American Idol 2014 winner Caleb Johnson and runner-up Jena Irene don’t really feel like celebrities even though they are now household names to millions of the show’s viewers. The reality of how far they’ve come and how well-known they are now just still hasn’t quite sunk in.
“We’ve been in this bubble… the hometown thing was the biggest shock,” Caleb said in a post-finale interview. “It was a reality check,” Jena said.
“It was a reality check as to how many people had been watching and stuff like that,” Caleb said. “For me personally, I don’t feel like I’m a celebrity at all. This whole experience we’ve been just working so hard. We’ve been working every day. We don’t get a chance to see the impact it has.”
However, it does kind of sync in how different their lives are now when they find themselves receiving compliments from musical icons they’ve always admired.
“Gene Simmons was like, hey man, I’m not going to sugar coat this but you’ve got the goods,” Caleb said. “And I was just like, wow. That’s like an icon of rock and roll. It’s just crazy.”