Georgia pawn shop worker Phillip Phillips won the 11th season of "American Idol" Wednesday night, and when he spoke to reporters backstage following his emotional win, he still seemed to be in a fog, even forgetting to speak directly into the microphone at the start of his press conference. When asked if he'd ever expected he would make it to this point, the dazed and bemused Idol quickly shook his head.
"Honestly, man, I didn't even think I would make it to see the judges," he confessed. "I have no shame in saying that I'm not a great singer. I just love having fun up onstage jamming with the guys, and playing good music, man. I like getting the crowd into it. Music's fun, dude...I have no idea how stuff like this ['Idol' victory] happens. I just love playing music, and I'm just a lucky guy."
When asked if he thought he would prevail after Tuesday night's top two competition show, an incredulous Phillip gave powerhouse runner-up Jessica Sanchez--who some fans might argue was "robbed"--total props, answering: "No! Did you see Jessica's last performance?" Phillips also cited a standout performance by another powerhouse, Joshua Ledet's "It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World," as one of his favorites of the entire season.
As for his own music, Phillip was quick to point out that his coronation song, "Home," which was written by Drew Pearson and Greg Holden, is not representative of the type of music he hopes to record for his debut album. "No, I don't really write stuff like that. It's a very good song, very good writers, and I'm glad people are enjoying it, but I'm excited to do my own stuff," he said.
(Editor's admittedly totally opinionated note: "Home" is amazing, and it just might have been what gave Phillip the edge this week. Phillip should really reconsider, and keep going in that direction! It's also somewhat ironic that Jessica was harshly critiqued by the judges for singing a coronation song, "Change Nothing," that she admitted was a deviation from the musical path she wants to take...and then Phillip, who was praised for veering away from his typical jam-band sound with "Home," says he doesn't want to go down that path either. Apparently both coronation songs were misrepresentative!)
Anyway, before doing any recording, Phillip will undergo much-needed kidney stone surgery, which he's been putting off throughout the season, as soon as possible after his round of "Idol" promo. Speaking about enduring so much physical pain during the competition, Phillip revealed, "It was very tough, you know? But I had great doctors, and great people surrounding me, and it's just a blessing to be here now."