I think I'm going to pass out."



Katy then replied, "Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much!"



After Katy and Luke voted "yes," Sara did make it through to Hollywood but ultimately left the show to be with her three children instead. 

Sara later shared, in a now-deleted TikTok, how she felt about the TV moment: "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."



"I don’t have too much to say on my feelings about it because it’s probably pretty self-explanatory,” Sara included. “It was embarrassing to have that on TV. And it was hurtful and, you know, that’s that."


Katy did admit there were "intense" moments this season during an appearance on The View, but she has yet to directly comment on the accusations. We'll update you when she does.

View this video on YouTube

ABC / Via

If you want to form your opinion of Katy's judgments, you can still watch Season 21 of American Idol on Hulu now. is an organization that provides resources to prevent harassment and bullying against children. Stomp Out Bullying offers a free and confidential chat line here.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.

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