Last week, Season 11 "American Idol" champion Phillip Phillips was presented with his first gold record plaque, for his coronation single "Home"--and now the song is going gold in a whole other way, now that it has become a coronation song of sorts for another popular televised competition, the London Olympics. Since NBC started using the triumphant, Mumford-&-Sons-reminiscent, marching-band-assisted homecoming ballad during its U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team coverage, in multiple prominent prime-time promos this week, the tune has vaulted more than 80 spots on the iTunes singles chart, all the way back to number 1.
For the 23 million people who tuned in for "Idol's" Season 11 finale in May--at which newly crowned winner Phillip sang "Home" in tears and then ran into the crowd to embrace his proud parents--hearing "Home" again surely reignited warm feelings. However, many of the more than 41 million viewers who watched women's gymnastics this week, who were likely hearing "Home" for the very first time, made an entirely new victorious association with the sentimental song--as it soundtracked the even more emotional Olympic journeys of gymnastic hopefuls like Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, and Gabby Douglas. The Olympics exposure has thus granted a rare second life for "Home," in an age when most "Idol" coronation songs plummet down the charts shortly after the "Idol" finale confetti has been swept away.
As reported earlier, in May "Home" set an impressive digital sales record for "Idol" coronation songs, with more than 278,000 downloads in its debut week. Yet at the time of his "Idol" win, Phillip surprisingly stated that the song--which was not written by Phillip, but by Drew Pearson and Greg Holden--actually was not representative of the type of music he'd hoped to record for his debut album, saying: "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."
However, with "Home"--which was also used during the Olympic Trials earlier this year--now representing a whole team of bona fide American idols over in London, it's likely that Phillip is prouder of the song than before. He has since seemed to warm to the tune, as he recently told Yahoo!'s Reality Rocks: "I've grown to like the song. I mean, I've always liked the song, but it's a little different from what I write....Now [on tour] I kind of sing it like me, and on the guitar I do some different strummings on some parts, so it's coming along."
Watch Phillip's new, unique acoustic version below, performed exclusively for Yahoo!:
- Music cut from NBC's Opening Ceremony coverage
- Full guide to music at the London Olympics
- Latest London Olympics coverage