Katy Perry wears towering dress paying tribute to 168 ‘American Idol’ contestants during emotional finale

Katy Perry honored her seven seasons on “American Idol” in style Sunday.

For the show’s finale — and her final episode as a judge — the “California Gurls” singer hit the stage in a larger-than-life look designed by Heather Picchiottino featuring a silver corset, black sequined bow and a towering skirt adorned with the faces of 168 “Idol” contestants.

Perry, 39, treating the crowd to a performance with third-place contestant Jack Blocker, and stood on a platform that soared high above the stage so as to show off her expansive ensemble in its entirety.

Katy Perry wore a jaw-dropping gown plastered with 168 “American Idol” contestants’ faces her emotional exit on Sunday. Disney
The larger-than-life look was designed by Heather Picchiottino. Disney
Perry treated the crowd to a performance with third-place contestant Jack Blocker, and stood on a platform that soared high above the stage so as to show off her expansive ensemble in its entirety. Disney

The dress was plastered with the faces of the top 24 contestants she’s worked with during her seven seasons on the singing competition show.

“I thought a good way to honor my time here would be to put the top 24 of each season on my skirt so they were all there. It was a fun surprise because I was raising up and you just saw more and more contestants,” Perry — who joined the judge’s table with Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie in 2018 — told Entertainment Tonight after the show.

Elsewhere during the episode, Perry wore a gold metal Grace Ling corset featuring seven long-stemmed metallic roses, one for each of her seasons on the series.

The “Dark Horse” singer later revealed that the dress featured the top 24 contestants from the last seven seasons. Disney
Perry told Entertainment Tonight the dress was a “good way to honor my time here.” Instagram

“🥀 7 roses for 7 seasons 🥀,” she captioned photos of her look on Instagram.

“I grew up listening to all of Katy’s songs through my teenage years. Who knew that I would one day be casually making couture for her?!?” Ling wrote on social media. “We didn’t even have time to make a sketch, just pure trust in vision.”

Perry got emotional quite a few times while sitting between Richie, 74, and Bryan, 47, one last time during the finale.

The mom of one also paid tribute to her time on the show with a Grace Ling corset featuring seven golden roses. Instagram
“🥀 7 roses for 7 seasons 🥀,” she wrote on Instagram. katyperry/Instagram

Bryan, Richie and Perry all held hands before host Ryan Seacrest announced Abi Carter as the Season 22 winner.

Afterwards, the three judges stood up and clapped, but Richie and Bryan wrapped their arms around Perry, who was sandwiched in between them.

Carter took the stage to perform Billie Eilish’s hit song “What Was I Made For?” as the camera panned to a tearful Perry.

Perry wore the looks during her final appearance as a judge on “American Idol.” Disney
Perry hugged her co-judges, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, several times throughout the emotional episode. katyperry/Instagram

Earlier on in the finale, the top 12 ladies sang a medley of Perry’s hit songs.

The pop star announced in February that her time on “American Idol” was coming to an end, because she was doing a “huge music festival in Brazil called Rock in Rio.”

“I mean, I love ‘Idol’ so much. It’s connected me with the heart of America, but I need to feel that pulse of my own beat,” she said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” at the time.


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The “Dark Horse” songstress later admitted to ET after the finale on Sunday that she was “crying all night,” but was “so proud” of and “so happy” with how the night turned out.

However, Perry remained tight-lipped when asked who would be replacing her as a judge for Season 23 of “American Idol.”

The pop superstar was seen crying after Abi Carter was crowned the Season 22 winner. Disney
The ABC singing show has not announced who will be replacing Perry. Disney

“I hope it’s someone fearless. I hope it’s someone that doesn’t mince their words, maybe someone a little polarizing just like myself. There’s a lot of people that’s like, ‘She’s awful! She should go!’ And there’s a lot of people that are like, ‘She speaks her mind! She’s authentic!’ Whatever, you can’t win ’em all. I think it’s actually better not to win ’em all because that means you actually have a point of view,” she told the outlet.

Perry was most likely referring to some of the backlash she faced as a judge over the years. In the midst of one of her controversies, she was briefly replaced by Alanis Morissette, and fans expressed their interest in having Morissette be a permanent judge.

“American Idol” has yet to announce Perry’s replacement.