During the two-night season opener of American Idol, 19-year-old cashier Benjamin Glaze, who hails from Enid, Okla., auditioned for the show and received a smooch from the “Firework” singer moments before he started to perform for her and the rest of the judges.
When Glaze walked into the studio, he told them that he liked working as a cashier because it helped him meet “cute girls.” Luke Bryan asked him, “Have you kissed a girl and liked it?” in a reference to Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” single.
“I have never been in a relationship and I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship,” Glaze responded.
When Perry heard him say he had never kissed a girl before, she said, “Come here. Come here right now.” She stuck out her cheek for him to give her a kiss on the cheek, and as he moved toward her cheek, the songstress turned her face toward him and kissed him on the lips. “Katy!” he yelled. “You didn’t!”
Perry threw up her arms in delight.
While the move would’ve been a dream come true for some, Glaze told the New York Times after the episode aired, “I was a tad bit uncomfortable.”
He added, “I wanted to save it for my first relationship. I wanted it to be special. Would I have done it if she said, ‘Would you kiss me?’ No, I would have said no. I know a lot of guys would be like, ‘Heck yeah!’ But for me, I was raised in a conservative family and I was uncomfortable immediately. I wanted my first kiss to be special.”
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Although the kiss went down in October, fans hit the Twitterverse with mixed reviews when the show aired this week, with some calling the kiss “sexual harassment” or “weird,” and others saying he was one lucky man.
Despite the Twitter buzz, Glaze told the Times he has put his feelings about the kiss behind him. Although he didn’t make it past that round, the smooch helped him get more airtime. “So in that way, I’m glad she did it because it’s a great opportunity to get my music out,” he said.
So far, Perry hasn’t responded to the chatter, but she did post a gif of Mickey and Minnie Mouse smooching on her page after the show aired. “#benjaminglaze #americanidol,” she captioned it.
Glaze told the outlet he didn’t feel sexually harassed and was glad that Perry tweeted about him.
Late on Wednesday, he expanded on his stance regarding the experience in a post on Instagram.
"Hi everyone, I would like to clear a few things up for anyone who is confused, concerned, or angry. I am not complaining about the kiss from Katy Perry at all, doing a few news reports and being interviewed by many different reporters has caused some major questions," he said. "The way certain articles are worded is not done by me, and my true intentions are not accurately represented in every article you read about the situation. I am not complaining about the kiss, I am very honored and thankful to have been [a part] of American Idol."
He further clarified: "I do not think I was sexually harassed by Katy Perry and I am thankful for the judges' comments and critiques. I was uncomfortable in a sense of how I have never been kissed before and was not expecting it."
"My main goal is to reach people through the universal love of music and not cause strife or anger against anyone or about any situation! Please take into consideration that I don’t believe my views have been appropriately communicated through the media!" he continued. "Thank you to everyone who has followed me in this journey and I hope I answered a few questions."