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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 13

'American Idol' winner Caleb Johnson: I've opened doors for future winners to be all types, shapes, sizes, and genres

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/22/2014 

Caleb Johnson apparently feels he's paved the way for American Idol winners in the future to be very different from the norm.

"I think for me, winning opens doors to all types of shapes and sizes and genres to come on the show and kill it," the old-school rocker told reporters following Wednesday night's finale, according to People.

"I'm probably the antithesis of what American Idols have been."

Johnson, a 22-year-old from Asheville, NC, admitted he definitely didn't think his image served as an advantage throughout the competition. Even runner-up Jena Irene Asciutto's mother reportedly didn't see Johnson taking the cake.

"It's funny because Jena's mom couldn't picture me as the American Idol, she told me that. I mean, seriously, look at me, it's so crazy to me!" Johnson said, People reported.

"I think this is the first season that a rock singer has won. Not just pop rock but actual rock 'n roll. And some of the viewers that watch didn't like it because they are used to the show being very nice-looking people and I think that this is so cool... and incredibly humbling."

Winning despite his appearance apparently wasn't the only thing that humbled Johnson this season. The singer had auditioned for American Idol twice before yet never made the cut, and in the show's thirteenth season, somehow he pulled off a victory.

"After the past seasons, I went home and I busted my butt, wrote music and played out shows and I just worked and worked and worked and worked," said Johnson, who suffered a vocal cord hemorrhage in the last two weeks of competition. "That's why I'm so comfortable now on stage as you see me. It's just a natural thing because all the groundwork I did at home."

Johnson reportedly plans to release an album in August and his music will vary drastically. For example, he's considering creating a "zombie rock opera."

"You have to embrace the people that love you because you're making a difference in people's lives and you're making them feel something with your music," Johnson told reporters, according to People. "That I think is the biggest key: to stay grounded and focused and stay true to who you are as a person."

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