'American Idol's Caleb Johnson Called Fans the R-Word, But Will It Affect His Votes?

Yikes. How does one go about offending half your fanbase before you're really even that famous? American Idol 's Caleb Johnson might have found a way, and that way is by describing them all as retards. We've got a winner here! The evidence lies in an interview Johnson did with AfterBuzz TV, specifically in his response to a question about if social media's changed for him since American Idol bought him his fifteen minutes of fame:

Yeah, it gives access to a bunch of retards to talk to me. And I don’t, y’know, really enjoy having to see somebody tell me what song I need to sing. I think at this point in the competition, I can pick and choose my own songs that represent me in the best [way]; I don’t need 10,000 people saying, ‘You should sing this, you should sing that! Listen to me, listen to me!’ Fortunately, guys, I’m gonna listen to myself — whether you like it or not.

What a classy fellow! Apparently he didn't get the memo that the word retard is a slur best left on '90s middle school playgrounds (really not even there) and never used again.

But will a public gaffe like this skew Johnson's chances to break into American Idol's Top 3? He did respond to the comment — the thing is, his response was an apology to his fans for the perceived slight, with nary a mention of the word that's grabbing people's attention. He did acknowledge the juvenile element of it all, though:

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 ! 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 !:)

This comes after Johnson apparently poked fun at dangerous peanut allergies, telling Ryan Seacrest that one fun prank he liked to play was putting peanuts in the socks of fellow contestant Alex Preston. He apologized for that one, too, but who knows how it'll affect his chances of slipping in the votes.