American Idol judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have defended Katy Perry's controversial kiss with a contestant on the show.
Last week, Katy kissed 19-year-old singer-songwriter Benjamin Glaze after his audition, as he'd confessed he'd never kissed a girl. Benjamin later said that the whole thing was a "tad bit uncomfortable".
In an Instagram post, he then clarified his comments by explaining that he did not think he was "sexually harassed" by Katy, adding that the "uncomfortable" situation he was referring to was purely the fact he hadn't "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
And now Katy's fellow judge Luke Bryan has told The Morning Show that it's all been blown out of proportion. "It's unfortunate that stuff like that turns into a story that big," he commented. "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. "At the end of the day, me and Lionel and Katy and Ryan, our hearts are in the right place."
Watch what happened when @larryemdur caught up with @lukebryanonline backstage at #CMCRocks! #TMS7 pic.twitter.com/daUK670JW8— The Morning Show (@morningshowon7) March 19, 2018
Fellow judge Lionel Richie concurred in a separate chat with The AP, arguing: "Katy is one of those phenomenons, she can do things and get away with it. It's all in fun, it's all in jest. "I was there, I'm a witness to it. She was hamming it up, then it was nothing more than that. Of course, when you do it to the public you're going to get two different views of what's happening, but trust me it was all in fun. "Everybody's having a good time – including the contestant." It's been an eventful season for Katy so far on American Idol as viewers thought she had made a shady remark towards Taylor Swift in a recent episode. The moment happened when one contestant was asked who he looked up to as a music artist and he replied Taylor. "Oh, you don't have to be sorry. I love her, as a songwriter, as well," Katy replied after the contestant had apologised for his answer. American Idol airs on ABC in the US and Amazon Prime Video in the UK.