Caleb Johnson is learning to choose his words carefully when it comes to life in the spotlight.
Following a recent American Idol performance episode in which the remaining finalists sang tracks selected for them by fans, the aspiring rocker went off a bit on the experience and on Internet users in general.
"I don’t really enjoy having to see somebody telling me what song I need to sing," Johnson said. "I think at this point of the competition, I can pick and choose my own songs and represent me."
It was the producers' idea, of course, to have viewers select the singles for a week, but Caleb then got himself into major trouble when asked about the affect social media now has on American Idol.
"It gives access to a bunch of retards to talk to me," he replied.
Following a wave of criticism for using this word in such a pejorative context, Johnson issued an apology over the weekend via Facebook.
"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," he wrote, adding:
"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!"
Earlier this season, Johnson was also stated a mea culpa after seemingly making light of people with life-threatening peanut allergies.
He's one of four contestants remaining on American Idol.