‘American Idol’: Katy Perry kiss controversy hasn’t hurt her popularity as a judge on the ABC revival

Katy Perry is being paid a whopping $20 million to be a judge on the ABC revival of “American Idol.” But that money is well-spent as the pop princess generates headlines about her antics on this reality competition series. Despite the controversies, including one in which she tricked a contestant into giving her a kiss, she ranks as one of the most popular judges on the panel according to our readers.

Indeed, her fans have rallied around her in the wake of the ongoing debate about her actions on the March 11 premiere episode. Benjamin Glaze, a 19-year-old from Oklahoma, admitted to another of the “Idol” judges, Luke Bryan, that he had never kissed a girl. That prompted Perry to pucker up. At first she offered up her cheek but after Glaze grazed that she got a second kiss right on the lips. Glaze was shocked by her sudden move as he had been saving his first kiss for someone special.

When we first asked about which of the three “American Idol” judges was your favorite, country superstar Bryan was the clear frontrunner with a whopping 49% of the vote. Perry had 27% of the tally while the third judge on the panel, winning singer/songwriter Lionel Richie, managed a mere 24%.

But in the week since the kiss controversy, Perry has risen up to 38% while Bryan has dropped to 37%. Support for Richie is relatively steady at 25%. If you haven’t voted yet, cast your ballot below and then be sure to sound off in the comments section.

SEE ‘American Idol’ Winners: Where Are They Now (Seasons 1 – 15)?

“American Idol” returned on March 11 with the same host (Ryan Seacrest) and format but on a new network (ABC) and days (Sunday/Monday) and with three new faces on the panel. What do you think of this trio of talent?

Bryan is the good old country boy determined to be everyone’s best friend. “Idol” first tapped the country music scene for a judge with Keith Urban, who was part of the panel on the last four seasons o of the show on FOX. As with that Aussie import, Bryan is folksy and full of charm. Even when he says no to someone, they leave with a smile plastered on their face.

Perry has cast shade on several contestants but she is a far shade from the king of mean, Simon Cowell. Her criticisms are usually sugar-coated in kindness but she does speak her mind on occasion, telling one would-be singer that those who sing her praises are not being truthful.

SEE ‘The Voice’: Is Kelly Clarkson a hit or miss as the new coach on Season 14? [POLL]

Richie is the elder statesman of the group, with a musical pedigree that dates back to the 1960s and his fronting of the soul group the Commodores. Striking out on his own as a solo artist in the 1980s, he enjoyed a string of hits and won five Grammys. In 1985, he penned the charity single “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson as well as the Oscar-winning “Say You, Say Me” for “White Nights.” He tells it like it is, warning some contestants that they are not ready for the spotlight while praising others as potential stars in the making. However, he is susceptible to a sob story.

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