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24
3 YEARS

'American Idol' Winner Phillip Phillips: 'I Put the Music First'

The season 11 champion discusses his post-"Idol" plans, his female fan base, and how he's not just another "White Guy With A Guitar."

Phillip Phillips
Michael Becker/FOX
Phillip Phillips

American Idol champion Phillip Phillips has a message for his female voting base: He’s not just another pretty face.

“If a girl votes for me because I’m cute, then it’s not about the music,” said the season 11 winner in a conference call with reporters on Friday. “I’m not trying to be a cute guy trying to be successful … [I put] the music first.”

Phillips was declared the winner in the show’s penultimate episode after his performance of the Drew Pearson-penned “Home” drew raves from the judges. The song is currently No. 1 on iTunes, and although Phillips is happy that people enjoyed it, he is emphatic that its populist melodies are not in line with who he is as an artist.

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“It’s a little too pop for me,” the 21-year-old Leesburg, Ga., who told THR’s Idol Worship he has several songs written for his debut. “I don’t put in any ‘ooohs’ [in my songs]. It’s a very good song and I’m glad people like it, but I’m a little more rock than that. So hopefully people will enjoy what I put out -- some jazz rock stuff.”

When asked if he agrees with comparisons to previous “White Guy With Guitar” Idol winners, Phillips insists he is a different breed of axe-man, and looks to guitarists like Eric Clapton for inspiration.

“I feel I am a lot different than the other guys that play guitar and sing, because I’m not that great of a singer,” he said. “I play guitar a lot different than they do. I don’t just strum chords here and there.”

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Said Phillips of his anti-style, he’s proud that he “stuck to his guns.”

“I knew I wasn’t going to change for anybody if I didn’t feel comfortable,” he said.

For now, Phillips is enjoying his post-Idol win, and said he will be “100 percent” ready for the tour after surgery on his right kidney.

How did he celebrate his first night of his reign?

“I went to a couple of parties ... but not too long,” he said. “I wish I had left a little earlier because I am running low on sleep.”