‘American Idol’: Katy Perry’s Paycheck Doesn’t Make Sense

In a TV industry where salary parity between male and female talent remains an ongoing concern, it was worth cheering Katy Perry when she publicly noted last week she was getting “paid like more than like pretty much any guy that’s been on” “American Idol.”

But the massive payday Perry is getting isn’t necessarily a confidence-builder in ABC’s risky 2018 reboot of Fox’s once indomitable TV franchise. $25 million is the figure being reported, what Variety learned from sources could amount to more than half the budget “Idol” has for talent. That may have become a sticking point in the negotiations to bring back Ryan Seacrest to host the show. He was reportedly made an offer of $10 million.

Putting aside for a moment Seacrest’s relative cost to Perry, consider this simpler question: Is she really such a draw to merit top dollar?

At first blush, the skepticism might seem foolish. She’s Katy Perry, dammit! A bonafide icon with the record sales, concert revenues and social-media footprint to make her one of the most popular musical acts on the planet. Why shouldn’t she be worth every penny ABC is prepared to fork over?

Well, pop royalty doesn’t necessarily translate to TV stardom. Enjoying an artist’s songs and finding their public persona engaging is one thing; being a compelling judge on a reality TV contest is quite another. “Idol” rival “The Voice” on NBC is proof enough of that mixed track record, where even the buzziest of the lot, like Miley Cyrus, make less than half of what Perry is about to pull down.

For all her success in the music industry, Perry doesn’t necessarily possess the personality that pops in a very specific context, which is essentially telling amateur singers what she really thinks about the quality of their performances.

Does she have the opinionated flair of a Simon Cowell, inarguably the most successful judge this show–really any reality show–has ever boasted?

When you think…

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