'American Idol' Contestant Benjamin Glaze Clears up Rumors About That Katy Perry Kiss (VIDEO)
When the new American Idol premiered earlier this week, viewers were introduced to a slew of contestants with incredible talent. But people with great voices and stage presences aren't always the most memorable contestants. Peculiar auditions typically stick out among the crop—which is exactly the case regarding Ben Issac Glaze's once-in-a-lifetime tryout.
Glaze, a 20-year-old from Oklahoma, entered the Idol audition room with a guitar and a shy demeanor. When he made a comment about cute girls coming into the store he worked at as a cashier, judge Luke Bryan casually asked, "Have you kissed a girl and liked it?"
Of course, when the contestant said no, the judges decided to take it into their own hands—specifically Katy Perry—to change that status.
The long-running series returned to TV after two years last night.
Coaxing Glaze to the judges' table, Perry asked him for a kiss on the cheek, but when it wasn't satisfactory, she asked for another one, tricking the young man into a full-on kiss when she turned her head at the last second. The then-19-year-old was so shocked he fell on the ground—but can you blame him?
Ultimately, he didn't make it to Hollywood when judges Perry, Bryan and Lionel Richie decided to pass on giving Glaze the golden ticket. But his moment with Perry has since made him a household name of sorts.
Since the encounter has become one of the most buzzed-about moments so far in the Idol reboot, viewers and fans have been targeting Perry for having smooched Glaze so aggressively, and without his apparent consent. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the move has been construed as predatory, considering Glaze's lack of experience.
In an interview with The New York Times, Glaze was quoted as having not been happy about the kiss.
"I was a tad bit uncomfortable," the conservative young man told the Times. "I wanted to save it for my first relationship. I was raised in a conservative family and I was uncomfortable immediately. I wanted my first kiss to be special," he added.
So far, Luis Fonsi, Bebe Rexha and Toni Braxton are among some of the confirmed artists.
Though he may have been taken off guard, Glaze wanted fans to know that he hadn't felt victimized by Perry's actions.
In an effort to clear up the chaos surrounding his unique situation, Glaze took to social media, writing, "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."
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. 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 apart of American Idol. The main purpose for the show is to find stars and new music artist. I do wish I would have performed better in the moment. I should have picked another song to sing and calmed myself down regardless of the kiss. I should have been able to perform under pressure. 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! Thank you to everyone who has followed me in this journey and I hope I answered a few questions. . . . . . #americanidol #katyperry #music
The singer went on to say, "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!"
Ultimately, Glaze doesn't want people to misconstrue Perry's actions as malicious or inappropriate, because either way he looks at it, the singer is now getting the recognition that he went to get on Idol in the first place.
American Idol, Sundays and Mondays, 8/7c, ABC