Benjamin Glaze, a 19 year old singer from Enid Oklahoma had a major viral moment on the American Idol premiere which aired Sunday (March 11). But it turns out, that when judge Katy Perry gave him his “first kiss” he wasn’t liking it. The young singer recently spoke with the New York Times about his Idol audition:
“I was a tad bit uncomfortable,” Mr. Glaze said by phone this week after the incident aired on the season premiere. His first kiss was a rite of passage he had been putting off with consideration. “I wanted to save it for my first relationship,” he said. “I wanted it to be special.”
In the audition, he expressed the desire to experience his first kiss, at which point, Katy beckoned him over to the judges table. After he quickly pecked her on the cheek, she surprised him with a peck on the lips.
Benjamin was so rattled, he asked for a drink of water, before performing a pitch impaired version of the Nick Jonas song, “Levels.” Three nos from Katy and fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan sent him home without that coveted ticket to Hollywood. According to the NYT, Benjamin also sang an original composition, “Stadium.”
If Katy had asked him first, Benjamin would have said NO to a kiss.
“Would I have done it if she said ‘Would you kiss me?’ No, I would have said no,” he said.”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.”
Back home, Benjamin talked through his feelings about the experience with his friends, who agree that Katy’s kiss didn’t really count. “It was lip contact versus a romantic situation with someone you care about. That’s what a real first kiss is.”
Benjamin stressed in the interview that he does not feel he was sexually harassed and is grateful to the judge for tweeting about him. The kiss did result in his getting more screen time which has helped draw attention to his music so in that way, he said, “I’m glad she did it because it’s a great opportunity to get my music out.”
The verdict on line was mixed. Some fans felt, that in the #MeToo era, men’s boundaries need to be considered too.
— Molly Fletcher (@molfizzle) March 12, 2018
There’s quite a discussion on Twitter underneath American Idol’s tweet.
When Benjamin said he’d need to be in a relationship in order to receive his first kiss, that was a pretty big red flag that he’s not your typical bro dude and was perhaps not a great candidate for Katy’s sneak attack kiss.
MEANWHILE, Trevor Holmes, who had his own interaction with Katy, appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday (March 14). Trevor admitted a crush on Katy which prompted Katy to flirt back.
However, Trevor ain’t mad. And neither is his girlfriend who walked on set during Trevor and Katy’s flirting. Obviously Trevor and his girl were totally in on the joke, which is how it’s supposed to be.
UPDATE: Benjamin reacts to the viral news in a message on Instagram. He he stresses that he does not feel sexually harassed by Katy Perry:
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. .