Katy Perry experienced a first during Monday’s episode of American Idol. The 38-year-old judge was audibly booed by the audience during her critique of performer Nutsa.
Nutsa, a 25-year-old singer from Tbilisi, Georgia, took the stage to perform “Paris (Ooh La La)” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals as part of the show’s Top 26 in Hawaii. Perry praised the singer for her energetic performance, but offered up some advice.
“Nutsa, every time you take the stage, it’s like you glitter bomb the stage,” Perry said. “Listen, I think one thing I personally would like to see from you is not one piece of glitter the next time. I know that’s gonna be hard.”
At Perry’s suggestion, the crowd booed and fellow judge Lionel Richie replied with surprise. Luke Bryan was delighted, pointing out that this was the first time in the show’s six seasons that Perry was booed. Perry brushed off the audience’s reaction, giving her explanation for her comment and encouraging Nutsa to “flip the script.”
“I think we want to be pulled in by our hearts too,” Perry said. “I’d love to see that, and I think America might too.”
Perry recently opened up to ET about the decision to have a Top 26 instead of the traditional 24 this season. “More new talent is born every day and it’s 26 because we literally could not pare it down,” she said. “We added two more because we were like, asking all the producers, ‘Is this OK? Is this like, can we really do this? I know you guys have done this for 21 seasons, but we have really good talent. We can’t send these people home.’”
American Idol is currently in its 19th season, and the show has seen a variety of changes over the years. This season, viewers will see the return of the show’s popular Hawaiian getaway, which Perry believes will help her and the other judges make the best decisions.
“We’ve been able to see the real side of some of these contestants,” Perry said. “We’re able to really get to the heart of why they’re here and what they’re trying to do and who they are as people.”
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.