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Has Caleb Johnson's scandal hurt ‘American Idol’? Fans seem distant to winner

Caleb Johnson scandal still follows him after a poor choice of words
Caleb Johnson scandal still follows him after a poor choice of words
Photo by Paul Morigi

Caleb Johnson is the winner of “American Idol” and sounds amazing when he performs. However, off the stage he definitely needs to get some help on how he wants to express himself. The new celebrity is having some difficulty dealing with social media and all the trolls that come with it. Instead of turning to the show for help, it appears he lashed out using inappropriate labels. According to American Idol Net on Thursday, the artist found himself in hot water with many fans after using the word “retards” to describe his online critics. He has apologized for his words, but the controversy has only gotten bigger as he seems to think suggesting he is sorry is enough.

Caleb Johnson reflected previously that the scandal wouldn't tarnish his victory. That might be true in his eyes, but it appears that people have already distanced themselves from the winner. The music business could be looking at this contestant as a liability. Add that every year someone from “American Idol” sings at the National Memorial Day concert and gets recognized. This year people didn't seem interested and he performed very well.

The reality show stars definitely aren't getting the media training they need to handle the fans and the fame. Crumbing to pressures of using language that isn't mainstream, it appears they start controversies that give shows a black eye. Remember when Juan Pablo lashed out about having a gay contestant on “The Bachelor”? Fans were completely unforgiving, even with an apology. Same goes for Caleb Johnson and his latest remarks. Even with a forgiving tone, this language is still is completely unacceptable and everyone who isn't a fan from the beginning is moving away from the new winner.

Reality shows need to start budgeting in media coaches for their contestants. Nobody should even whisper a label like Caleb Johnson did when representing a show. And the problem isn't that he said it, but that he was naive and didn't realize that it was inappropriate in the first place. The responsibility of pointing his out should fall on the reality show.

As for Caleb Johnson not being impacted by this scandal, the winner is sadly mistaken. Fans have not forgotten and he has yet to past the test of being truly apologetic. That will come when he hits the road and the results of the tour ticket sales are revealed.