Former American Idol winner says their debut single from the show is ‘utter crap’

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The winner of American Idol’s 13th season, Caleb Johnson, has said the single he was obligated to perform as the series champion was “utter crap”.

After winning the 2014 series of the competition show, Johnson had to sing "As Long as You Love Me" written by Justin Hawkins, frontman of Britsh rock band The Darkness.

“I knew that, by de facto, if you won you had to sing the song, and the song was just utter crap,” Johnson told Insider in a new interview. “Like, it was just the worst song ever.”

Johnson said he fought with producers to change the song, which he called “a cheesy piece of crap” before the finale, but they wouldn’t allow it.

“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.”

The singer then had to perform the song on a post-Idol summer tour with his fellow contestants, which he said was a “nightmare”.

Caleb Johnson (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
Caleb Johnson (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)

“We did at the beginning, but they switched it. They switched it about halfway because it just wasn’t working,” he said. “It was not working, and it was a nightmare.”

The Independent has contacted representatives for American Idol for comment.