American Idol’s Caleb Johnson Calls Critics ‘Retards’, Disses Fans, & Later Issues Apology [VIDEO]

American Idol 2014 finalist Caleb Johnson may have just thrown a big bucket of cold water on his hot chances of winning season 13. In an interview after the Top 5 elimination results last week, Caleb made a very nasty red carpet faux pas that has already generated a swell of backlash on social media. Did the front-runner to win American Idol season 13 just dash his own chances of winning?

American Idol Caleb Johnson retards

When asked by AfterBuzz TV host Jason Ikeler if his opinion of social media has changed since being on American Idol, Caleb said yes, because it “gives access to a bunch of retards to talk to me.” The question, ironically enough, was actually posed to Caleb by one of his fans via social media.

No matter what context you are using the word “retards” in any way, you have to know what kind of outrage that is going to generate. We can’t even imagine what Caleb was thinking when he threw that term out there. Well, we guess he was thinking about it just as much as he did when he referred to fans who would enjoy one of his classic rock performances a few weeks ago as “old ladies.” Or when he made fun of people with deadly peanut allergies.

Caleb continued by saying that he doesn’t “really enjoy having to see somebody tell me what song I need to sing. I think at this point in the competition, I can pick and choose my own songs and represent me the best… I don’t need 10,000 people telling me you should sing this, you should sing that, listen to me, listen to me. Fortunately guys, I’m going to listen to myself, whether you like it or not.”

Ouch. Dissing the fans who love you, and want to hear you sing songs they think you would rock, is not just harsh, it’s just stupid. For any Caleb Johnson fans watching this interview who ever Tweeted him about a song they might like to hear, or participated in the #idolrequest week song selections, it’s like being slapped in the face.

Apparently we are included in this group of people that piss off Caleb and just need to deal whether we “like it or not,” since we sent in #idolrequests and even wrote a whole special song request post for Caleb.

Oh, and let’s not forget it is pretty much a smack to American Idol producers as well, for forcing him to sing ‘fan requests’ when obviously no one should be choosing what he sings except himself. He has watched American Idol before, right?

Earlier in the interview with AfterBuzz TV, Caleb Johnson also joked that it’s only a week until the hometown visits, when he can get “the girls, the hookers, the cocaine.” While he may think that is funny in context of his whole ‘rock n’ roll’ image, we don’t. It just perpetuates a stereotype in the music industry we needed to be rid of decades ago.

After a firestorm of negative comments about his “retards” remark and dissing of fans, Caleb took to Facebook to issue an apology. Sort of.

“For the record that juvenile comment I made in the interview was not directed towards my fans but to the wackos that send hundreds of hate messages a day to me. You guys are amazing and I cannot thank you enough for your support. Sorry if it offended anybody it was the wrong choice of words. Also I greatly appreciate it when you guys give me song suggestions but it gets really overwhelming at the volume it comes in so please understand ! Rock on!”

Honestly, we think Caleb’s apology was too little, too late, and didn’t really even sound that sincere. We don’t know how much this interview will hurt Caleb in the votes, especially since a lot of fans will probably never see it or even hear about it. Sometimes, however, it only takes that one little thing to drop you from being the next American Idol winner to just the also-ran runner-up.




      • When? Was it something you saw during a very edited video coverage of Hollywood/Group week? I’d be very surprised to see what you are referencing. Because it wasn’t anything she’s said during interviews or posted on her twitter/FB sites. She’s been just the opposite of Caleb.

      • She was mean, I doubt it was edited to make her look bad. Besides she isnt’ the best singer.and she comes across cold. That leg bit last week was too much. lol I agree she has been the opposite of Caleb, he can sing well. Ya’ll should have been voting for Dexter, he was/is best all round.

      • She has a much better voice than Caleb. He’s turned into an egotistical jerk. He only knows how to shout a song. She has an amazing voice, takes criticism well and is gracious and humble. Sam Wolf was better than Caleb the wannabe rocker.

      • U are living in reality if u actually think she can sing better then Caleb.. get your ears checked. Celeb voice blows everyone away every single week.. he has been the best they had besides Philip Philip and Kelly and Underwood just his style is the first for its kind compare to the rest. I guarantee Caleb isnt a wannabee he is the “Bee” of rock singers and he will go far. Guaranteed.

      • I agree.calebs voice is b.a. His personality is his own and I’m sure a lot of rockers would agree that Hollywood is filled with narcotics,etc. Also believe they’d say “f*** the people who tell me what to do, I am my own person,love me or hate me”.

    • She has a great voice but she has no stage prescience and she has a chip on her shoulder.

      • It always is bothersome to me when someone says they will not vote for some “because they have a chip on their shoulder”. I thought this was supposed to be a talent show and not a popularity contest. Remember Haley Rhienhart from a few seasons back getting all the hate … for no other reason than she was not as shy and demure as that blond country singing girl? That was showed me that I do not want to be a typical American Idol voter … if that is the Norm.

      • I liked Haley, she can sing. I don’t recall her having a chip on her shoulder, she did well in the contest,, I still believe she does best when she sings with Casey.

    • I don’t care what people say about Jess, about her stage perf or what…I just Lover her voice, I love her be herself, I don’t care about her stage perf, what judge said about her or whatever..hope she can be the finalist..GO JESS!!!

  1. Dear Caleb.. I wanted you to win, but seriously, I think you have just lost… You need to realize when you are striving for success, your fan base is very important.. I realize there are many people out there who are over the top. You learn to deal with those people quietly. You do not deal with them by insulting ALL of your fans… Good luck. You are certainly going to need it..

    • My wife is grumbling now that Caleb isn’t a sure thing anymore. Though we both agree that Caleb’s shtik is corny, she bet me a sushi dinner that he’d walk away with it.

    • He will win. Do u think millions of ppl bother to read this garbage site?

      • ummm, well I guess you are correct jay.. millions of people don’t read this “garbage site”.. apparently only me , you Shem the Penman and a few others read it… seriously.. I wish he would win.. but no need for you to bash this site because you may or maynot agree with the postings

      • I’m not bashing the site… like anything.. someone does well and ppl carry on over something like this.. Go look in Youtube and 85% of stars had said things ppl may or may not agree.. then all off a sudden everyone wants him out? This is jsut a page made by someone who isn’t a Celeb fan anyways from start and knows with his talent… none of the others comes close and there hoping maybe this will slow him down. Hes voted for his talent not for comments and his opinions. Everyone has an opinion just like my opinion of this site 🙂 U vote on his voice talent.. not cause he said something that “might” hurt someones feelings.

      • btw i dont read this.. I seen the heading and read it the one off time only. This is the 2nd time to respond to your post 🙂

  2. I never cared for him. He seems he has been on his high horse from day one. Alex has got my vote all the way!now thats talent!

  3. “What Diss?”, mountain out of a molehill, crabs in a bucket

    He needs to get out anyway (before it ruins his career)

    its Dautrey week!!! week 4!!!

    (his “attitude” better then he was the previous year, …. Go Caleb, Go Jena!!!…. Alex is good, …..great even
    ,…. but he won’t sell massive records to the masses)

    • What record do you see Caleb making? He sounds like Meatloaf and Jack Black. I like the guy – warts and all – but 80s anthem rock doesn’t sell anymore. The other three can all be on the radio. Caleb only works on the 80s station.

      • Caleb has a powerful voice, he could sing about any type of music he wants. Pop, Jazz, etc.

      • Do you actually listen to Pop or Jazz? No, he can’t. He’s Meatloaf Jack Black. He’s a cover artist. Marky Mark in “Rock Star.”

      • Avenged Sevenfold doesn’t sell? What about Five Finger Death Punch or Bullet for My Valentine? My lame rock station also plays the heck out of Halestorm and Pretty Reckless.

      • Do you actually think any of the above mentioned would be caught dead on AI? Besides, no. They don’t sell that well. And their audience won’t go for an AI winner who wants to be in a White Snake cover band.

  4. Caleb and Jessica have both been mean in their own way, I’ll vote Jena and Alex from now on, they may have votied no the other night but that was nothing compared to how these two have acted at times.

    • You are that mom from Hollywood week, aren’t you? Jess has been genuine and respectful all season. She also has the best voice. She and Jena are the most marketable. Alex is odd. Caleb needs to go back to 1982.

    • Jessica admitted that idol edited it to make her look mean, and she was even shocked of how they made it look….

      • They want Jena to win its so obvious, look at how J-Lo praises her and lectures Jess, too easy

      • I’m rooting for Caleb. American Idol is a talent show, not best social skills nor good manners reality, sitcom, what have you. IMHO Caleb is the most talented, and has consistently performed for us and entertained viewers each week.

      • My thought exactly! They want a female to win, i.e., Jena. IMHO I don’t like Jena’s voice at all. I like Jessica’s voice, demeanor and style better.

  5. Would not be surprised if he gets eliminated this week a-la Chris Daughtry. Except Daughtry is a respectable human being.
    Alex vs. Jena for the finals

    • There’s such a contrast between people like Caleb and Alex. If you look at Alex’s twitter, he’s always reaching out to fans and interacting with them. You can tell he really appreciates the people that support him. Not to mention, he is SO talented and yet very humble and really takes the judges’ criticism to heart. People like him deserve our support.

      • Alex has yet to win me over, I have voted for him, but Caleb still stands out as well as Jena. I still would like to hear Alex sing Taxi -Harry Chapin… That would be a good test song for him.

      • Its not about winning people over its about singing get a clue.

      • American Idol definitely is not just about the singing.. IIf it was the judges would not care about their looks or their personality… Did you notice they make them over??? If it was just about singing it would be American Singer… This is a FAN based show. The FANS decide who wins. Not the judges…To be someones Idol is to be someone that people adore.. Do you remember Adam Lambert who everyone was so sur would win?? He didn’t though… Do you think a record label wants someone who is so cocky and does not want any direction?? Not thinking so…

      • Actually it is, I don’t necessarily agree with it being that way but i also don’t agree with voting for a cocky arrogant jerk who calls his fans retards. maybe thats just me.

  6. Caleb let this contest go to his head, he should always remember the people that voted for him and gave him the chance to live his dream. I have always felt his voice is to good for rock and roll, a God given voice, it is very powerful. I hope he wises up before it’s too late. I still hope him the best. I would have really liked to have seen him win.

  7. I hope this interview goes viral. He sure does not represent my views as an American. Isn’t this Americab Idol? Not an idol of mine either. Can you imagine the uproar if he commented on someones race? I am sure that is next.

    • Such an unfounded statement ” I am sure that’s next” How can you possibly know what someone will do in the future

      • If he’s this dumb making such stupid comments during the show, you do have to wonder what the kid is going to come out with next.

  8. Caleb’s comments were cruel and immature, and I probably wouldn’t enjoy his company. HOWEVER, I still enjoy his singing the most. I grew up listening to arrogant rockers and pop stars that were full of themselves. I refuse to limit my musical intake to nice people who, frequently, lack the talent and creativity of people who are aware of their assets and insist on being jerks about that knowledge. I understand why anyone would not want to vote for Caleb, but I will not vote for mediocrity just because someone else is nicer. And no, I am not suggesting that the remaining contests are mediocre. I could not, however, truthfully say that before we were reduced to the top 4. I will root for Caleb, but will not be upset if any of the other four win, because they’re all good.

    • I’m gonna vote for Caleb because it’s a talent contest,

      I read: “For the record that juvenile comment I made in the interview was not directed towards my fans but to the wackos that send hundreds of hate messages a day to me! You guys are amazing and I cannot thank you enough for your support. Sorry if it offended anybody it was the wrong choice of words. Also I greatly appreciate it when you guys give me song suggestions but it gets really overwhelming at the volume it comes in so please understand ! Rock on !:)”

      • I agree with both Sunny and Domanion. I have always voted based on this being a talent show. Leaving personality and cuteness out of the equation. But, Holly Molly that was a bonehead thing to say. It will not effect my vote one bit, as I do vote based on talent. But, I know it will effect many peoples votes. And I can understand that.

    • Yes, you probably did grow up listening to that but your keyword is stars. Caleb is not there yet. He needs the people he just insulted to help him on the way. I think he feels that American Idol has made him a star, but it is just a way to introduce them to people,spotlight their talent and personality.

  9. Wow Caleb … You think that was the best think to say when you depend on votes to get to the top? While I am not the type of American Idol fan who votes are based on how cute or “humble” a person is … a lot of people are. But still, I can not see a more talented vocalist left than Caleb. So, it will be interesting to see how things play out.

    • Wow Foxstar. Caleb is Really NOT talented. He screams his way thru every song. Hes been rude and arrogant and disgusting this whole season. He is his own fanclub. He doesn’t Need fans or votes. Or song suggestions. So bye bye Caleb. He Doesn’t deserve to be on American Idol.

  10. I liked Caleb to start the season now after these bonehead, cocky & arrogant comments I hope he gets booted this week and don’t get his “hometown celebration” He does not deserve
    it !

    • Ty…he doesn’t deserve it…. or the cocaine an hookers either… like hes trying to make people think he uses freq…NOT. He NEEDS to be voted OFF this week by his fans.

  11. Oh….very disappointed……He needs some training/advice on public speaking. What an arrogant jerk, said to have to say.

  12. Caleb didn’t have my votes anyway, but if he’s this stuck on himself now what will he be like IF he becomes the 2014 American Idol? Will he deny interviews to the media that he already calls names? Will he refuse autographs and ignore the fans? There’s more to being American Idol than standing on a stage and yelling the songs.

    • Well said…. yes I believe Caleb is just that arrogant. NOT Idol material at all.

  13. Wow, I used to like this guy, but not anymore. It sounds like he needs to take a break from singing and go educate himself.

  14. It will be interesting to see how the producers deal with this matter. I remember Caleb had to make a quick apology on-air about the comments he made about practical jokes involving peanut allergies. However, he didn’t insult his fans on the show, so it’s not quite the same. His insincere and inadequate online apology makes me think Caleb probably doesn’t want anything more said about this.

    I predict there won’t be any mention of it Wednesday. Caleb went along with the producers’ unsuccessful ploy to save Sam, so he’s probably in their good graces right now. If Jena or Alex had made the statements Caleb did, they’d be in the hot seat.

  15. Everybody Watch Jess’s interview with the same people who interviewed caleb at afterbuzztv on youtube. She’s the nicest, most humble contestant on the show.

  16. Caleb thinks he is better then what he is. He continues to make comments that are offensive and a sign of a deeper rooted problem in his thinking other then just being stupid. References to drugs, retards, old ladies, and people with deadly allergies. AI is already has low ratings and sponsors can’t be happy with someone like Caleb in the finals. He thinks lowly of his fans and his apology was I am sorry I said something that cost me votes. There is no sincerity in his apology or he would be more greatful then he is hateful. He is a poser rocker wanna be and has a lot of people fooled.

  17. Alsways voted for Caleb and Jena, but gonna let Caleb’s career fate rest on everyone else. If he really plans to be in the music business…he needs to be smarter and get there first. I think his statements show his true color. It seems like every season the pool “idols’ are choosing from and becoming less and less quality to choose from. I think the best talent that came out were Carrie, Kelly and Daughtry (even though he didn’t win). They spoke intelligently and with modesty…and they genuinely had great presence about them. Sorry Caleb..I feel you are a little to arrogant at this point and may have lost a great fan base. Go Jena!

  18. I’ve got news for this young Am Idol, the fans of the show will make you or break you. This ‘old lady’ loves classic rock music, I grew up with it &.when a talented you man as yourself can sing tunes just as well as Stephen Tyler, you definitely have my vote. But when you allow your mouth to to write a check your azzz can’t cash, then there’s problems. You better realize how far you have come since the last time you were on the show & got voted off. Thankfullness when you speak is all anyone should hear. At this point in the competition you better hope you win, bc your chances are looking kinda slim. Ps. I am following you on Twitter, just so you know, I have/had confidence in you. 1 more thing, Daughtry wouldn’t (or better not) say something so arrogant and stupid.

    • I wonder if Caleb knows that once you drop a plate and break it no matter how many time you say you are sorry the plate is still broken!!

  19. I have never liked his personality, but always enjoyed his singing the
    most. He is capable of choosing his own music, but he should not have used that word. I have an autistic son and i have had an ignorant socially imbecilic person use that term with him. Needless to say, I made sure he was sorry.

    Caleb could use lessons in social graces, as could many entertainers and others in the public and private realms.

  20. Anyone who says they wont vote for caleb now after reading this is a moron. Stop being whiney babies.

    • Perhaps people don’t feel comfortable supporting someone who insults his fans and those with mental handicaps all in one swoop. But thanks for your own name-calling commentary on this one!

      • Hey, once you drop a dish and it breaks you can say you are sorry a million times, but the dish is still broken!!

    • And anyone who thinks that what he said is ok is just as big of a douche-bag as he is. 🙂

      • so you are saying that you have never said something out of line, you are saying that you have never said something that seemed somewhat racist? Youve never said anything that seemed bigoted in your lifetime? Youd have to be super stupid to think Caleb was trying to make fun of mentally handicapped people in his comments. We know his intentions were not to make fun of mentally challenged people. Honestly cant stand people who get but hurt over someone accidentally saying a word that has bad history.

  21. anyone who wants someones career thrown out just because they dont like the words the person used is a whiney moronic baby to me.

  22. Caleb has to remember it’s the “retarts’ who put him in the top 4. Without their votes he wouldn’t be standing where he is with his BIG head. I was voting for Caleb but, this”retart” is changing her vote!!!

  23. I can’t believe that show is still on or that so many retards watch it

  24. U vote talent and voice.. not behind the scenes.. even Nikki M and Jennifer Lopaz both said things caught on tape and they are judges on AL.. get over it.. its what u hear when he sings that count.

  25. seriously? A lot of individuals use the term “retarded” or “retards”.
    just because of this mistake which humans make. He expresses
    Hollywood as its full of drug addicts, alcoholics,etc. Which it is.
    at least he didn’t spit on his fans or show up 3-5 hours late to a show like beiber did. Yes Caleb will lose fans for not watching his mouth but his voice out does every other contestants. His performance by white snake was awesome. No matter how old you are or how good you are at something once Hollywood hits it, it will either get better or get worse. I just think calebs personality is his own. Whether he cares or not if he wins it isn’t up to him. Its up to the people and the judges. Maybe now he will start to realize it.

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