Anyone who’s watched Katy Perry on American Idol knows that she’s a flirt. If a good-looking male singer walks into the audition room, you can be pretty sure she’ll comment on it. In some cases, her crushes last several episodes.
Katy’s treatment of male contestants has been the subject of some debate since last season. Some say it’s inappropriate, and that if the genders were reversed, the judge would be in a lot of trouble. Others, including fellow judge Luke Bryan, have defended her, saying she’s just “making fun TV.”
1. Nick Merico
The most recent example of Katy crushing on a contestant came this past week when 22-year-old Nick showed up. “Katy’s gonna lunge at you,” Luke Bryan warned him. After his performance, Katy asked if he has a girlfriend, and said she would be hosting an open mic at her house so he’d show up. Nick later said he’s had a crush on her “forever.”
2. Trevor Holmes
“Katy got her Trevor,” Luke said after Nick’s audition. If you didn’t watch last season, he was referring to Trevor Holmes. “You’re so hot,” Katy told him during his audition. After singing, he admitted to having a crush on her. Trevor’s girlfriend complicated things a bit, with Trevor calling it a “love triangle.” However, Katy didn’t let that stop her from eliminating him a couple of performances later.
3. Benjamin Glaze
The most notorious flirting sesh from Katy happened with 19-year-old contestant Benjamin Glaze. Katy asked him to kiss her cheek. He did it once, and then she asked for another one. When he leaned in, she surprised him with a kiss on the lips. (It was Benjamin’s first-ever kiss.) Although many people called this sexual assault, Benjamin himself has defended Katy from the backlash.
4. Juan Pablo
This contestant’s romantic Spanish performance got Katy all hot and bothered this season. They even acted out their own telenovela scene. “Juan Pablo, take me away with you,” she said afterward, asking him not to “tell Orlando.” Her attempts at Spanish, however, left a lot to be desired.
5. Cade Foener
“Stay away, Katy,” Luke said after Cade’s performance in the Top 24. “You can preach to me anytime you want,” she said, taking off her jacket. She had to be held back by Lionel Richie. She even pretended to pass out after telling him he’s a “star.” When Katy later found out he had a girlfriend (who turned out to be fellow contestant Gabby Barrett), she feigned outrage.
6. Tyler Mitchell
When this tall country singer walked through the doors, Katy immediately asked him to approach the judges’ table. “I just want to touch your hand and see how small my hand is compared to your hand,” she said, placing their palms together. After that, she managed to keep it professional for the rest of the audition. (We’ll see what happens later this season.)
7. Jonny Brenns
“You got a face like Chet Baker,” Katy told this contestant last season. “Very good-looking.” This time, Lionel Richie actually told her, “Stop flirting.” But that didn’t stop Katy from describing Jonny’s style as a “sweet little sexy thing.”