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American Idol Contestant Clarifies Katy Perry Kiss: 'I Do Not Think I Was Sexually Harassed'


Benjamin Glaze, the 20-year-old American Idol hopeful who had never been kissed, feels his response to his “unwanted” audition smooch with judge Katy Perry was misconstrued.

“I am not complaining about the kiss from Katy Perry at all,” Glaze wrote on Instagram Wednesday along with photos of his post-Idol interviews published the same day.

“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 Oklahoma native said.

Glaze’s audition for the Idol reboot was filmed in October but did not air until Sunday evening on ABC.

RELATED: American Idol Contestant Who Had Never Been Kissed Says Katy Perry Smooch Was ‘Uncomfortable’

“I am not complaining about the kiss I am very honored and thankful to be 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,” he stated.

Concluding, “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!”

A rep for Perry did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

RELATED: New American Idol Will Be ‘More Compassionate,’ Judges Say: ‘We’re Not Taking Advantage of People for Comedy’

The kiss occurred after Glaze entered the audition room and judge Luke Bryan referenced Perry’s 2008 hit “I Kissed a Girl,” asking: “Have you kissed a girl and liked it?” Glaze told the panel, including Lionel Richie, that 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, telling him, “Come here.” Glaze approached the pop star, said “One on the cheek?” and gave Perry a smooch on the face before she quickly planted one on his mouth.

Following the kiss, Glaze asked for some water as he told Richie, Perry and Bryan, “I kind of was not expecting that … That was a big deal,” before performing Nick Jonas‘ 2014 single “Levels.”

On Monday, Glaze shared photos of the kiss with Perry and his Idol audition on Instagram.

“Definitely a once in a lifetime experience, in the end never let anything stop you from chasing your dreams. I didn’t get the Gold ticket and there is more to life than that, but I feel like I could have done better in my vocals and picked another song,” he captioned the stills.

“I’m so thankful for the opportunity and for the experience and I will be back next year for sure! Congratulations to everyone who made it past this round you guys deserve it!! Thank you to everyone who followed me and my journey,” he wrote.

(This story has not been edited by N24 staff and is People.com auto-generated from a RSS feed.)

Published Date: Thursday, March 15th, 2018 | 12:45 PM

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