Idol's Caleb Johnson Talks Bond-Theme Aspirations, R-Word Dustup and the Importance of a Full Band

Caleb Johnson says he never set out to win the approval of American Idol viewers. But by staying true to his classic-rock leanings (and making sure he had fun in the process) he managed to win their votes — and take home the Season 13 crown.

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For his Reality Check exit interview, Caleb tackled the question of whether or not he’s “current enough” to capture a modern music audience; why he covered tracks by Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin and Adele; and what he learned from a controversial interview after Top 5 results night during which he seemingly used the word “r–ard”  to describe some of his fans.

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Side note: We experienced a technical glitch right at the end of our Q&A, so you won’t get to hear Caleb discuss his winner’s single “As Long As You Love Me” (which he conceded is not exactly in line with the heavy, soulful rock sound he’d like to achieve on his debut CD) or the pressure he feels to put together said CD with a rapidly approaching mid-August deadline.

Fret not, though, there’s plenty of other good stuff: discussions about Caleb’s connections to Candice Glover and Phillip Phillips, the mic stand he murdered on Top 3 performance night and the lost art of the saxophone solo.

Press PLAY for the full Q&A, and follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV for all my reality TV exclusives, interviews, videos and recaps!