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Hometown: Leesburg, Georgia
Heartbreaking fact: He has a girlfriend.
Phillip Phillips, the boy so talented his parents named him twice. This 21-year-old American Idol Season 11 contestant grew up in Sasser and Leesburg, Georgia, and has made it into the Top 13 contestants for this season. In his Savannah audition, Phillip performed an animated rendition of Stevie Wonder’s hit, “Superstition.” Prior to landing on Idol, he worked in his family's pawn shop and studied industrial systems technology at Albany Technical College.
According to Albany Uncovered, Phillip started playing music when he was 14, and is a frequent performer in Albany, Georgia, gigging with the band G&S or with his younger sister. In addition to singing, Phillip also plays the bass, piano, and drums. Phillip names Dave Matthews, Johnny Lang, Mumford & Sons, and Tool among his musical influences.
Don’t expect Phillip to be singing a ton of love songs; he tells The Albany Journal: “I don’t like gushy love songs or songs that are just stupid and make no sense at all. If you write a love song, make it different — don’t just write, ‘I love you baby, you are so wonderful …!’ It aggravates me.
True to his own word, Phillip has made some non-traditional song choices during his time on Idol. Some, like Dave Matthews Band's "The Stone," didn't go over so well the judges. But his gamble on lesser-known tunes like Damien Rice's "Volcano" helped launch him into the finale show. Not that the Season 11 heartthrob has ever lacked support from voters! He's the only contestant never to have touched the Bottom 3 or 2 during the show.
Pitted against pint-sized diva Jessica Sanchez in the Top 2, it was difficult to choose between the two formidable finalists. But Phillip's performance of the original song "Home" during the first half of the Idol finale all but proved that he had a serious chance of taking home the crown.
On May 23, 2012, a record 132 million votes declared Phillip the winner of American Idol Season 11!