The American Idol auditions are in full swing, but many of the tryouts don’t make it on the air. But on the most recent episode of ABC’s reboot of the TV talent competition, some of the most awkward auditions were compiled into a montage, with one of them referencing a longtime feud one of the Idol judges has had with a rival singer.
When American Idol judge Luke Bryan asked a potential contestant which artist he most looks up to, the Idol wannabe looked straight at fellow judge Katy Perry and issued an upfront apology.
“I’m sorry for this, Katy,” he said. “Taylor Swift. I love Taylor Swift.”
Katy Perry didn’t miss a beat, although her tongue got a little tied as she talked.
Perry replied, “Oh, you don’t have to be sorry. I love her, as a songwriter, as well.”
Katy then made a face and shrugged.
Katy Perry and Taylor Swift have had an alleged feud for years. Now, some American Idol fans think Perry’s response to the contestant’s profession of love for Taylor was pure shade. Perry stuttered over her response a bit but made it clear she loves Taylor Swift as a songwriter without saying she likes her as a person. You can see the awkward American Idol exchange below.
The feud between the pop superstars goes back at least four years. In 2014, Taylor Swift told Rolling Stone that her hit song “Bad Blood” is about the bad blood between herself and another famous female singer.
“For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not,” Swift said of the unnamed enemy she calls out in the song. “She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, ‘Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?'”
Taylor went on to say that her rival later did something awful enough to make it clear they will never be friends.
“She did something so horrible,” Swift told Rolling Stone.
“I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies.’ And it wasn’t even about a guy! It had to do with business. She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I’m surprisingly non-confrontational – you would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It’s awkward, and I don’t like it.”
While Taylor didn’t name her rival, many fans think she is referring to Katy Perry in both the interview and in the song.
Katy Perry previously hinted she was ready for the drama to end with Taylor but that the “Shake It Off” singer wasn’t ready to shake things off. Last year, Perry reportedly brought up the drama with Swift while promoting her Witness album. And during a Carpool Karaoke segment with late night host James Corden, she even admitted that the feud with Swift was “about backing dancers.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, Katy explained that she tried to talk to Taylor about the situation, but the pop singer instead wrote a nasty song about her.
“She started it, and it’s time for her to finish it,” Perry told Corden. “I tried to talk to her about it and she wouldn’t speak to me.”
Many Katy Perry fans think her Witness single “Swish Swish” is a response to Taylor Swift’s song “Bad Blood.”
American Idol airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.