The newly crowned American Idol is still getting used to his quick plunge into fame. Phillip Phillips, 21, is already one of the singing competition’s most successful winners. The debut of his coronation song “Home” is second only to Ruben Studdard‘s “Flying Without Wings,” according to Billboard. “Home” sold 278,000 copies in its first week, right behind Studdard’s 286,000 copies according to Nielson SoundScan.

“It’s doing really well. I didn’t expect that at all. I feel so blessed,” he told MIX 96.5/Houston. “It’s crazy. It still hasn’t sunk in for me at all, none of this. It doesn’t seem like it’s me.”

The soft-spoken Lessburg, Georgia, native overcame major health obstacles in addition to the challenge of the show. Kidney problems almost forced him out of the competition and into the surgery room.

“There was a couple times it just started hurting so bad I just wanted to get out and get the surgery done,” he said. “There were some tough times.”

Phillips says he had a top-notch medical team to make sure he was safe to continue on the show. Despite this, his family and girlfriend were worried.

“They got pretty nervous for me,” he said. “They wanted me to be healthy first. But I tried to pull it out, you know? I didn’t want to give up because I wanted it pretty bad.”

A record 132 million votes were cast in the Season 11 finale, so it’s no surprise Phillip Phillips encounters throngs of fans wherever he goes. But he admits his popularity is something he is still getting used to.

“Everywhere I go I get bombarded. Sometimes it gets a little scary when a lot of people get around you. But I make it fun especially if it’s kids ’cause I’m still a fan of so many other people, I’d probably act like a little girl if I saw somebody I’m a fan of.”

Phillips said he will be healthy and ready to go by the time the American Idols Live Tour rolls around. And hopefully before then he’ll spend some time to rest at home in Georgia.

“I haven’t been back home yet,” he said. “I want to go back and see what’s going on, just to be able to relax in my home and to be around my family and my friends I haven’t seen in awhile. That’s what I miss.”

He’s already got some songs on paper for his debut album, but they’re a little different from what you’ve heard.

“It’s not going be like ‘Home.’ It’s going to be a little bit more rock and jazz, and some acoustic stuff.”

– Drew Sabetti Mix 96.5/Houston


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