Former American Idol winner Caleb Johnson recently had a lot to say about his winning song from 2014.
It’s been eight years since Johnson stood on stage as the winner of Season 13 and sang “As Long as You Love Me,” written by The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins.
According to a conversation with Insider, Johnson wasn’t a fan of the track back then — and he still isn’t today.
“I knew that, by de facto, if you won you had to sing the song, and the song was just utter crap,” he said.
“Like it was just the worst song ever,” he continued, calling it a “cheesy piece of crap.”
Johnson sang the song after beating out fellow finalist Jena Irene Asciutto, but the moment wasn’t as joyful as viewers may have thought.
Johnson dreaded coming in first place because it meant having to sing the winning song.
He even went so far as to “pitch a fit” with the management company in charge of the music, to no avail.
“They were like, look at this as kind of a graduation present or something,” he explained.
Not only did Johnson dislike the song, but it was also recycled from another Idol contestant from South Africa, who recorded it for their debut first back in 2012.
Johnson even called it “a nightmare.”
Luckily for Johnson, the song ended up being dropped from the American Idol tour set list “about halfway because it just wasn’t working.”
However, the recorded track was included in Johnson’s debut album as a bonus track, and became the first American Idol winner’s single to miss charting on the Billboard Hot 100.
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 added.
Nevertheless, it did debut at No. 41 on the Hot Rock Songs chart and No. 26 on the Rock Digital Songs chart.
Apparently, we could’ve heard a Kelly Clarkson version too, but it didn’t end up happening. The original American Idol winner allegedly was interested in recording the song before giving up the license so Johnson could have it. It’s just too bad he didn’t actually want it.