‘American Idol’ Judge Reveals Departure: ‘I Feel Like I Need to Go Out’

For one American Idol judge, the upcoming season will likely be their last. After seven seasons together, Katy Perry says this season will likely be her last working with her fellow judges, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, on American Idol.

“I think this probably will be my last show, my last season for Idol,” Perry revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “I mean I love Idol so much. It’s connected me with the heart of America, but I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat.”

Perry said she hadn’t had a sit-down conversation with either Bryan or Richie, but added they likely wouldn’t be surprised by the news.

“They know that I have some things planned for this year,” Perry shared. “So it’s going to be a very, very exciting year.”

As for who will follow Perry, she doesn’t know who it will be, but says she is working hard to make the transition as seamless as possible.

“Let’s just say I’m creating space for my new wingspan,” Perry hinted.

The three judges have become close over the years, spending time together even when the show wasn’t filming, which makes the decision that much harder for the pop star.

“I love them so much … They figure I’ve been in the studio for a while so they figured something is coming,” she added.

For Perry, the decision to leave American Idol is very bittersweet.

“This is our seventh season. “Simon [Cowell], Paula [Abdul] and Randy [Jackson], they had seven seasons,” Perry reflected. “I love the show so much but I wanna go and see the world and maybe bring new music. Maybe I’ll come back if they’ll have me one day.”

Perry might be leaving, but Bryan says he will likely stay as part of American Idol as long as he is invited back.

“My future [is] with Idol, as long as the show is growing and popping and we feel like we’re doing beautiful work as a show,” he said. “We felt like this year was what we had all worked together to get to … As long as the vibe feels like we’re onward and upward and we’re getting emotionally moved and we’re telling the story of kids and of the American spirit and it’s a show that kids can sit down and parents can cry and laugh together and have fun, it’s gonna be a tough show for me and Lionel and Katy to walk away from.”

The new season of American Idol premiers on Sunday, February 24 at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of ABC