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Media Interview With Phillip Phillips
American Idol

Media Interview With Phillip Phillips 

Moderator Welcome to the American Idol Winner Conference call with Phillip Phillips. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I’ll now turn this conference over to Molly O’Gara for opening remarks

M. O’Gara Good morning, everyone. Thank you for dialing into the American Idol Conference Call with Philip Phillips. As always, he’s here to discuss his experience on Idol and his plans moving forward. As a reminder, if we do feel anyone is harping on any one topic we do reserve the right to move on. With that said we’ll go ahead and take the first question. Thanks.

Moderator Our first question will come from the line of Mark Stone of Castanet Media.

M. Stone Congratulations. You won American Idol.

P. Phillips Yeah, thank you so much, man. It’s unreal.

M. Stone I’m sure. You’re probably relieved it’s over.

P. Phillips Yeah, I am. It’s kind of crazy it’s over too. I’ve got a whole new schedule I’m getting used to.

M. Stone No doubt. Now that it’s over do you feel any pressure now to achieve mainstream success? Like how do you deal with that?

P. Phillips It’s pretty crazy, but I’m not trying to be or do something like too mainstream or anything that’s not me, but if I happen to get mainstream that’s cool. I mean, I’m willing to do that. It’d be cool if people enjoy the music that I put out and I’m excited that I’m getting a record out.

M. Stone Just a quick follow-up, other than the performances you were involved in what was your favorite moment from last night?

P. Phillips Probably Jessica and Jennifer’s performance. That was outstanding.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Rodney Ho of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

R. Ho I was wondering how did the choice of the original song Home come about. Did they give you a bunch of different options?

P. Phillips No not really. They kind of just threw that song out there, and they felt like it was the right fit for me. I wanted to do one of my own songs that I’ve written. Just in the short amount of time we couldn’t really do it with recording live and everything. It’s a good song but it’s not really something I would write but I’m glad people liked it because it was a good song and a good writer.

R. Ho What will your sound be like? How do you describe what you’re new albums going to be like?

P. Phillips Kind of like jazz and rock and acoustic stuff, maybe a little different. I’m really excited to get it out there. It’s going to be cool.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Patrick Gomez of People Magazine.

P. Gomez I was listening to your interview this morning that you did last night with Ryan Seacrest. He aired it on the radio today, and he was talking about how your girlfriend was in the room. I was just hoping you could talk a little bit about you actually getting to spend time with her maybe now and how she feels about the win. Is she going to be going on tour with you?

P. Phillips Yeah, man. She’s so excited for me and she’s helped me out a lot through this. I’m hoping she’ll be able to come on tour with me. I’d be cool to have her there and she supported me throughout all this and I love her to death.

P. Gomez And obviously your adoring female fans came out in record numbers to vote for you. Is that something she’s comfortable with, like so many girls screaming for you?

P. Phillips Yeah. I mean for us and especially for me it’s a girl that just votes for me because I’m cute and then gets mad if I have a girlfriend that she didn’t really like the music. I’m all about the music. I’m not trying to be some cute guy who’s trying to be successful off of that. I really want the music to come first, and really want people to try to feel it and have fun like I do with it.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Michael Weinfeld of the Associated Press.

M. Weinfeld Your emotions took over while you were singing your single after winning. Did that surprise you?

P. Phillips Yeah, man. I didn’t even really want to sing or anything. I was just so shocked and I just started thinking about the whole top 12 … and just started thing about our whole journey. It’s just so crazy now that it’s over. It was a tough road for all of us, and it was just amazing to get to know them. It just kind of got me a little emotional.

M. Weinfeld Can you explain exactly what is wrong with your kidneys and what kind of surgery you’re going to be having and when?

P. Phillips It’s just my right kidney just kind of isn’t functioning, and I have a stent in to help with that. I just kind of have to get that fixed up pretty soon.

M. Weinfeld And that’s with the surgery?

P. Phillips Yes, sir.

M. Weinfeld You don’t know—pretty soon you’ll know a particular date?

P. Phillips Yeah. Not quite yet but pretty soon.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Jamie Ruby of Scifivision.com.

J. Ruby What were you thinking when Ryan announced your name at first? What were kind of the first thoughts that went through your head?

P. Phillips Honestly I don’t think I even had any thoughts. I was just shocked and just overwhelmed and didn’t know how to process it all. I didn’t know what I was thinking the whole rest of the night honestly.

J. Ruby How did you feel getting to sing with John Fogerty?

P. Phillips Oh, it was so awesome. He was such a nice guy, and it’s a pleasure being on stage with him, and he wished me the best. Hopefully, maybe in the future we’ll get to sing together again.

J. Ruby Lastly, do you think that you’re going to be moving with your success or do you think you’ll stay in Georgia for a while?

P. Phillips I think I’m most likely going to be moving. I’ve got to go after a lot of things and have to be in the right places so probably most likely will be moving.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Todd Betzold of Realitywanted.com.

T. Betzold I guess I’m just wondering besides being announced last night the winner of Season 11 what was your most favorite moment from the whole season either on camera or even off camera?

P. Phillips Just honestly it was meeting everybody throughout the show because I didn’t—I was just meeting a whole bunch of different kind of people and just everyone is so nice and they really want to help you out throughout the show like the PAs, the camera guys, producers, just everybody. It was just so awesome to meet everybody throughout the process.

T. Betzold Right. And I guess what are you looking most forward to with the summer tour with the top ten?

P. Phillips I’m ready just to jam out. It’s going to be fun and it’s hopefully the crowd’s feeling it. I just really want to—I don’t know if I’ll be singing a lot but there’s just going to be a lot of jam music.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Lindsey Deutsch of USA Today.

L. Deutsch I was wondering regarding your kidney surgery if you were planning to have it or where you were planning to have the surgery?

P. Phillips I’m still not quite sure yet but I’m going to be having it pretty soon.

L. Deutsch Are you going to miss any of the tour dates of Idols Live? I know that the surgery has a bit of a recovery time.

P. Phillips No. I’m not really missing anything. I’ll be 100% by the end so I’m excited.

L. Deutsch What did Jessica say to you, I guess, after it was announced that you were idol?

P. Phillips She was just so proud of me. She said she knew it but I honestly didn’t know. I honestly thought she was going to win. She had such an amazing voice, and we’re just so proud of each other anyways no matter the outcome.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Matt Carter of TheExaminer.com.

M. Cater I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to check this or not yet but I think Home right now is No. 1 on iTunes and you’ve got like ten songs all in the top 100 from this season. How crazy does that feel?

P. Phillips That’s pretty insane. That’s such a blessing and I’m ready to get my own stuff out there as well.

M. Carter Oh, yeah, for sure. Well, one of the things I’ve got to ask you about because this kind of just dominated the comedy portion of Hollywood Week and all of that is your friendship with Heejun. When did that start up and how much contact have you been keeping with each other even when Heejun went home?

P. Phillips Yeah, man, we had one day during Hollywood Week it was right before the group round actually I think, and we just kind of clicked, and he’s a really great guy. We still keep in touch and he’s got a big future ahead of him.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Amy Reiter of the Los Angeles Times.

A. Reiter I’m wondering kind of looking back what do you feel like you learned about yourself as a musician and just as a person from your experience on Idol?

P. Phillips It’s good to just not let people try to change you because it gets tough when a lot of opinions are coming your way trying to tell you what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. But I tried to tell everybody you know yourself better than anyone else knows you and you know what’s best for you. I’m kind of proud of how I stuck to my guns.

A. Reiter Did you feel a lot of pressure to kind of conform to somebody else’s idea of what your music should be or how you should dress? I know that came up at some point. What were some of the pressures that you felt?

P. Phillips I didn’t really feel too much pressure because I knew that I wasn’t going to change for anybody. Like if I didn’t feel comfortable doing something I wasn’t going to do it, and I never really felt pressure because I knew no one could make me do anything. They just throw their opinions out there and hopefully you’ll take them but sometimes you just don’t.

A. Reiter And you felt like you were sort of given the leeway to make your own choices?

P. Phillips Yeah. I mean, no one really threatened me or anything to try to change. They knew I was going to be who I am and that’s all I could do.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Stephanie Jones of PopCultureMadness.com.

S. Jones How have you adjusted to or dealt with being in the spotlight since the competition started?

P. Phillips I’m still adjusting. It’s pretty crazy. I’m not used to all this attention and stuff because I hate being the center of attention. And it’s pretty crazy right now, so I’m still trying to take all of it in piece-by-piece, but it’s definitely different.

S. Jones Then, if you could perform with any artist dead or alive who would you like to collaborate with?

P. Phillips Oh, man, that’s a tough question. There are so many people; Eric Clapton and Damien Rice and all those guys. There are so many people, and Rob Thomas, too many people.

Moderator Our next question will be from the line of Lyndsey Parker of Yahoo! Music.

L. Parker Now, it has to be addressed; there have been some comparisons in the media that I feel are a bit unfair sort of comparing you to the last four American Idol winners. How do you feel about that when you hear those kinds of comparisons? A lot of them brought up by people who were more fans of Jessica Sanchez and that sort of thing.

P. Phillips It’s just people’s opinions. If they really look at the past guy contestants who won we’re all different in our ways, but I feel I’m really different; actually, a lot different than the other ones who played the guitar and sang because I’m not that great of a singer. They were probably singers than I am but I play guitar a lot different than they did. I don’t really just strum cords here and there. I have to do something a little different with maybe—I know some people have noticed it like Randy and all those people and a lot of other people so I feel like I’m different.

L. Parker How come you’re always saying that you’re not a great singer? You said that last night actually during the press conference. You’re always sort of downplaying your singing ability.

P. Phillips I don’t feel I’m that great. I’m not an outstanding—I can’t hit all these high notes and everything, but I do something. I try to hit some kind of note. I don’t know if it’s good or not but I try to do something with it.

L. Parker So if you don’t feel you were necessarily the best singer in the competition what do you think it was about you that gave you the edge that would have compensated for that?

P. Phillips I don’t know. I guess I did a lot of people’s songs that’s what I did with music because I’m really passionate about it and maybe they felt that what I did, how I changed some songs up and everything.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Michele Angermiller of Hollywood Reporter.

M. Angermiller Question for you, how did you celebrate your victory last night?

P. Phillips Went to a couple of parties, you know, not for too long, and wish I would have left a little bit earlier because I’m kind of running low on some sleep. I went there and went to a couple of parties and just kind of hung out for a few minutes and went home and tried to get some rest.

M. Angermiller Now, you kept saying that Home isn’t the kind of song that you would put out. You said that you told producers that it wasn’t your single. Can you elaborate on that?

P. Phillips Yeah. It’s a little too pop for me. I don’t really put in any oh, oh, ohs, you know, oh-oh-oh. But it’s a very good song, and I’m glad people like it. I’m a little more rock than that and so hopefully people will enjoy what I have to put out; some jazz rock stuff.

M. Angermiller Do you have any songs written?

P. Phillips Oh, yes. I have a pretty good amount, not too many. Not like oh, my gosh, how many but I’m really critical of my writing and music stuff. I’m really passionate about it.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Paige Feigenbaum of Entertainment Tonight. As a reminder, please limit yourself to one question and one follow-up and re-queue if necessary.

P. Feigenbaum I know somebody touched on this briefly earlier. Do you think that your health will have any impact whatsoever on your ability to sustain the rigorous tour schedule coming up?

P. Phillips I should be good to go by tour. I should be 100% and I’m excited for it.

P. Feigenbaum There have been some rumors that Jennifer Lopez may not be returning next season. Can you tell me how much of an asset she has been to give you critiques on the show and if you would miss her if she weren’t there to watch next season?

P. Phillips Yeah. That would be horrible. They all gave us advice. They were very helpful and they wanted all of us to win. She’s done this for years and she knows her stuff, and she cares about each one of us, and she’s a great woman and hopefully she stays.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel.

H. Boedeker Watching you I wondered about this; how bad were you feeling during this show and were you ever in danger of leaving the show?

P. Phillips Like throughout the season?

H. Boedeker How bad were you feeling during the run of Idol?

P. Phillips Yeah. I mean, I had some bad days and I had some pretty good days. It was rough at times and there were a couple of times I thought about just going ahead and getting out and getting the surgery done but had a lot of great doctors and a lot of great people who helped me out through this so I’m blessed to have that.

H. Boedeker Were you ever in danger of leaving though?

P. Phillips Yeah. Like I said, I came close to almost kind of dropping out to get the surgery done but the doctors helped me out a lot through it.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Gina Salamone of the New York Daily News.

G. Salamone The ratings for American Idol dropped significantly this season. Any ideas what the reason for that was and do you think there’s anything the show or you guys as performers could have done differently?

P. Phillips I don’t know. Everyone has their interest in everything so some people might like it, some people might not. That’s what makes the world go around.

G. Salamone Was that something that you guys were conscious of during the show at all or did it not even faze you?

P. Phillips No it didn’t even faze us. We don’t have time to really pay attention to those kinds of things. We just go out there and do our thing and just have fun.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Andrea Dresdale of ABC News Radio.

A. Dresdale Just wondering much was made this season of you not singing the melody. They just kept on asking you to sing the melody and they would sort of admonish you if you didn’t. Did you sort of have this perverse thing where like you just didn’t want to sing the melody because people were telling you to or it just felt comfortable to you to just constantly change all the songs?

P. Phillips Yeah. That’s just how I am. I sang the melody on a few songs just to show them that I could but I wanted to get the world ready for what kind of album I want to put out, and I can’t be doing something that’s not me. I had a blast doing it and knew that some people would enjoy it.

A. Dresdale And during the time you were trying to get through you said your doctors helped you, your family helped you, your girlfriend helped you. Was there a particular song or a particular artist’s music that would help you as well get through the tough times with the pain?

P. Phillips Yes, so many artists. I listen to so many different songs and music helps me out a lot so I would listen—I love Eric Clapton and John Butler, and I love some of Eminem’s lyrics. He’s an amazing … on a lot of songs and a whole bunch of different things in music.

Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Mesha McDaniel of Celebrity Profile.

M. McDaniel You seemed very composed last night and you even said you had about nine or ten hours of sleep. Was there a gut feeling that you had that you could take away this thing and that you would actually win?

P. Phillips No, honestly I didn’t think I was going to win at all. I was sort of caught off guard and was just such in awe.

M. McDaniel Every time you take the stage all the girls go crazy of you and it’s not just your singing but there is something about you that they really like; your looks of course. Now, if you were single what type of girl would you be attracted to?

P. Phillips I don’t know. I just have to really get to know them. Just have fun and everything and they definitely have to have my sense of humor. I have a strange sense of humor so definitely have to just get to know the person.

Moderator Due to time constraints our last question will come from the line of Anne Bailey of The Two Cents.

A. Bailey Did you have any inkling from the beginning that you might win?

P. Phillips I had no idea. I didn’t even think I would make it in front of the judges. I just feel so blessed to have all this happening. It’s still unreal to me. I’m still trying to take it all in.

A. Bailey If you could go back is there one performance that you would change or that you would do differently?

P. Phillips Yes. Well, I wouldn’t change. I would have like to have heard a lot more sound in my inner ears in Time of the Season because that was a pretty bad performance, but you can’t go back and change it. You can’t be mad about it so it’s all over with now.

Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference call for today. I’d like to thank you for your participation and thank you for using AT&T. Have a wonderful day. You may now disconnect.

Special Thanks to B Channel TV for the script.

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