Benjamin Glaze, a 19-year-old “American Idol” contestant, admittedly comes from a conservative family, which might explain why he planned to save his first kiss for something special, like an actual relationship.
“American Idol” judge Katy Perry, however, knowing full well of Glaze’s somewhat unique stance on such physical contact, surprised him with a kiss during a taping of the hit singing talent show — and he didn’t even get a ticket to Hollywood for his trouble.
While many outlets initially took the angle that Glaze received his first kiss from the “I Kissed a Girl” singer, Glaze spoke out to the New York Times and expressed an apparent disappointment with the encounter.
What happened on the show?
Glaze’s audition segment was aired Sunday during the show’s two-night season premiere.
When Glaze went in the audition room to meet with Perry and fellow judges, musicians Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, he told them a bit about his personal background.
“I’ve never been in a relationship,” he told the panel of judges after they asked if he’d “kissed a girl and liked it,” a nod to Perry’s breakout song.
“I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship,” he explained.
After Glaze’s remarks, Perry stood up and commanded the 19-year-old, “Come here, Benjamin. Come here right now!”
Glaze was clearly uncomfortable by this point, but obliged and went in to kiss Perry’s cheek upon the judges’ goading.
Perry shrugged off Glaze’s attempt as poor, and encouraged him to try a second time.
Glaze leaned in, and that’s when Perry immediately turned her face, kissing Glaze directly on the lips.
Glaze appeared to be startled, and stumbled backward, landing on his rear end.
He climbed to his feet and, though he was smiling, shouted, “Katy! You didn’t!” as he backed up.
“That’s going up on the fridge,” he later added.
What did Glaze tell the Times?
The Times feature, titled, “An Unwanted Kiss on American Idol,” detailed Glaze’s shock at Perry’s behavior, and the reasoning he and his peers had to do in order to nullify Perry’s kiss from being Glaze’s first “real” kiss.
Glaze, a store cashier who hails from Oklahoma, said that he was “a tad bit uncomfortable” with Perry’s unwanted show of affection.
“I wanted to save [my first kiss] for my first relationship,” he explained. “I wanted it to be special.”
He explained his position and said, “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,” he said.
“I wanted my first kiss to be special,” he repeated.
Though he didn’t get through to the next round, Glaze admitted that he is, in a sense, grateful for the added exposure as a result of the illicit kiss and does not feel sexually harassed.
“In that way,” he explained, “I’m glad she did it because it’s a great opportunity to get my music out.”
He told the Times that as a result of discussions with his friends, he was able to strike Perry’s kiss from the official record.
“They agreed with me that it didn’t really count,” Glaze said. “It was lip contact versus a romantic situation with someone you care about. That’s what a real first kiss is.”