During a recent American Idol episode, pop singer Katy Perry jokingly encouraged a young contestant to rebel against his Christian parents by writing a song about a same-sex kiss, just as she did with her 2008 hit song, “I Kissed a Girl.”
Perry, who serves as a judge on the show, commented on the peculiar nature of Nashville, Tennessee-resident Israel McFarland’s name after the 21-year-old introduced himself.
“My parents liked to name us all names from the Bible,” McFarland shared during his audition in Austin, Texas.
He further revealed that he grew up in a strict religious household and that his parents disliked secular music, adding that his mother still makes remarks if his songs contain curse words, The Christian Post reports.
“Cursing is actually one of the few things in life that I enjoy. So I just can’t stop,” he added.
Perry, who herself is a pastor’s daughter, related to McFarland’s upbringing and encouraged him to follow in her footsteps
“Let me give you a little piece of advice,” the pop singer jokingly said. “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.”
Perry then switched gears asking, “Alright, Israel, what Satan music are you going to share with us today?”
McFarland told Perry and fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan that he would be singing an original song titled “The Cost.”
“This song is actually 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 f*****g short,” the young man said.
“I’m going to try and not f**k it up, you know what I’m saying,” he continued as he took a seat at a piano to play the song.
While Richie enjoyed McFarland’s audition, Bryan and Perry voted against him, preventing him from moving on to the next round of the competition. Bryan told McFarland that he sees him more as a songwriter than a singer. Perry, on her part, concurred and said he needed to continue to work on his voice.
“Well, I’m sad I didn’t make it to the next round, but it was still such a cool experience!!” McFarland said of the experience on Instagram.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Frazer Harrison/Staff
Video courtesy: ©American Idol
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.