American Idol has had multiple Carolinians see success, including Fantasia Barrino, Scotty McCreery and Kellie Pickler. But up until now, none have hailed from the Western Carolinas – and that has many in season 13 winner Caleb Johnson's hometown of Asheville, NC beyond thrilled.
"We're just so thrilled that someone from Western North Carolina has won and we just think he has done an exceptional job," said a woman named Pat, who admitted that she and her husband only started watching the popular music show after learning someone from Asheville was a serious competitor.
"I think he must be an amazing young man. Even though he's a celeb he brought his brother on stage because it meant so much to him to be with KISS and I just think he's going to be a wonderful person to put out here from Western North Carolina," Pat said.
Thursday, FOX Carolina caught up with Pat and her husband, Richard, at the Tastee Diner in Western Asheville, one of Caleb Johnson's favorite eateries.
"Caleb and his family come in here and just a few weeks ago he stopped in during his hometown visit for our biscuits and gravy," said Tastee Diner owner David Hinson.
Also at the Tastee Diner was Jack Ingram, a former NASCAR superstar, who was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013. Having some experience with fame, Ingram had advice for the young star.
"Well he needs to treat his fans with all kinds of respect. If he turns against them, he'll go away," Ingram said.
Overall, people we spoke with said they were not only happy for Caleb, but happy the young rising star represented the state of North Carolina and the city of Asheville so well.
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