It’s that time of the “American Idol” season when the contestants’ bodies start to give in on them. The singers are working seven days a week with very little sleep, so it’s no wonder they’re starting to get sick. But could you tell that Caleb Johnson, who brought the house down with his Top 8 redux closer version of Journey’s “Faithfully,” was suffering from bronchitis?
“We actually had to lower the key just to get me through the song because on Monday it was just awful,” Johnson tells Zap2it and a small group of reporters backstage after the show. “We had to just stop to let me rest because I couldn’t get through it. I had to go see the doctor and they just kept giving me shots and finally it broke yesterday.”
Actually, Johnson says he’s been to the doctor three times since last week’s performance show. “My windpipes just shut down. And in rehearsal today my voice went out,” he says. In fact, his performance wasn’t perfect. “If you go back and watch it, my voice kind of went out towards the end of the song. My voice started cracking and I just thought, ‘Oh, god.’ I was like ‘Oh Jesus, just let me get through it. It is only a minute and 30.'”
It was especially fun for Johnson to talk to “Idol” mentor Randy Jackson about his time playing in the band. “I had such a blast talking to Randy about the experience of being with Journey,” he says. “It was so fun and such an honor.”
The next victim of the “Idol” plague is Dexter Roberts. “Dexter is sick a little bit,” Johnson says — but it’s something that happens every season. “They say it always happens midseason. Rickey [Minor] said ‘You think you are fine and you can handle this but your body is telling you a whole different thing is going on. Every season it hits everybody.’ There is an exhaustion because we are now doing seven days a week.”
Luckily, the contestants have a doctor on hand to help them get better. “Our doctor is amazing. He helped me,” Roberts says. “It started two days before we had our mentor session with David [Cook]. I couldn’t talk whatsoever. When we were going into rehearsals I’m glad they didn’t show the whole clip of me because it was bad. I got in there and started singing in the bathroom just to warm myself up because it was early in the morning and I cracked and I was like oh man, my voice just went. Oh god. It was bad. He just told me to get better and I just went to the doctor and he fixed me right up. I’m telling you, in a matter of four hours I was better.”