Despite insisting from singer and American Idol judge Katy Perry, contestant Sara Beth Liebe doesn’t think show business is for her.
Liebe, 25, quit the vocal competition during Sunday night’s Idol episode, claiming she felt guilty for being away from her three young children.
The decision to throw in the towel comes only weeks after Perry, 38, was criticized by viewers for “mom-shaming” Liebe — who had her first child when she was 18 years old — during her initial audition. Perry was scolded online for joking that Liebe had been “laying on the table too much.”
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During Sunday’s episode, Liebe first expressed her desire to leave the competition to guest vocal coach Clay Aiken, who was a runner-up on Season 2 of American Idol. As the pair rehearsed Liebe’s cover of Roxanne by The Police, she told Aiken she doesn’t “feel like I fit the mould” of an entertainer.
In an on-camera confessional, Liebe later called her Idol audition “something completely selfish” because it kept her away from her family.
Though the mom of three performed Roxanne for the judges, she was quick to back out afterward.
“This opportunity is really rad but this is actually gonna be my last performance because my heart’s at home,” she told the judging panel of Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. “So, I’m gonna get home to my babies, they kind of need me.”
“I feel like I’m not gonna win the show anyway, so I might as well go home. Seeing all the talent, a big part of me feels like I’m not cut out for show business,” Liebe continued.
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Perry tried to convince Liebe to stay in the competition after the judges told her she would be allowed to continue to the next round of the competition.
“You’ve opened a door you never thought you would open, and you got a yes,” Perry encouraged. “You may get another yes in the future. Do not give up.”
Liebe told Perry “I appreciate you” before leaving the stage.
Liebe later explained to the cameras backstage that if her children were “a little older” she may have considered staying in the competition.
“I’m sure that when I get home, I’ll regret it,” she said. “I probably will go ‘Ah, Sara, you should’ve stayed, and you should’ve done it.’”
Liebe’s first American Idol audition — which she has since revealed she was scouted for — garnered attention online both for her singing voice and Perry’s “laying on the table” comment. When Liebe introduced herself as a mother of three, Perry got out of her seat and feigned dramatic surprise.
“If Katy lays on the table, I think I’m going to pass out,” Liebe joked.
“Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much,” Perry quipped.
In the days following the airing of Liebe’s audition, she posted a TikTok discussing Perry’s “mom-shaming” comment. From her couch, Liebe said Perry’s joke “wasn’t very kind.”
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“I don’t really have too much to say on my feelings about it because I feel like it’s probably pretty self-explanatory,” she said. “It was embarrassing to have that on TV and it was hurtful.”
“I think that women supporting and uplifting other women is so cool and I think that mom-shaming is super lame,” Liebe shrugged. “It’s hard enough to be a mom and it’s hard enough to be a woman.”
On Monday, Liebe shared footage from the moments after her first Idol audition. In a text-laden TikTok video, Liebe discussed her reasons for exiting the show and said she had a panic attack “because I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and shock.”
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“Sometimes we are presented with big opportunities and situations and we have to make big decisions,” she wrote.
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