Caleb Johnson rose to fame in 2014 as the winner of season 13 of American Idol. Johnson — who auditioned for the show three times — wowed then-jurors Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. with an original song titled, “Into the Void.” The North Carolina native was later crowned the season’s winner, beating out runner-up Jena Irene Asciutto.
Johnson released his debut album Testify immediately after his stint on American Idol, but left his record label a year later. He told Billboard in 2015 that he had parted ways with Interscope Records — the label that signed him after his stint on American Idol — in hopes of finding a more supportive team. “I want to find the right home and the right team of people to get behind my music and really do something,” he said. “What’s the point if the [label] won’t do anything?”
Now, Johnson has taken another jab at the reality show and isn’t holding back his true feelings about his introduction to the music business.
Caleb Johnson says his first post-American Idol single sucked
Caleb Johnson bangs on “American Idol” and slams “As Long as You Love Me,” his 2014 winning song. “I actually knew that if you won, you had to sing that song, and that song was just total crap.” , Johnson told Insider. “Like it’s just the worst song ever.” Johnson goes on to reveal that the single – written by The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins – was also awarded to an Idols South Africa contestant in 2012, proving to be a “nightmare to fulfil”.
Johnson isn’t the only season 13 contestant to speak ill of his time on American Idol; Runner-up Jena Irene Asciutto also struggled to kickstart her music career after her time on the series. “All anyone cares about is this ‘American Idol’ title, which is awesome, but it’s a reality TV show,” Asciutto told Insider in June. “And it’s not the music industry either, which is an absolute fact.”
These days Johnson performs with his band Caleb Johnson & the Ramblin’ Saints. In the meantime, Sciutto is still working as a musician and keeps fans up to date with her activities on Instagram.