Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie scrambled to save Lacy Kaye Booth from shocking elimination on American Idol

By Christina Dugan
May 06, 2019 11:10 AM

Being a judge on American Idol isn’t easy.

During Sunday night’s episode, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie made a rash decision that quickly changed the course of the show.

After Lacy Kaye Booth and Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon were eliminated, the judges had the option of using their one and only ‘save’ on either one — they chose to save Booth, leaving fans (and Booth!) shocked.

“I did not love doing that,” Perry, 34, told PEOPLE of the last-minute decision. “I’m really tired. I need a double margarita! But also I want Jeremiah to know, number one, that we love him and we support him. It’s written in the stars for him. And, historically, if you look at people that didn’t win and how far they’ve come, he’s okay.”

RELATED: Katy Perry Says It’s ‘Difficult’ Being an American Idol Judge: ‘We’re So Invested’

Credit: ABC/Disney
Credit: ABC/Disney

“What’s interesting about tonight is that there was a curve ball I thought,” she added. “I didn’t necessarily know if Wade [Cota] was going to get in. But he did such great performances this evening that it obviously persuaded the people and threw us through a loop. So that’s why at the end we were like, ‘What is happening?’’ I’m not sure, I think, you hear these whispers like, ‘Oh American Idol is this format, that format.’ It feels like change is in the air.”


“It’s the craziest feeling in the world,” Booth told reporters after the show. “When it happened, it was like I was in another world. I honestly thought that Jeremiah was going to be the one that got saved, just because I know what an amazing vocalist and person he is. The fact that Katy, Lionel and Luke saw something in me and believed in me enough to move on to next week is the best feeling in the world. I’m in total shock right now.”

While the judges weren’t anticipating using their one ‘save’ during tonight’s episode, they’ve quickly learned the unexpected is expected.

“When we had the save two weeks ago, we were trying to get in front of it and you would’ve been surprised who we were thinking we were going to need to save back then Jeremiah and Lacy weren’t even in our train of thought,” Bryan said. “Even last week we weren’t even thinking about it. We were thinking about other people. Next thing you know, the people we’ve been thinking about for a couple of weeks, they’re in there. So we had to scramble.”

“It threw us off,” added Richie. “We were in shock when they asked us for our vote. But, I’m going to say this, they’ve all won now.”

During Sunday’s episode, Harmon was eliminated, leaving Booth, Madison Vandenburg, Laine Hardy, Alejandro Aranda and Wade Cota in the Top 5.

American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.