Following is a transcript of American Idol winner Phillip Phillips
conference call with the nation’s media on Thursday morning:

  • Do you feel any pressure to achieve mainstream success?

“It’s pretty crazy, but I’m not trying to be or do something too mainstream—not me. It would be cool if people enjoy the music that I put out. I’m excited to get my record out.”

  • What was your favorite moment from last night?

“Probably Jessica and Jennifer’s performance. That thing was outstanding.”

  • How did the choice of the original song, “Home”, come about. Did you get a bunch of different options?

“No not really, man, they kinda just threw that song out there. They felt like it was the right fit for me I wanted to do my own songs. In the short am amount of time, we couldn’t do it—the recording laws and everything. It’s a good song. But it’s not really something I would write. I’m glad people like it because it is a good song and
a good writer.”

  • What will your sound be like?

“Kinda like jazz and rock and acoustic kind of stuff. I’m really excited to get it out there. It’s going to be cool.”

  • Will you be able to spend more time with your girlfriend? How does she feel about the win? Will she go on tour with you?

“She’s really excit ed for me. She’s helped me out a lot through this. I’m hoping she’ll be able to come on tour with me. I love her to death.”

  • Is your girlfriend comfortable with all your female fans?

“If a girl just voted for me because I’m cute and then gets mad that I have a girlfriend, then she didn’t like the music. I’m all about the music, man. I’m not trying to be some cute guy who’s trying to be successful off that now. I really want the music to come first.”

  • Were you surprised when you got emotional singing your winner’s song?

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

  • What is wrong with your
    kidneys? What kind of surgery will you be having and when?

“My right kidney just kind of isn’t functioning. I have this stint in to help with that. I’m just going to have to get that fixed up pretty soon.”

  • What were you thinking when Ryan announced your name?

“Honestly, I don’t even think I had any thoughts. I was in shock and overwhelmed, and didn’t know
how to process at all. I didn’t know what I was thinking the whole rest of the night, honestly.”

  • How did you feel about singing with John Fogerty?

“It was so awesome. He was such a nice guy. It was a pleasure being on stage with him. He wished me
the best and hopefully in the future we’ll get to sing together again.”

  • Will you be moving away from Georgia?

“I’m most likely going to be moving. I have to be in the right places.”

  • What was your favorite moment from the entire season?

“Honestly, it was meeting everybody throughout the show. Everyone’s so nice and really want to help you out. The PAs, the camera guys, the producers. Just everybody there. It was just so awesome there.”

  • What are you looking forward to on the summer tour?

“I’m ready just to jam out, man. It’s going to be fun. Hopefully the crowd’s feeling it. I don’t
know if I’ll be singing a lot. It’s going to be a lot of jam music.”

  • Where are you planning on having the kidney surgery?

“I’m still not quite sure yet, but I’m going to be having it pretty soon.”

  • Will you have to miss any tour dates?

“No, I’m not going to be missing anything. I’ll be 100 percent by the end. I’m excited.”

  • What did Jessica say to you after it was announced that you won?

“She said she was so proud of me. She said she knew it, but I honestly didn’t know. I honestly felt she was going to win, she has such an amazing voice. We’re just so proud of each other anyway, no matter the outcome.”

  • What is your reaction to having the No. 1 song on iTunes?

“It’s pretty insane, man. It’s such a blessing, dude. I’m ready to get my own stuff out there as well.”

  • Tell us about your friendship with Heejun.

“We met one day during Hollywood week—before group round I think. We just kind of clicked, He’s a really great guy and we still keep in touch. He’s got a big future ahead of him.”

  • What did you learn about yourself on Idol?

“It’s good not to let people try to change you. It gets tough with a lot of opinions coming your way trying to tell you what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. I try 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.”

  • Did you feel pressure to conform?

“I can’t say there was too much pressure because I knew that I wasn’t going to change for anybody. If I didn’t feel comfortable doing something, I wasn’t going to do it. I didn’t feel pressure, because none can make me do anything. They just throw their opinions out there and hopefully you’ll take them, but sometimes you just
don’t. No one really threatened me or anything to try and change. They knew I was going to be who I am. That’s all I could do.”

  • How have you adjusted to being in the spotlight since the competition started?

“I’m still adjusting. It’s pretty crazy. I’m not used to all this attention. I hate being the center
of attention. It’s pretty crazy right now. I’m still trying to take all of it in piece by piece, but it’s definitely different.”

  • If you could perform with any artist dead or alive, who would it be?

“I man. That’s a tough question. So many people. Eric Clapton, Damien Rice and all those guys. Rob Thomas. So many people.”

  • Talk about the comparison of you and the last four Idol winners.

“It’s just people’s opinions. If they really look at the past contestants who have won, we’re all different in our ways. I feel I’m a lot different than the other ones who played the guitar and sang. I’m not that great of as singer—they’re probably better singers than I am, but I play guitar a lot different than they did. I don’t really just strum chords here and there. I have to do something a little different. I know some people have noticed it,
like Randy. I feel like I’m different.”

  • Why don’t you think you’re a good singer?

“I don’t feel I’m that great. I’m not outstanding. I can’t hit all these high notes. I try to hit some kind of note! I don’t know if it’s good or not. I try to do something with it.”

  • What do you think gave you the edge in the competition if it wasn’t singing?

“I think a lot of people saw what I did with music, because I’m really passionate about it. Maybe they felt about what I did—how I changed some songs up and everything.”

  • How did you celebrate the win last night?

“Went to a couple of parties. Not for too long. Wish I would have left a little earlier because I’m kind of running low on some sleep. I went to a couple of parties and kind of hung out for a few minutes, and then went home and tried to get some rest.”

  • Can you elaborate on saying that you told producers that “Home” wasn’t your single?

“It’s a little too pop for me. I don’t’ really put in any “oh oh ohs”. It’s a very good song, and I’m glad people like it. I’m a little more rock than that. Hopefully people will enjoy what I have to put out. Some jazz/rock stuff.”

  • Do you have many songs written?

“Oh yes. I have a pretty good bit. I’m really critical of my writing and music stuff. I’m really passionate about it.”

  • Do you think your kidney surgery will affect your ability to keep up with a rigorous tour
    schedule?

“No. I should be good to go by tour. I should be 100% and I’m excited for it.”

  • Have you heard the rumors that Jennifer Lopez may leave the show?

“That would be horrible. They all gave us advice. They’re 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. Hopefully she stays.”

  • How bad were you feeling during the show and were you ever in danger of leaving the show?

“I had some bad days and I had some pretty good days. It was rough at times. A couple times I thought about just going ahead and getting out and getting the surgery done. I had a lot of great doctors and a lot of great people who helped me out through this. I’m blessed to have that.”

  • Were you ever in danger of leaving?

“Yeah. I came close to almost dropping out to get the surgery done. But the doctors helped me out a lot through it.”

  • What do you think about the drop in ratings for American Idol this season?

“Everyone has their interest in everything, some people might like It and some people might not. That’s what makes the world go round.”

  • Were the dropping ratings something the cast was aware of during the show?

“It didn’t even phase 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 have fun.”

  • What did you think about the judges asking you to sing the melody?

“It’s just how I am. I sing the melody on a few songs to show them that I could. I wanted to get the world ready for what kind of album I want to put out. I can’t be doing something that’s not me. I had a blast doing it.”

  • Was there a particular song or a particular artist that helped you get through?

“So many artists. I listen to so many different songs. Music helps me out a lot. Eric Clapton, John
Butler. Some of Eminem’s lyrics. He’s an amazing lyricist.”

  • Did you have a gut feeling that you could win?

“No. I didn’t think that I was going to win at all. I was so caught off guard. I was such in awe.”

  • If you were single, what type of girl would you be attracted to?

“I don’t know. I would just have to get to know them. Have fun. Definitely have to have a sense of humor. I have a strange sense of humor!”

  • Can you explain more about your reaction to winning?

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

  • Is there one performance that you would change or that you would do differently?

“Yeah. I wouldn’t change, I would have liked to have heard a lot more sound in my inner ears in “Time of the Season.” That was a pretty bad performance. (laughs) You can’t go back and change it. You can’t be mad about it. It’s all over with now.”