“American Idol” judge Katy Perry — who was raised by evangelist parents — mocked the Christian parents of a 21-year-old contestant, asking him what “Satan music” he would be singing on the show.
It started after Perry asked Israel McFarland about his “interesting” name.
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“My parents like to name us all names from the Bible,” replied McFarland, who went on to note he was raised in a pretty strict and religiously adherent home, adding his mom still bristles when his songs include curse words.
Nevertheless, the 21-year-old McFarland said he does not plan to stop using harsh language because “cursing is one of the few things in life that I enjoy.”
Perry, 37, then jokingly urged the “Idol” contestant to rebel against his parents by following in her footsteps, referring to her song, “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It.” She told McFarland to make a male version of the song, “I Kissed a Boy and I Liked It.”
“Let me give you a little piece of advice,” said the pop star. “Write a song called ‘I Kissed a Boy and I Liked It’ and let them hear it for the first time on their own on the radio.”
She then transitioned, “Alright, Israel. What Satan music are you going to share with us today?”
McFarland told Perry and her fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan he would be singing a song he wrote, “The Cost,” which he said is “about, I want to chase my goals, but that just sort of unbearably brings me away from my close friends and I don’t know man, like life is so [expletive] short.”
Richie was very impressed by McFarland’s audition, calling his brief performance an “explosion of artistry.” Bryan, however, said he felt the young man was better suited to be a songwriter than a vocalist. Perry, for her part, agreed McFarland has talent as a songwriter but believes there’s still work to be done on his skill as a vocalist.
“I know your story,” Perry told McFarland. “I lived your story in a lot of ways. But it’s just not there yet.”
While Richie voted to pass McFarland to the next level, Perry and Bryan voted against his advancement.
In a follow-up post to his Instagram account, McFarland said he’s disappointed he didn’t make it to the next round on “American Idol” but nevertheless described the audition process as “a cool experience.”
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