Drama Is Heating Up at ‘American Idol’ Over Katy Perry’s Hefty $25M Paycheck — Report
American Idol may be up and running with three judges, but that doesn’t mean the drama has stopped.
In fact, Katy Perry’s massive $25M paycheck for the newly rebooted show has reportedly caused serious problems on the set of the singing show.
ABC recently hired Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan to join the pop star at the judges table, but they were supposedly forced to take a massive pay cut.
According to Page Six, the “Roar” hitmaker left just “pennies” for the other two singers to split.
Not to mention, host Ryan Seacrest's hefty $15M pay deal didn’t necessarily help the budget issues.
“ABC was originally going to spend no more than $50 million on talent. They had to expand their budget for Lionel,” one source revealed.
The “Hello” singer is a legend, so we think it’s important they paid up for him!
And, according to an ABC source, the decision to pay the 32-year-old such an outrageous amount of money was made by network president Ben Sherwood.
“Ben Sherwood blew the budget on Katy without thinking how that would impact other areas of the show budget,” the source shared.
Well, he should’ve thought that one through a little bit more, right?!
“He gambled on her because of her appeal to a younger audience and huge social-media following,” the source continued.
“But Katy is effectively taking money from the other judges, who then had to be paid way less.”
Needless to say, the “Teenage Dream” star’s cash flow caused problems when ABC was trying to negotiate deals with the other judges.
“The negotiations with Luke and Lionel have been fraught and difficult because of [Katy’s paycheck],” the source said.
“They expected similar deals to Katy, but are, in fact, getting a hell of a lot less. In the end, ABC had to cough up a second round of money to sign the other judges.”
At first, Idol offered Luke and Lionel just $2.5M each to take the gig, which is obviously nothing compared to Katy’s paycheck.
“As of last week, their contracts were not done. Sherwood authorized ABC to cough up more money. They’re both making about $7 million each now,” the source continued.
“This has become a very expensive show. If Idol doesn’t work, it will blow up big time in Sherwood’s face. If it does work, he’s a genius.”
Are you going to watch the new season of AI amid all the drama? Sound off below!