Katy Perry Makes Things Super Awkward When Miss America Auditions for ‘American Idol’

It’s no secret that some American Idol contestants—like Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter, Grace—let their nerves get the best of them. The same can’t be said for Betty Maxwell, who is no stranger to being in the spotlight.

On Sunday, American Idol returned to ABC for another round of auditions, which included Maxwell.

If the 27-year-old looks familiar, it’s probably because she was crowned Miss America in 2016. Although she seemed totally at ease, the audition took a priceless turn when judge Katy Perry tried to steal the Miss America crown during Maxwell’s performance.

The clip begins by revisiting the moment Maxwell won Miss America. (FYI, she was also Miss Georgia.) “I absolutely did not think I was going to win,” she says. “I had a lot of mishaps during the competition. I had a sinus infection that really inhibited my singing. I was singing classic opera as my talent.”

When she enters the American Idol audition room, Maxwell explains that the three judges—Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan—can hold the Miss America crown, but they aren’t allowed to put it on, per the pageant’s rules. Naturally, Perry makes things awkward by actually smelling the crown. Yup.

Right on cue, the singer dives into a fitting rendition of “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson. During the flawless performance, Perry jokingly grabs the crown and pretends to put it on her head in a slow-motion sequence. Distracting…yet entertaining.

After singing a second song—“Jesus, Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood—the judges give Maxwell a well-deserved ticket to Hollywood.

So, will Maxwell bring the crown to California? Or has she learned her lesson? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

Stay up-to-date on every breaking news story by subscribing here.


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...