"I want to see the world": Katy Perry says she's leaving 'American Idol' after this season

Katy Perry has been teasing a new album and a possible tour, and now it appears that she's clearing her schedule in advance of a full-fledged return to her music career.  In other words, bye-bye, American Idol.

Appearing on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday night, Katy said, "I think this probably will be my last season [for American 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, y'know what I'm saying, Jimmy?"

Asked what her co-judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have to say about her decision, Katy laughed, "Well, they'll find out tonight!"  When Jimmy asked, "Do they really not know?" she admitted, "Well, they know I have some things planned for this year. It's going to be a very, very exciting year."

"I've been in the studio for a while so they figured something was up," she said of Luke and Lionel.

Katy noted that the new season of Idol, which starts on February 18 on ABC, will be the seventh season that she, Lionel and Luke have done the show. That matches the run of the show's three original judges: Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

“I love the show so much but I want to see the world and maybe bring new music,” she teased. “Maybe I’ll come back if they have me one day!”

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