You would be forgiven for thinking that Caleb Johnson was unequivocally and entirely thrilled to win season 13 of “American Idol”.
Johnson was “really bummed” after winning “American Idol” in 2014. The source of his disappointment was the knowledge that he would have to perform “As Long as You Love Me” by The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins. Johnson would also have to use the song as his debut single.
“I knew that, by de facto, if you won you had to sing the song, and the song was just utter c**p,” Johnson told Insider. “Like, it was just the worst song ever.
“A cheesy piece of c**p… I pitched a fit about it to the management company and all this stuff,” he said. “And they were like, ‘Look at this as kind of a graduation present or something.’”
Johnson took issue with a number of other factors involving the song’s release. “Idols South Africa” runner-up Mark Haze used a version of the song on his 2012 debut album; additionally, “American Idol” record label 19 Recordings allegedly did little to support Johnson’s release.
“[They] put absolutely no support behind the record,” Johnson said. “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.”
Johnson’s version of “As Long as You Love Me” debuted at No. 41 on the Hot Rock Songs chart and No. 26 on the Rock Digital Songs chart. It sold 10,000 copies in its debut week.