Following the broadcast of his Idol audition on Sunday, Benjamin Glaze said he did not consent to the “uncomfortable” kiss judge Perry planted on him without permission.
The now 20-year-old explained to The New York Times:
“I wanted to save it for my first relationship. I wanted it to be special.”
While the aspiring singer didn’t feel sexually harassed by the pop star, he said he definitely would have refused a peck if she had asked permission, adding:
“I know a lot of guys would be like, ├óΓé¼╦£Heck yeah!’ But for me, I was raised in a conservative family and I was uncomfortable immediately.”
The controversial lip lock went down during an audition interview in which the electronics store cashier admitted to never having kissed a girl.
After hearing this news, Perry coyly beckoned the fresh meat her way for a harmless kiss on the cheek — only to turn her head at the last second and plant one right on his lips:
Fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan cheered and high-fived Perry, who afterwards offered an innocent apology for giving the contestant the “kiss of death.”
After the segment aired during Sunday’s premiere, some viewers found the kiss to be inappropriate in the wake of the #MeToo movement, arguing that such an encounter would not fly had the genders been reversed:
Imagine if a 33 year-old male artist tricked a 19 year-old female auditioner into a kiss like Katy Perry just did with that teenage guy. Would we all think it was cute? #AmericanIdol
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Craig M. Tiede (@craigmtd) March 12, 2018
For what it’s worth, Glaze seemed quite smitten by the smooch attack — until, that is, the judges told him he wasn’t ready for the competition. Kiss of death, indeed!
To her credit, Perry took some of the blame, sweetly telling her experimental game:
“I think you were a bit rushed and I think that’s because I sped up your BPM of the heartbeat.”
In the end, Glaze isn’t counting the on-screen smooch as his first kiss. He told the Times:
“It was lip contact versus a romantic situation with someone you care about. That’s what a real first kiss is.”
Translation: it felt so wrong, it felt so right, don’t mean he’s in love tonight.
Do YOU think Katy crossed the line by kissing the contestant?
[Image via ABC.]