An American Idol episode filmed last fall and aired this week has created some controversy.  Katy Perry, a judge on the show, surprise-kissed a young man on the lips just before his audition.

He told the NYT that this was his first kiss, and that he had been saving this milestone for his first relationship.

The New York Times reports:

When Benjamin Glaze, at the time a 19-year-old cashier from Enid, Okla., auditioned for “American Idol,” he had hoped his big moment would come as he belted out “Stadium,” a song he wrote himself. That or Nick Jonas’s 2015 single “Levels.”

Instead, it came when the popstar Katy Perry, a judge on the show, surprised him by kissing him smack on the lips, moments before his audition. He had never been kissed before.

“I was a tad bit uncomfortable,” Mr. Glaze said by phone this week, after the incident aired on the season premiere. His first kiss was a rite of passage he had been putting off with consideration. “I wanted to save it for my first relationship,” he said. “I wanted it to be special.”

“Would I have done it if she said, ‘Would you kiss me?’ No, I would have said no,” he said. “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.”

Glaze does say that after processing the kiss, he he has come to terms with it because it wasn’t a real first kiss, just lip contact.

The New York Times continues:

When he returned home, Mr. Glaze worked through his feelings about the kiss by talking to his friends. “They agreed with me that it didn’t really count,” he said. “It was lip contact versus a romantic situation with someone you care about. That’s what a real first kiss is.”

Given the #MeToo climate, Perry has received some backlash for the unwanted kiss, even though Glaze says that “he does not feel he was sexually harassed.”

Watch:

Responding to the mini-controversy, Glaze wrote on Instagram:

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.