American Idol judge Katy Perry has announced that Season 22 will "probably" be her last after serving as a judge on seven seasons of the reality singing competition.

Katy appeared on the Monday, February 12 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! and shared how long she plans to remain an American Idol judge alongside Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

"I think this probably will be my last show, my last season for Idol," Katy, 39, announced.

"I mean, I love Idol so much. It's connected me with, like, the heart of America, but I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat, you what I'm saying, Jimmy?!"

Katy also suggested that Luke, 47, and Lionel, 74, hadn't been told about her decision to leave ahead of time.

"Well, they'll find out tonight," Katy teased.

"Did they really not know?" Jimmy asked.

"Well, they know that I have some things planned for this year," Katy clarified.

One thing Katy has planned is the international Rock in Rio music festival this fall.

"It's really exciting," Katy gushed of the event. "It's a big deal for people all over the world, especially for my Brazilian fans."

Katy boasted about how she has a "very, very exciting year" in store for herself. Katy, who has "been in the studio for a while," added how big things are coming for "all pop star girlies."

Host Jimmy Kimmel joked about whether Katy's exit from American Idol will be like the coronation of King Charles III in which the crown will be passed from one royal to the next, and Katy laughed and stated, "Let's just say I'm creating space for my new wingspan."

Katy went on to share, "I love [the show] so much... They know. They know. I've been in the studio for a while, so they know something is up. I think [it will be my farewell season. I was just thinking about it because this is our seventh season. [Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson] had seven seasons [and then retired]."
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Katy concluded, "I want to go and see the world and maybe bring new music. Maybe I'll come back if they'll have me one day."

While Katy has had a great run on American Idol, she sparked major criticism last year for arguably offending or disrespecting contestants. She was accused of mom-shaming and putting down American Idol hopefuls.

Last season, for example, Katy jokingly told contestant Sara Beth Liebe, a mother of three children, that she had been "laying on the table too much" during her audition.

Sara Beth later complained about Katy's comment on TikTok and quit the competition, although the aspiring singer ultimately insisted she had left the show on good terms with production and staff.

At one point in the season, Katy even drew boos from the audience for asking the wild and free-spirited Nutsa Buzaladze to wear less glitter onstage, and many fans have been demanding for her firing and replacement for months.

But Luke defended Katy and suggested during a June 2023 interview with Fox News that Katy is unfazed by all the outside noise.

"Katy Perry's been dealing with stuff like that her whole career," Luke said. "We all get it... I mean, we're judging kids that people at home fall in love with. We're not going to bat 1,000 as judges."

Luke said he believes the American Idol judging panel is sometimes put in a difficult position.

"I think we get set up. As judges, you know, we kind of fall on the sword a lot of times," Luke explained, referencing how the judges are tasked with critiquing innocent kids and fan-favorite singers.

"And [we] get set up to where people can get very vocal on socials and stuff. My thing is, I think when me and Lionel and Katy sit down at the desk, in our hearts, we're doing the best we can."

Luke apparently felt all the backlash directed at Katy was unfair and unjustified.

"Katy gets picked on for going out and trying to have fun making a TV show," Luke said at the time.

"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. Sometimes you've just got to say stuff. It may be my year next year."

Luke said Katy's candidness and transparency makes him "appreciate her even more," especially because she's "had to deal" with scrutiny on a large scale for her whole career.

Luke explained, "We feel like we're doing beautiful work as a whole, and we felt like this year was what we had all worked together to get to."

American Idol's 22nd season is set to premiere Sunday, February 18 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC. She joined American Idol as a judge in 2018 for Season 16, when Idol launched on ABC after previously having aired on Fox for fifteen years.

Season 22 of American Idol will mark Katy's seventh season as a judge.

About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.