Ex-NFLer Blake Proehl Crushes 'American Idol' Audition ... Brings Katy Perry To Tears

Turns out, former NFL player Blake Proehl is good on the gridiron AND on the keys ... 'cause he performed so well on the piano during his recent "American Idol" audition -- he brought Katy Perry to tears!!

The ex-Minnesota Vikings wideout -- who's the son of longtime Panthers receiver Ricky Proehl -- sang his heart out in front of Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie on the famed talent show ... and when his segment aired on TV on Sunday, it wasn't hard to see the dude's got a bright future in music.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Playing Brett Young's "In Case You Didn't Know" with his grandma by his side ... Blake, who played for the Vikes from 2021 to 2023, belted out every verse perfectly -- wowing Perry the entire time.

She not only got goosebumps, she also at one point appeared to wipe away a tear. After he finished, she even asked for his autograph.

The other judges, Bryan and Richie, were just as impressed ... and the trio gave him a unanimous golden ticket to the show's next round.

It was all quite emotional for Blake ... as he explained that a knee injury he suffered during his NFL days had him wondering if he'd ever run again -- let alone become a music star.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Some of Blake's famous pals congratulated him on social media following the show ... including Kirk Cousins, who wrote, "Cousins fam will be pulling hard for him this spring."

Safe bet to assume many other families will at this point as well.

The TMZ Podcast: Kanye Says He Can't Be Canceled, 'Vultures' Proves It! Won't Take Back Antisemitism

On this episode of The TMZ podcast ...

We caught up with Kanye West at LAX fresh on the heels of 'Vultures' hitting #1 on the charts, and he told us that he can't be canceled, and stands by his antisemitic statements.

Katy Perry revealed on "Jimmy Kimmel: Live!" that the upcoming season of "American Idol" will be her last, while subtly teasing new music.

Tom Cruise reportedly has a new girlfriend, and the two are "growing closer" according to insiders.

Plus, Beyoncé released two new country genre singles from her upcoming "Renaissance: Act II," despite receiving backlash at the 2016 CMAs.

Subscribe to The TMZ Podcast wherever you get your podcasts!

Hosts: Charlie Cotton & Eric Colley

Katy Perry Anuncia que deja "American Idol" Tiene nuevos planes musicales...

Hacia un nuevo capítulo

Katy Perry acaba de hacer un anuncio sorprendente y es que planea dejar atrás su capítulo con "American Idol".

La icónica cantante estuvo en "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" el lunes por la noche, donde dejó caer la bomba después de 7 años como jueza junto a Lionel Richie y Luke Bryan.

Jimmy dio el pistoletazo de salida al preguntarle si iba a continuar en el programa o no.

Al principio, Katy no respondió tan directamente y dijo que estaba deseando actuar en el festival de música Rock in Río de Brasil este otoño.

Y luego dio la inesperada noticia: "Creo que este será mi último show, mi última temporada para 'Idol'. Me encanta 'Idol', me ha conectado con el corazón del país. Pero siento que necesito salir para sentir ese pulso de mi propio latido".

Muchos en la audiencia sonaban desanimados por la noticia, pero Katy lo manejó como una profesional experimentada con sus sonrisas y su comportamiento optimista, haciendo que todos volvieron a un estado anímico positivo.

De salida

Sin embargo, Jimmy parecía un poco sorprendido y presionó a Katy sobre lo que sus compañeros Lionel y Lucas pensaban de su salida.

Katy respondió: "Bueno, ellos se enterarán esta noche", indicando que los dos solo sabían que tenía algunos nuevos proyectos en marcha.

TMZ investiga
TMZ Studios

Está programado que la última temporada de "American Idol" comience el 18 de febrero y el programa de competencia de canto, en tanto, ya lleva 22 años en marcha.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

No hay palabra todavía sobre quién podría sustituir a Katy en la silla del juez, pero debería saberse en algún momento.

Katy Perry Moving On From 'American Idol' ... Announces New Music Plans

Onto The Next Chapter

Katy Perry just made a stunning announcement ... she's dunzo with "American Idol."

The iconic singer appeared on Monday night's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" dropping the bombshell after 7 years as an 'Idol' judge alongside Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

Jimmy kicked things off, asking Katy point blank if she was going to continue with the show.

At first, Katy didn't answer the question directly, responding that she was looking forward to performing in Brazil's Rock in Rio music festival this fall.

Then she delivered the 'Idol' shocker ...  "I think this will be my last show, my last season for 'Idol.' I love 'Idol' so much, it’s connected me with the heart of America. But I feel like I need to go out to feel that pulse of my own beat."

Many in the audience sounded bummed by the news, but Katy handled it like a seasoned pro with her smiles and upbeat demeanor, turning the mood back to a positive vibe.


Yet, Jimmy seemed a bit startled, pressing Katy on what her fellow judges -- Lionel and Luke -- thought about her exit.

Katy replied, "Well, they'll find out about it tonight," indicating the two were only aware she had some new projects in the works.

TMZ Studios

Her last season is scheduled to start on February 18 as the singing competition TV series hits the 22-year mark.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

No word yet on who might replace Katy in the judge's chair ... but that should be coming down the pike at some point.

'American Idol's' Chris Daughtry Today's Singers Can Hit Big w/o Show ... It's a Brave New World!!!


Chris Daughtry is acknowledging aspiring professional singers these days might not need something like "American Idol" to launch their careers ... but he's walking a fine line here.

The 'Idol' alum was at LAX Monday, and our photog chatted him up about the modern landscape of music and television -- which, in the good old days of the aughts, made for the perfect combination of stardom on shows like 'AI' and others.

CD, of course, is a great example of that -- he didn't win the competition, but came out as a hugely popular artist nonetheless ... and he's been incredibly successful in the music biz.

With that in mind, our camera guy asks if he thinks 'Idol' is pretty much obsolete in the era of TikTok -- when up-and-comers can go viral much more easily than back then ... and break into the industry with a little more ease.

Welp, Chris won't go so far as to say 'Idol' is ancient and irrelevant -- you can tell he doesn't wanna straight up trash the show -- but he does note the obvious ... there are other routes.

Basically, Chris says he's just not sure if there are less people going out for 'Idol' in 2024 as there were back in 2004. On the question of whether can churn out megastars the way you used to in its heyday ... there, too, he kinda gives a shrugged-shoulder response.

Like he says ... he's lucky enough to where he doesn't have to think about that -- 'cause he's been there and conquered the mountain. In other words, he caught the good wave!

Chris is still seeing success well after his American Idol days... his new song "Artificial" is currently charting top 5 on Rock radio.

Nigel Lythgoe Out at 'SYTYCD' After Paula Abdul Claims of Sexual Assault

Nigel Lythgoe won't participate in this year's edition of "So You Think You Can Dance" ... making the decision after claims of sexual assault were leveled against him by Paula Abdul.

Nigel tells TMZ, "I have informed the producers of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ of my decision to step back from participating in this year’s series. I did so with a heavy heart but entirely voluntarily because this great program has always been about dance and dancers, and that’s where its focus needs to remain."

Nigel adds, "In the meantime, I am dedicating myself to clearing my name and restoring my reputation."

TMZ broke the story ... Abdul filed a lawsuit against Nigel last week claiming she'd been sexually assaulted by him on at least two occasions -- once when she was a judge on "American Idol" and again while she worked on 'SYTYCD.'

During the 'Idol' incident, she says Nigel grabbed her breasts and genitals while trying to kiss her in an elevator. Paula claims Nigel tried to force himself on her during "SYTYCD."

For his part, Nigel has denied Paula's allegations, calling them, "false and deeply offensive."

Nigel Lythgoe 'SYTYCD' Sex Assault Claims Spark Sony Investigation

Nigel Lythgoe is in the crosshairs of an investigation by the studio that produces his long-running show "So You Think You Can Dance" ... with his job possibly hanging in the balance.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... the embattled EP of the hit reality competition show is at the center of an internal probe being conducted by Sony Pictures Television -- which co-produces 'SYTYCD' under its subsidiary 19 Entertainment, alongside Dick Clark Productions.

We're told Sony's looking into recent claims of sexual assault and harassment made against Nigel -- who created 'So You Think' with Simon Fuller, and has served as an executive producer since its inception, not to mention a consistent judge until he stepped away in '22.

Of course, what Sony's investigating here is Paula Abdul's allegations -- which she made in an explosive lawsuit ... claiming she'd been sexually assaulted by Lythgoe twice, once in the early 2000s during her 'Idol' stint and again in the 2010s while she judged on 'SYTYCD.'

Remember, as it pertains to the latter allegation -- which is what Sony's concerned with here -- she alleged Lythgoe invited her to his pad to discuss work opportunities ... only to allegedly pounce on her in an attempt to kiss her. PA also claimed Lythgoe groped one of her assistants during her time on the dance show.

Lythgoe denies Paula's claims, saying they're "deeply offensive" to everything he stands for and totally false.

Our sources say that while Sony digs into this matter, no decision has been made on whether Nigel will be allowed to stay on as an EP. It also remains to be seen if he'll serve as a judge -- this despite the fact he was announced to return to his chair last month for Season 18 ... which will start airing in March. He wasn't a judge during this past season.

Probably worth noting ... Paula named 19 Entertainment as a defendant in her suit too -- alleging sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence and negligence.

Las concursantes de "All American Girl" demandan a Nigel Lythgoe por agresión sexual y lesiones

Tras la demanda de Paula Abdul, el veterano productor de televisión Nigel Lythgoe se enfrenta a una segunda demanda, en la que se le acusa de haber agredido y acosado sexualmente a dos concursantes hace 20 años en un programa de telerrealidad.

Ambas eran concursantes de "All American Girl" —que se emitió durante una temporada en 2003— y Lythgoe era productor del programa. Según los documentos obtenidos por TMZ, las mujeres alegan que en repetidas ocasiones se presentaba en el set y en los vestuarios cuando llevaban trajes de baile y "abiertamente manoseaba" sus traseros.

En la demanda —que los demandantes están presentando como Jane Does— dicen que la producción organizó una fiesta para celebrar el final de la filmación, pero al final de la fiesta, afirman que Lythgoe insistió en que una de las mujeres fuera con él de vuelta al estudio cuando el resto del elenco ya se había ido.

La segunda demandante insistió en ir con ellos para proteger a su compañera pero afirman que Lythgoe las llevó a su casa, donde les hizo proposiciones sexuales a ambas. En la demanda, alegan que se levantó el jersey que llevaba puesto y "engulló" a una de las mujeres mientras intentaba besarla, cosa que ella le rechazó inmediatamente.

La otra demandante afirma que se puso agresivo con ella, empujándola contra un piano de cola y forzándola con la boca y la lengua mientras ella protestaba y se negaba.

Las mujeres están demandando a Lythgoe y a una productora sin nombre por asalto sexual, agresión, acoso sexual, imposición intencional de angustia emocional y negligencia.

Como hemos dicho, los demandantes se han presentado de forma anónima y solo identifican al demandado como "John Roe N.L." y al espectáculo como "AAG", pero TMZ ha confirmado a través de fuentes con conocimiento que se refieren a Nigel Lythgoe y "All American Girl".

Los demandantes citan la Ley de Responsabilidad por Abusos Sexuales y Encubrimiento de California (Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act) que, en su opinión, permite reactivar sus demandas, aunque de otro modo hubiera prescrito.

TMZ publicó la historia, Paula Abdul también citó esa Ley cuando demandó a Lythgoe la semana pasada por supuestamente agredirla sexualmente mientras trabajaban juntos en "American Idol" y "So You Think You Can Dance".

Lythgoe calificó la demanda de Paula de "totalmente falsa" y añadió que las acusaciones son "profundamente ofensivas para mí y para todo lo que represento".

Nos hemos puesto en contacto con sus representantes para que comenten esta última demanda, pero aún no nos han contestado.

Nigel Lythgoe 'All American Girl' Contestants Sue E.P. ... Allege Sexual Assault & Battery

On the heels of Paula Abdul's lawsuit, veteran TV producer Nigel Lythgoe finds himself facing a second lawsuit, claiming he sexually assaulted and harassed 2 contestants 20 years ago on a reality competition show.

Both women were contestants on the show, "All American Girl" -- which aired for one season back in 2003 -- and Lythgoe was a producer on the program. According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, the women allege he would repeatedly show up on the set, and in dressing rooms, when they were wearing dance costumes ... and "openly swatted and groped" their butts.

In the suit, which the plaintiffs are filing as Jane Does, they say production hosted a party to celebrate the end of filming ... but at the end of the party, they claim Lythgoe insisted one of the women ride with him back to the studio where everyone else on the cast was going.

The second plaintiff insisted on going with them to protect her fellow contestant -- but they allege Lythgoe drove them back to his home, where he made sexual advances on both of them. In the suit, they allege he lifted up the sweater she was wearing, and "engulfed" one of the women while trying to kiss her ... and she immediately rejected him.

The other plaintiff claims he got aggressive with her by pushing her against a grand piano and forcing his mouth and tongue on her ... all of which she protested.

The women are suing Lythgoe and an unnamed production company for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.

As we said, they've filed anonymously, and the suit only identifies the defendant as "John Roe N.L." and the show as "AAG" -- but TMZ has confirmed through sources with knowledge ... they're referring to Nigel Lythgoe and "All American Girl."

The plaintiffs cite California's Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act ... which they believe allows for the revival of their claims even though the statute of limitations would have otherwise run.

TMZ broke the story ... Paula Abdul also cited that Act when she sued Lythgoe last week for allegedly sexually assaulting her while they were working together on "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance."

Lythgoe called Paula's lawsuit "wholly untrue" -- adding the allegations are "deeply offensive to me and to everything I stand for."

We've reached out to his reps for comment on this latest suit, but no word back yet.

'Idol' Producer Nigel Lythgoe Denies Paula Abdul's SA Claims ... 'False & Deeply Offensive'

Paula Abdul's claims of sexual assault against 'American Idol' producer Nigel Lythgoe are wholly untrue, and they'll be fought off vigorously in court ... so says the man himself.

Nigel tells TMZ ... "To say that I am shocked and saddened by the allegations made against me by Paula Abdul is a wild understatement. For more than two decades, Paula and I have interacted as dear -- and entirely platonic -- friends and colleagues."

He adds, "Yesterday, however, out of the blue, I learned of these claims in the press and I want to be clear: not only are they false, they are deeply offensive to me and to everything I stand for."

NL finishes by saying ... "While Paula’s history of erratic behavior is well known, I can’t pretend to understand exactly why she would file a lawsuit that she must know is untrue. But I can promise that I will fight this appalling smear with everything I have."

Nigel doesn't elaborate on the "erratic behavior" he's referring to -- but it does seem to be a thinly-veiled jab at her alleged affair with ex-'Idol' contestant Corey Clark from way back in the mid-2000s ... which she's always maintained did not happen.

TMZ broke the story ... Paula filed her bombshell suit against Lythgoe Friday, alleging she'd been sexually assaulted by him on at least two occasions -- not to mention allegedly being harassed by him on others.

She claimed that in the early seasons of 'Idol,' Lythgoe grabbed her breasts and genitals in an elevator they were in while out on the road for regional auditions ... this while allegedly tying to kiss her. She also claims he forced himself onto her at some point during her judging stint on 'So You Think You Can Dance' after inviting her to his home to talk shop.

Welp, Nigel is denying all of it ... and says Paula's making the whole thing up. None of the other talent from either show has spoken up on this just publicly ... at least not yet anyway.

Paula herself also hasn't said anything beyond what she's laid out in the complaint.

Paula Abdul Sues 'Idol' Exec Nigel Lythgoe for Sexual Assault

Paula Abdul claims one of the "American Idol" executive producers, Nigel Lythgoe, sexually assaulted her multiple times while she was judging 'Idol' and "So You Think You Can Dance" ... according to a new lawsuit she's filed.

Paula filed the lawsuit Friday in L.A. County ... and in the docs, obtained by TMZ, she alleges the first assault happened during "one of Idol's initial seasons" while they were on the road for regional auditions. Paula claims she and Lythgoe got into an elevator at their hotel, and once the doors closed he shoved her against the wall and grabbed her genitals and breasts ... and tried to tongue-kiss her.

In the suit, Paula says she tried to push him away, and then ran to her room once the elevator doors opened. Paula says she immediately called one of her reps to inform them about the alleged incident -- but fearing she'd be fired in retaliation, she decided to keep quiet.

She says the second alleged encounter happened after she signed a new contract in 2015 to be a judge on 'SYTYCD' -- which was also executive produced by Lythgoe. According to the docs, at some point during her 2 seasons on the show, Lythgoe invited Paula to his house to discuss work opportunities ... and she says she accepted because she thought it was a professional situation.

However, she claims the evening ended with Lythgoe forcing himself on top of her while she was on a couch ... and trying to kiss her. In the suit, she says he was telling her they would make an "excellent power couple." Paula says she pushed him off of her, said she was not interested and immediately left.

Paula alleges there was another instance during her 'SYTYCD' that happened in 2015 -- she claims she witnessed Lythgoe grope one of her assistants.

Aside from the disturbing allegations of assault, Paula also claims Lythgoe "taunted" her by calling her at some point to say they should celebrate because it had been "7 years and the statute of limitations had run."

More broadly, Paula alleges she was the victim of harassment and discrimination -- in terms of compensation -- during her time judging 'Idol.'

She is suing Lythgoe, 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence and negligence.

Paula says she's coming forward now due to California's Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act ... which gives plaintiffs a window to file claims that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations.

We have reached out to Lythgoe for comment, but no word back yet.

Guess Who This Blue-Eyed Baby Turned Into!

Before this baby in her pajamas turned into a singing superstar with big blue eyes ... she was just a cool kid throwin' on her Donald Duck hat sideways and growing up in Santa Barbara, California.

She's mostly glitz and glam on her Instagram, but you must not forget it all started back in 2008 with just some cherry chapstick. She may be an American Idol but she'll only judge you based on your singing skills.

Need one more hint? She put on a stellar performance once ... complete with a viral dancing shark!

Can you guess who she is?

ADIVINA EN QUIÉN se ha convertido este bebé de ojos azules

Antes de que esta bebé en pijama se convirtiera en una superestrella de la canción con grandes ojos azules, era solo una niña adorable que se ponía su gorro del Pato Donald de lado y crecía en Santa Bárbara, California.

En su Instagram es pura ostentación y glamour, pero no hay que olvidar que todo empezó en 2008 con un simple lápiz de labios de cereza. Puede que sea una American Idol, pero sólo te juzgará por tus dotes como cantante.

¿Necesitas otra pista? Una vez hizo una actuación estelar... ¡con un tiburón bailando!

¿Adivinas quién es?

KELLYANNE CONWAY Extremadamente orgullosa de su hija Claudia ... "Un espíritu independiente"

¿Emprendedora o conejita playboy?

Kellyanne Conway no tiene nada más que grandes cosas que decir de su hija Claudia, a quien describe como una mujer independiente que está haciendo grandes movimientos.

Tuvimos a la ex Consejera Senior de Donald Trump la noche del miércoles en la Biblioteca Presidencial Ronald Reagan en California, después de que terminara el debate republicano.

Kellyanne nos contó cómo ha ido la carrera de Claudia, de 18 años, como cantante, unos años después de que se hiciera un nombre en la temporada 19 de "American Idol".

Fin de una etapa

Según Kellyanne, a Claudia le va muy bien fuera de la música también y añadió que se consiguió una beca en la Gran Manzana mientras se tomaba un año sabático de la escuela.

También le preguntamos qué le parece que su hija haya sido parte de Playboy a principios de este año, pero Kellyanne dijo que ella es una chica independiente y empresaria, de quien se siente orgullosa. Aunque asegura que sus días en Playboy podrían haber terminado.

drástica aproximación
Tik Tok/@claudiamconway

Parece que las dos tienen una relación mucho mejor por estos días. En 2021, Claudia secretamente filmó y publicó un video de Kellyanne gritando y maldiciéndola.

Tensión en casa
Tik Tok/@claudiamconway

Más tarde, publicó un video de Kellyanne hablando con los policías sobre su explosiva dinámica y fuentes policiales nos dijeron que los policías hicieron un control de bienestar luego de que se compartiera el intenso video.

Afortunadamente, todo eso parece estar en el pasado.

Kellyanne Conway Extremely Proud of Daughter Claudia ... 'An Independent Spirit'


Kellyanne Conway has nothing but great things to say about her daughter, Claudia ... calling her an independent woman who's making big moves straight out of high school.

We got the former Senior Counselor to Donald Trump Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in CA, after the Republican debate came to a close.

Kellyanne let us know how 18-year-old Claudia's career as a singer has been going, a few years after making a name for herself on season 19 of "American Idol."


According to Kellyanne, Claudia's doin' great outside music, too -- saying she got herself a fellowship in the Big Apple while taking a gap year from school.

We also ask her what she thinks about her kid being a part of Playboy earlier this year, but KC says her daughter's an entrepreneur and an independent gal, and she's proud of her ... although she claims Claudia's Playboy days might be over.

Tik Tok/@claudiamconway

It sounds like the 2 have a much better relationship these days. In 2021, Claudia secretly filmed and posted a video of Kellyanne screaming and cussing her out.

Tik Tok/@claudiamconway

Claudia later posted a video of Kellyanne talking with cops about their explosive confrontation ... and law enforcement sources told us cops did a welfare check after the intense video was shared.

Fortunately, that all seems to be in the rearview.

Guess Who This Gardening Girl Turned Into!

Before this cute girl with bangs "dug her key into the side of a pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive," she was just diggin' in the dirt and getting her hands dirty in the garden, singing at her local church and growing up in Checotah, Oklahoma.

Aside from this girl dressed in green evolving into an "American Idol" queen, she has since taken home 8 Grammys and is the face (and voice) of Sunday Night Football! Some hot music stars she's collaborated with include Miranda Lambert and Brad Paisley.

Need one more hint? "Before He Cheats!"

Can you guess who she is?

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!