Things got tense on Wednesday night’s American Idol during a verbal exchange between judge Harry Connick Jr. and a contestant, that host Ryan Seacrest later admitted he thought was about to turn violent.
Quentin Alexander had just sang Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way” and was upset when Connick Jr. was critical of the performance. When Seacrest asked him what he was thinking, he unloaded on the entire show.
“This sucks. We’ve got two of the best vocalists, my best friend is sitting over there,” Alexander said while pointing at two contestants, as one of them was about to be eliminated. “This whole thing is whack, but I’m going to shut up right now.”
Alexander then left the stage, as Connick Jr. pounced to claim the comments were disrespectful.
“Quentin, if it’s that whack, you can always go home, because ‘Idol’ is paying a lot of money to give you this experience,” he said. “To say that to the hand that is feeding you right now, I think it’s highly disrespectful.”
The contestant then came back on the stage to confront the judge, and that’s when things grew tense. He claimed that he was only upset that his friend was about to be eliminated, and that he was not disrespecting the competition, but the body language of those on stage became very defensive, and the explanation felt heated.
Alexander and Connick shook hands, but Seacrest said later, “I honestly thought you were gonna go hit him… And I was gonna have to step in.”
The contestant would later claim he had no intention of disrespecting anyone.
“It was just me having a genuine emotion and I couldn’t help but let it out,” he said.
Watch the awkward exchange below: