Many "American Idol" experts felt it was a foregone conclusion that Phillip Phillips would win the show's eleventh season, but if things had gone a bit differently, the 21-year-old pawnshop worker from Georgia might not have been around to win at all. He told reporters Thursday in a phone press conference that he considered dropping out due to his ongoing health problems.
Phillips' dad told People magazine that over the course of the competition, his son had no less than eight different operations and he needs another one. Phillip told reporters, "You know, I had some bad days and I had some pretty good days. It was rough at times, and there were a couple times I thought about just dropping out to get the surgery done but the doctors helped me out a lot."
So what's wrong with him, exactly? Phillip told reporters Thursday, "My right kidney just kind of isn't functioning, and I have a stent in to help with that." Phillip said he's not sure when he'll have surgery again, but he expects to be back to "100-percent" by the time the "Idol" tour starts.
Speaking about his victory, which he claimed he never saw coming, Phillip said he feels any girl who voted for him just because he's good-looking doesn't really care about his music. "I'm all about the music," he said. "I'm not trying to be some cute guy who's trying to be successful off that. I really want the music to come first, and I really want people to try to feel it and have fun like I do with it."
Phillip also made it clear that it was important to him to stick to his guns artistically during the competition, and do the kind of music that he wanted to. Explaining why he often ignored the originally melody of songs and completely rearranged them, he said, "I wanted to get the world ready for what kind of album I want to put out and, you know, I can't be doing something that's not me."
Something else that's not him? His coronation single, "Home." Despite raves from "Idol" critics and fans alike, Phillip said he doesn't really consider the track to be his "first single." "It was a little too pop for me," he told reporters. "I really don't put in any 'Ooh, ooh, ooohs' [in my songs]." He added, "It's a very good song, you know, and I'm glad people like it, but I guess I'm little more rock than that." In fact, he wanted to put out one of his original songs, but he said he wasn't able to get it together, time-wise. He describes his music as "jazz-rock stuff."
The newly-minted champ also commented on rumors that Jennifer Lopez might be leaving the show next season. "That would be horrible," he said. "You know, 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, you know, hopefully she stays."