After shocking audiences and fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan with her embrace of the sea witch's purple skin, silver mohawk and tentacled gown, Perry opened up about the design's conception to Us Weekly, revealing it was a whole different ballgame than last year.
With the help of her regular costume designer Johnny Wujek, the singer told the outlet they picked the villainous character from a couple of different concepts.
“He had a sketch of Piglet. He had a sketch of Sebastian [from The Little Mermaid]. He had a sketch of [Ariel from] Little Mermaid, Tinkerbell and Ursula,” she shared. “And it was like Ursula on Keto. So I was like, ‘I think I’m gonna do this.’”
“It’s hard to dress as Ursula because she’s an octopus,” she continued of the elaborate costume. “So I was just gonna go full tilt. A lot of people have been the Little Mermaid and you would think that would be the choice.”
With the help of Russell Barslou, Wujek brought the same enthusiasm to bringing the 1989 film's character to life, using a black sequined jumpsuit as the base of the outfit, adding on six tentacles to the waist that Perry could manipulate using fishing wire. The "Teenage Dream" singer definitely took advantage of the extra limbs, draping them all over the judges' panel, Richie and Bryan throughout the night.
As for Perry's over-the-top costume makeup, the judge sported a lavender bodysuit covering her arms and chest, matching her foundation exactly to the garment. Along a bright blue eyeshadow and bright red lip, Perry finished off the look with Ursula's iconic seashell necklace and wild silver hair.
It was a total departure from last year's Disney Night, when Perry took on the role of Snow White in full yellow and blue gown and classic black bob. And the pop star admitted it might have been a better fit for her when it comes to embodying the role.
“Actually, to be quite honest, [it] was a little hard playing the villain. I’m tired,” Perry told the outlet after the show. “I’m not a good villain. I just wanna be … joyful.”
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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