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MAR
7
6 MOS

Phillip Phillips Talks New Single, Return to 'American Idol' Stage (Video)

The season 11 champ debuts "Raging Fire" on the Fox show's March 6 episode.

Phillip Phillips American Idol season 13 P
Michael Becker / Fox

Phillip Phillips was full of surprises when he sat down to chat with The Hollywood Reporter right after premiering his new single, “Raging Fire,” on Thursday’s live results show, especially when it came to how he felt during his American Idol performance, his latest release, watching his progress on the charts and hearing “Home” on the Summer Olympics.

Despite touring the world and sharing the bill with artists like Bruce Springsteen and John Mayer, Phillips was very nervous during his return to the Idol stage. “I was like a kid meeting Santa for the first time,” he admitted. “I get so nervous on live television because you can’t change it if you mess up.”

Phillips didn’t mess up, despite the fact that “Raging Fire” is a brand-new song. “Derek [Fuhrmann], Todd [Clark] and I literally wrote that song a week and a half ago. Todd and I were working on a different idea. He had half of the first verse and we said let’s try something else. It wasn’t working out, so I said let's go back to the original idea. I’m glad we did because I really like this song. We got it mixed and mastered in a few days. On a Tuesday, the label said they wanted to put it out the following Monday.”

PHOTOS: 'American Idol' iHeartRadio Concert: Colton Dixon, Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez Take the Stage in New York

A lyric video is posted online now (see below)(. Phillips said he has a “cool idea” for the video and hopes to have it in production soon. As for his sophomore album, recording is, according to Phillips, “Done!” He elaborated: “It’s a little heavier, a little darker lyrically and musically, but there are also some nice love songs on there. Some different emotions, so I’m excited for it.”

Despite the fact that he has accumulated 20 Billboard No. 1s, Phillips says when it comes to his chart positions, “I’d rather not know. That way if something is doing badly, I don’t have to care.” But does he care about his new single and album reaching No. 1? “I’d be thrilled but I always expect the worst and hope for the best. That’s what I learned growing up.”

VIDEO: Phillip Phillips Releases New Single, 'Raging Fire'

When THR pointed out that he will probably have to perform his first two hits, “Home” and “Gone, Gone, Gone,” at every live show he does for the rest of his life, Phillips responded, “They’ve helped me get my feet on the ground, so I don’t mind playing them. I might change them up so they won’t sound like the original versions.”

Phillips was also asked how he felt hearing “Home” played during NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics. “I never got to hear it in the Olympics,” he revealed. “Every time I could watch, they wouldn’t play it. When I couldn’t watch, I would get texts saying, ‘I heard your song again.’ I could never catch it!”

As for the season 13 finalists, Phillips said, “I got to meet them. They were really nice and genuine. I told them to have fun, enjoy and be themselves. And know what they want out of their careers.”