‘American Idol’ Judges Under Fire for Messing with Contestants’ Heads

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Great singers are voted out of American Idol every week. So when the contestants enter the room with the judges, they often have no idea what their fate on the show will be. Knowing this, the judges often use misleading words to make the contestant think they are going home before revealing that they are actually moving on in the competition. 

One of the most shocking tricks was pulled during the Sunday (April 3) episode when Katy Perry made Jay Copeland believe he was out of the running. Copeland earned a Platinum Ticket during his audition, allowing him to skip one round of Hollywood Week. So when it sounded like Copeland was out of the show, no one knew how he could be out this early—including Copeland himself. 

“There’s a lot of talent on this show. We don’t love doing all of this. Some of it we love, and some of it we don’t,” Perry told Copeland. “In our opinion, you are almost a perfect singer. But sometimes perfection doesn’t win over feeling.” Clearly, the meeting does not appear to be going in a positive direction. 

“So I’m sorry to say, your Idol journey is ending…” she began. Copeland covered his face with his hand like he was about to cry. “… at some point in the future. But not tonight because you’re in the Top 24 baby!” she continued.

Copeland shed tears of joy and expressed his excitement to the judges, but many fans were unhappy with Perry’s joke. 

One commenter wrote, “That was so mean! I mean she all out said what they always say when they are cutting you from the show- ‘your journey is ending.’ Shock. Horror. Devastation… This one should be struck from the books. No one is ever gonna know if they’re coming or going!”

Many agreed that Perry was unnecessarily harsh to Copeland. “WTH was Katy talking about “a difference between singing & feeling?” she must be emotionally dead,” another commenter added.

“Oh, Katy, you’re so bad! You really messed with Jay!” wrote @MaryD1953. “I think he was truly shocked that he made it though after what you said. Sometimes I think all 3 of you go a teensy bit far. But I know it’s all in good fun. I don’t think I could do all that with a straight face.”

While most were shocked that Perry misled Copeland, others expressed anger that she deliberately deceived him. 

“The judges need to stop fcking with these young singers emotions. They always cause certain singers extra stress. @katyperry needs to stop it,” wrote @HD4safety_USAF.

Another fan agreed, writing, “I made the same comment on another thread. So effin mean spirited.”

However, some Idol fans believe that the deceptive comments are all in fun, and keep the audience on their toes. “Damn. She did him DIRTY. But I’m here for it,” one commenter wrote.

Do you think the judges should be allowed to mess with contestants? Let us know your thoughts – comment below.

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