‘American Idol’ Judge Katy Perry Teases First-Ever Performance of ‘Where We Started’ With Thomas Rhett Ahead of Season Finale

by Suzanne Halliburton

Katy Perry and Thomas Rhett will perform “Where We Started” during tonight’s American Idol finale, with the reality show giving us a perfect fusion of pop and country.

American Idol usually picks its winner in a grand singing spectacle, with top entertainers from several musical genres performing in the three-hour show. No doubt, besides picking the American Idol winner, fans certainly are looking forward to the duet between Katy Perry and Thomas Rhett.

The two released “Where We Started” last month and are working on a music video. Sunday night will be their first public performance of the song, together.

Perry, one of the three judges, tweeted about the performance to hype it even more, if that’s possible.

Perry wrote (and caps are hers, not ours) OMG WE FIND OUT WHO THE NEXT AMERICAN IDOL IS TONIGHT … TUNE IN AT 5PM PT / 8PM ET FOR THE 3 HR FINALE TO SEE SOME PERFORMANCES (including the first ever performance of me and my friend Thomas Rhett song “Where We Started.” AND TO VOTE LIVE DUH.”

Katy Perry, Thomas Rhett Got to be Friends Before American Idol

Rhett said getting together to sing with Perry wasn’t his idea. In fact, record label executives thought it would be cool to pair them up. But he wasn’t sure how she’d react. From the age of 14, Rhett said he idolized Perry.

Rhett told Apple Music: “I really didn’t have any intention of having a feature on this track, but my label was saying, like, ‘Hey, this would be cool with maybe a female feature.’ And I was like, ‘Well, who are y’all thinking that you want to ask?’ And they said, ‘Katy Perry.’ And I literally laughed.

“I was like, ‘There’s no way that she is going to, first of all, like this song, or, second of all, have any interest in doing a song with me.’ ” he said. “And she literally got back with our management the next day and said yes. And that’s just a God thing. You can’t make that stuff up. I’ve been a fan of Katy since I was like 14 years old. In my opinion she’s a pop icon of my generation.”

And now the two are friends. They’ll make a perfect pair for tonight’s American Idol, given that the show specializes in bringing together singers with different styles and viewpoints.

Rhett told Entertainment Tonight that the two also are working on a music video for the song. It’s set for release later this year. “Just a pretty wild dream for me for sure.” he said. “For me to get to do a song for someone like Katy Perry, it’s nuts.” 

The next new American Idol will be one of these three — Noah Thompson, HunterGirl or Leah Marlene. They’ll perform their debut singles. Each will do a cover of a Bruce Springsteen classic.

All three American Idol judges will perform with the finalists and/or show alums.

The American Idol finale also will feature Carrie Underwood, who won season four, along with former Idol contestant Gabby Barrett. Other performers who will entertain at the finale include James Arthur, Sara Bareilles, Michael Bublé, Deana Carter, Earth, Wind & Fire, Melissa Etheridge, Flo Rida, Ben Platt and Tai Verdes.