The reboot of the popular television series “American Idol” may have just premiered on Sunday, but new host Katy Perry is already stirring up controversy.
According to earlier reports, the pop star landed in hot water this week after she kissed a teen contestant who came to audition for the show.
Oklahoma native Benjamin Glaze, 19, stepped in front of the judges with his guitar and hopes of heading to Hollywood.
But the teen ended up sharing that he’d never actually had his “first kiss” — and that sparked an idea for Perry.
The judge called the teen over for a kiss “on the check,” but quickly turned her head and kiss him on the mouth instead.American Idol/Instagram
Glaze had a look of shock on his face following the pop star’s kiss, and now says that the moment made him “uncomfortable,” according to People.
The reason? He said that he had a conservative upbringing and had built up a lot of expectations for his very first kiss.
The teen told The New York Times:
“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.”
Some fans claimed that the awkward on-screen moment could be considered “sexual harassment” or “predatory,” but Glaze said he doesn’t view it that way.
Following the audition, Glaze didn’t actually make it to Hollywood. So he said he’s actually happy the kiss is bringing more attention to his music.
The teen said:
“So in that way. I’m glad she did it because it’s a great opportunity to get my music out.”
Perry and “American Idol” producers have yet to comment on the controversial smooch.