Katy Perry sparked controversy when she planted a playful peck on an American Idol contestant, but Luke Bryan is standing up for his fellow judge

By Stephanie Petit
March 20, 2018 09:35 AM
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Katy Perry‘s fellow American Idoljudge Luke Bryan is standing by her side after she sparked controversy when she planted a playful peck on an auditioning contestant who had never been kissed.

Contestant Benjamin Glaze, a 20-year-old cashier and aspiring singer from Oklahoma, told The New York Times of the kiss, “I was a tad bit uncomfortable. I wanted to save it for my first relationship. I wanted it to be special.”

But Bryan said on The Morning Show that the incident was blown out of proportion.

“It’s unfortunate that stuff like that turns into a story that big,” the country crooner, 41, said. “I watched an actual interview where Ben, the kid that was involved, said that he was cool with everything.”

He added, “I gotta back Katy on that. She’s in there working hard and making fun TV.”

Bryan admitted that the new American Idol judges weren’t without their flaws, and he’s okay with receiving some criticism.

“We are going to get it right sometimes and get it wrong sometimes. We’re in there critiquing people. I may say something one day that everybody’s not going to like. That’s just what you signed up for,” he explained. “At the end of the day, me and Lionel and Katy and Ryan, our hearts are in the right place.”

Benjamin Glaze and Katy Perry
| Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

The controversial kiss during Glaze’s audition for the singing competition show, when Bryan asked in a nod to Perry’s 2008 single “I Kissed a Girl,” “Have you kissed a girl and liked it?” Glaze replied he hadn’t, adding, “I have never been in a relationship and I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship.” Perry proceeded to beckon to Glaze, who approached the pop star, said “One on the cheek?” and gave Perry a smooch on the face before she quickly planted one on his lips.

Although Glaze later said the kiss was unwanted, he later clarified via Instagram that his response was misconstrued.

“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,” the aspiring singer said.

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Since the audition, Glaze revealed in a recent interview with Inside Edition that he has had his first real kiss with his new girlfriend, Carrie.

“It was incredibly special,” he said of the couple’s first-ever smooch. “Katy Perry was my first kiss, but Carrie was my first kiss in a real way. If you really sat me down and asked me, I would tell you about how our first kiss was and it was just as special as I wanted it to be.”