Why is Katy Perry in former American Idol contestant Adriel Carrion’s nightmares? Details explored

American Idol alum Adriel Carrion recalls Katy Perry
American Idol alum Adriel Carrion recalls Katy Perry's reaction during his audition (Image via Instagram/katyperry,adriel_carrion)

American Idol alum Adriel Carrion reflected on his awkward moment with judge Katy Perry during the audition round of season 19.

The singer was seen singing Harry Styles' Watermelon Sugar alongside fellow contestant Anthony Guzman as part of the duet challenge during the Hollywood Week round. However, Perry was in no mood to listen to more of the song that day and was skeptical before they even began.

In a TikTok video posted by American Idol season 19 contestant Adriel, he recalled that the moment, especially Katy Perry's reaction, was still "in [his] nightmares," stating:

"It's the way that it has been three years and I'm still traumatized by this moment. I could be getting my beauty rest and all I hear in my nightmare is, 'No Watermelon Sugar.'"

While his initial audition wasn't aired during the 2021 season, Adriel couldn't make it to the Top 20 of the competition and was eliminated.

"Not Watermelon Sugar": What happened between American Idol season 19 contestant Adriel Carrion and judge Katy Perry?

During the season 19 auditions of American Idol, judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie received a number of contestants singing Harry Styles' hit single Watermelon Sugar, which left the judges unimpressed. After rejecting a duet with the same song, Katy Perry quizzed why so many of them were choosing to go with the number.

While Perry asked contestants to "take a risk," Bryan suggested they ban them from singing the hit single. The former then announced:

"We have officially banned everyone from singing Watermelon Sugar. It's an official blanket ban. Thank you."

Back in the practice room, American Idol season 19 hopefuls Adriel Carrion and Anthony Guzman were seen singing Everyone Wants To Rule The World by pop band Tears For Fears. However, they were advised not to go with the song as it didn't work for the duo. Carrion confessed to going back to the drawing board and deciding to choose a different song.


As they stepped on stage, Richie asked what they were going to do as part of the duet challenge, to which Guzman said:

"We're gonna do something sweet for you.”

Perry, however, guessed it was going to be the Harry Styles number and said:

“Not Watermelon Sugar. I can’t take another Watermelon Sugar."

However, as soon as the American Idol season 19 duo began signing, the judges were taken quite by surprise by their vocal range and singing styles. They seemingly enjoyed dancing to the tunes along with the contestants. After the performance, Perry signaled "mic drop," while Richie said:

"My people..You have brought new faith and trust to Watermelon Sugar High."

The American Idol judges then advanced both Adriel and Anthony to the next round, which was the Showstopper Round.

American Idol alum Adriel Carrion always wanted to be a singer

Carrion always knew he wanted to be a singer. Although people around him doubted his career choices, he never let those get in the way. He attended Lambert High School in Georgia and was extremely popular. At the time of his audition on American Idol, he was only 18 years old and a freshman at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

In an interview with Forsyth Country News, Carrion recalled Katy Perry's reaction to his and Anthony's R&B cover of Watermelon Sugar, adding:

“I just remember my whole face falling when she said that."

The contestant advanced ahead of the Hollywood Week where he sang Back to Black by Amy Winehouse. However, he was eliminated ahead of making the Top 20. According to the outlet, he was the first one to go into the judging room and thought he would make it safe, but was eventually let go by the judges.

Despite his elimination, Carrion continued with his music career and released his debut single Walking Lie in 2020. The singer has over 75K followers on TikTok with over 2 million likes. He also uploads covers of songs to his YouTube channel and has over 3.5K Instagram followers.

📣 They're BACK!!! 📣 Stream the season premiere of #AmericanIdol now on Hulu!

Pop princess Katy Perry joined fellow American Idol judges -- country superstar Luke Bryan and Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Lionel Richie -- for the 21st season of the competition, which is currently airing every Sunday at 8 pm ET on ABC. The show has already seen a few Golden Ticket winners this season.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury
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