Talent Recap

‘American Idol’s Oliver Steele Says Judge Katy Perry Is ‘Not a Bully’

ABC/Eric McCandless

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American Idol Season 21 contestant Oliver Steele recently spoke out on Instagram defending the show’s judge Katy Perry against accusations of bullying. Perry received quite a bit of criticism during the most recent season for how she interacted with contestants.

American Idol‘s Oliver Steele Defends Katy Perry

Oliver Steele made it to the Top 8 on the most recent season of American Idol before being eliminated. Recently, the singer posted two photos to Instagram showing him posing with judge Katy Perry. In the post’s caption, Steele wrote a lengthy defense of the judge.

“Katy is not a bully, nor does she shame people,” Steele wrote, adding, “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.”

Perry received backlash this season for comments she made to auditioning contestant Sara Beth Liebe, a mother of three. She was also criticized for negative comments she made about Broadway-style singing, and the audience even booed her for comments she made about contestant Nutsa in Hawaii.

“I’m a better musician and artist after Katy Perry pushed me to believe in my potential, and to exceed my limitations,” Steele wrote in his Instagram post, calling Perry “a guiding light, an incredible teacher.”


Is Perry Planning to Quit the Show?

According to a recent report, Perry is thinking about quitting American Idol due to the backlash she’s received. A source told The Daily Mail, “Katy’s wanted out for some time now, but this season was way too much for her to handle.”

Perry herself said in an interview after the Season 21 finale that she’s been “getting a little FOMO after all these years,” but added of her possible return to the judging panel next season, “I hope so. We’ll see.”

In his recent post, Steele mentioned the rumors about Perry possibly leaving the show, saying he doesn’t know “what’s true and what’s not.” He addressed Perry at the end of his caption, writing, “I dunno if you’ll see this, but I hope you stay on American Idol.”

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