Sorry, Alabama. Its now official North Carolina is the go-to state for American Idols.
With Asheville rocker Caleb Johnsons win on the TV singing competition late Wednesday, the Tar Heel State can now claim three Idol winners Season 3s Fantasia Barrino, Season 10s Scotty McCreery and now Season 13s Johnson.
Before Wednesday, North Carolina and Alabama had been tied with two Idols apiece. (Alabama can claim Season 2s Ruben Studdard and Season 5s Taylor Hicks.)
You deserve it, take it all in! Welcome to the family! McCreery, the Garner native and current N.C. State University student, tweeted to Johnson on Wednesday night.
North Carolinas dominance is even more impressive when you look at those from the state who didnt win the Idol title but still went on to successful music careers:
• Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken (now a Democratic congressional candidate) is in fourth place in all-time Idol album sales. (Studdard, who won that season, is sixth.)
• Season 5s Chris Daughtry finished fourth but is third all-time in album sales.
• Season 5s Kellie Pickler finished sixth but is eighth all-time in album sales.
So, of the Top 10 in sales figures for all Idol contestants, five are from North Carolina Daughtry (third), Aiken (fourth), Barrino (fifth), McCreery (seventh) and Pickler (eighth). The two biggest sellers by far are Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood (more than 14.5 million albums sold) and Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson (more than 12.7 million albums sold.)
Johnson, 23, wasnt the only North Carolinian in this years Idol final 10. Goldsboros Majesty Rose, 22, finished ninth.
Two others from North Carolina made the Top 10 in their seasons Season 5s Bucky Covington (finished eighth) and Season 7s Anoop Desai (finished tied for sixth).
A favorite all season, Johnson defeated Jena Irene, 17, of Farmington Hills, Mich., in the finals.
Johnson, Irene and Rose will tour with the rest of this seasons Top 10 this summer. The American Idol Live! tour will be at the Durham Performing Arts Center on July 13.
As previous Idol winners have, Johnson released a debut single, As Long As You Love Me, before he won. His album will be released on Aug. 12.
Ogburn: 919-829-8987; Twitter: @thadogburn