In March, a contestant named Sarah Beth Liebe auditioned for “American Idol.” Liebe initially advanced past the first round, winning the coveted golden ticket to Hollywood. When the episode featuring Liebe’s audition, in which she sang “Benny And The Jets” by Elton John, aired on March 5, viewers were quick to point out a questionable reaction that judge Katy Perry had.
25-year-old Liebe stated after the singing portion of her audition that she was a mom of three children, and Perry reacted with what some felt was an exaggerated show of shock. Liebe later posted a TikTok (@sarahbethliebe) talking about the moment, which she said was “embarrassing moment to have on TV.” The comments have since been turned off since Liebe posted the original video.
Liebe also gave a shoutout to the other moms who felt uncomfortable after seeing Perry’s reaction, and reminded viewers to continue to uplift women’s voices. Her use of the term “mom-shaming” received mass social media attention.
After working on her confidence as a performer with the help of former “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, Liebe delivered an impactful performance of the Police’s “Roxanne”, which earned her a standing ovation. Following her performance, she announced that she would be removing herself from the competition, saying “this opportunity is really rad, but this is actually gonna be my last performance ’cause my heart’s at home. So I’m gonna get home to my babies. They kind of need me. So thank you.”
The judges encouraged Liebe to return to the stage, and Perry offered some words of advice on potentially balancing her musical aspirations with motherhood. “I know that life is scary. I also know that it’s easier to walk away than to be rejected. But, then, I also know that you lose out on your fullest potential,” Perry said. “And I know that you love your family, for your kids. I know that as a mother, but remember self love is just as big as motherly love. Don’t leave the competition.”
Liebe inevitably still decided to leave the competition, though she thanked Perry for her support, saying “I appreciate you. I’m really humbled and grateful, and Katy had some really nice things to say.” Liebe cited her children’s ages, and explained that she was not comfortable with leaving them at home without her for the remainder of the competition.
Following the performance, Liebe shared a personal video of herself going through a panic attack backstage on her TikTok account.
Amid her choice to leave the popular singing competition, Liebe also revealed on TikTok that she has been working on her own original music from home. A demo for her single “Last October” was released on Spotify on March 6, and a second single, titled “Bruises”, is due to drop this month.
This is a demo for my new song called “Bruises” and the track is almost done! Thinking about dropping this one next week. ???????????? #originalsong #toxicrelationship #toxicrelationshipsbelike #originallyrics #singersongwriter #sarabeth #sacramentomusic
Neither Liebe nor the “American Idol” judges have issued further comment on Liebe’s decision to leave the competition at this time.