'American Idol' season-13 winner says his debut single from the show is 'utter crap' and a 'nightmare' to perform
- "American Idol" winner Caleb Johnson said he hated his winner's single "As Long as You Love Me."
- Johnson called it a "
cheesypiece of crap" and tried to fight the producers on singingit.
When Caleb Johnson was announced as the winner of "American Idol" season 13, he was shocked — and dreaded what came next.
Ahead of the show's 20th anniversary, Johnson told Insider that he was "really bummed" because coming in first meant he had to sing his winner's
"I knew that, by de facto, if you won you had to sing the song, and the
Feeling like he got saddled with a "cheesy piece of crap," Johnson said he tried to fight the producers on it before finale night. But they wouldn't budge.
"I pitched a fit about it to the management company and all this stuff," he told Insider. "And they were like, look at this as kind of a graduation present or something."
In addition to Johnson's personal dislike for the song, he was frustrated when he discovered that it was recycled from another "Idol" finalist.
In 2012, "Idols South Africa" runner-up Mark Haze recorded and released a version of Hawkins' "As Long as You Love Me" for his debut album. Two years later, Johnson was given the same song with slightly different lyrics.
"How is that even possible that somebody else releases the same song in another country?" Johnson told Insider
Johnson said it was a 'nightmare' performing the song on the post-'Idol' tour
Immediately after winning season 13, Johnson joined fellow finalists for the post-"Idol" summer tour, which he said was "fun" but also like a "giant karaoke tour."
To Johnson's chagrin, "As Long as You Love Me" was built into the show's set list. But luckily for him, the song was eventually dropped.
"We did at the beginning, but they switched it. They switched it about halfway because it just wasn't working," he told Insider. "It was not working, and it was a nightmare."
While touring, the singer also juggled recording his debut album. But he said the "Idol" label, 19 Recordings, "put absolutely no support behind the record."
"The label wouldn't release the single, there was no single that came out after the record was done. There was no music video. There was nothing," he said.
Representatives for "