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Katy Perry says it “feels good” to know that 20 years later, “there’s still stars coming out” of ‘American Idol’

ABC/Gavin Bond

Katy Perry’s only been part of American Idol history its past few seasons, but as the 20th — yes, 20th — season of the show premieres Sunday night on ABC, the judge is still proud of what the show has accomplished, and continues to accomplish so many years into its run.

“People are having success, they’re changing their lives or changing their family’s lives. They’re getting awards, nominations,…Gabby Barrett, she’s massive now,” Katy tells ABC News of the season 16 runner-up.

“So, it feels good that there’s still stars coming out [of the show] and we’ve been doing that for 20 years,” Katy  adds. “I’ve only been doing it for five, but hey!”

Fellow judge Lionel Richie agrees. “Don’t get me wrong, you know, there’s talent on other shows, but I’m talking about talent that goes on to have careers,” he says, adding, “That’s what American Idol delivers. 20 years later, we’re still doing it.”

This season, Katy says the contestants are “really going for it,” noting that the talent “just continues to get more legit.”

“I think [it’s] because every season people are tuning in, especially singer-songwriters and real artists and…they’re seeing other real artists…trying out,” she explains.

Ryan Seacrest, who’s hosted the show for all 20 years, agrees.  “I think this franchise has another two decades ahead of it…It’s just a wonderful premise,” he declares.

“You look at undiscovered talent going to work every single day around the country,” he adds. “And all they need is one moment, one shot, one door to open and they could be the next Gabby Barrett or Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood. So I’m excited that we’re still going strong.” 

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