'American Idol' Champ Phillip Phillips on 'Home': 'I Told Them It's Not My Single' (Video)
The Season 11 champ discusses his winning song and why he's conflicted about it with THR special correspondent and "Idol" alum Didi Benami.
Some of the words American Idol champion Phillip Phillips used to describe his victory: "numb," "unreal," “crazy” and "overwhelming."
"I never expected any of this," the 21-year-old Leesburg, Georgia looker told The Hollywood Reporter moments after he was named season 11 winner. "It hasn't sunk in yet. It's such a blessing ... I'm kind of ready to try and comprehend it all."
But when it comes to Phillips' coronation song "Home," he's still coming to terms with its status as his first commercial single. “I don’t write songs like that,” he told reporters of the Greg Holden-Drew Pearson-penned track. “It’s a very good song and I’m glad people enjoyed it, but I’m itching to do my own stuff.”
Later on, he went one step further, telling THR's special correspondent (and Idol alum) Didi Benami, "The song that I did tonight that supposedly is my single, it's not really my single, I told them it's not my single." Phillips explained that his passion for lyrics and music trumps even the best pitched pop song. "I have my own stories to tell," he said, "[But] I couldn't do my song [on the finale]; we just didn't have enough time."
Not that he takes issue with the public's response to the Mumford-esque track. "I'm really glad people like the song," said Phillips. "It's a great song but I'm still ready to do my own thing." His upcoming album, Phillips revealed, would be a mix of "some acoustic stuff" with a "jazz and rock alternative sound; not really rock-rock -- pretty different."
Addressing the press after the show, Interscope Records chairman Jimmy Iovine said that he was anticipating a singer-songwriter album from Phillips that would be supervised by one producer. "Home," he added, only came to his attention "three days ago."
Phillips' teary end to Wednesday's finale was perhaps the best moment of the night, and he was still emotional speaking to reporters backstage afterwards, noting that he would probably "cry some more" as the evening wore on.
Another quotable moment came when Phillips blurted, "I have no shame in saying it I’m not a great singer." Rather, he added, "I just love having fun on stage jamming with the guys and playing good music and getting the crowd into it.”
Indeed, there was one moment during Tuesday's show when Phillips took a moment to let the view sink in. "When Ryan was talking, I was just looking around, taking it all in looking at all the people there," he told THR. "It was very surreal."
Equally hard to register: that Phillips will have to undergo surgery in the coming weeks as he prepares for the Idol summer tour. Then again, Phillips says music is part of the healing process. "Music’s fun," he said. "It takes away a lot of pain that is going around."
Watch THR's post-finale interview with Phillips below.