(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and
out of the spotlight.)
Phillip Phillips had me at “Thriller.” Remember that? When he did his flip-flops-and-jeans-and-acoustic-guitar
American Idol audition? I was in, hook, line and sinker. And
I wrote about Phillips right after that Savannah, Ga., audition. I predicted that if he won, I could see him rising to
Carrie Underwood-like fame immediately. Now here we are, some four
months later, and he just may. Even Luke Bryan is with me on this one.
He just posted a video message, saying, “Hey, Phillip. It’s Luke Bryan,
here, fellow Leesburg, Georgian. I’ve been watching every episode. It’s truly amazing watching your climb. I’m pullin’ for
ya, buddy!” Bryan even tweeted a picture
of himself in a Phillip Phillips T-shirt, saying, “Go Phillip.” Both Bryan and Phillips went to Lee County High School.
And even though Phillips hasn’t done one country song during the entire season, that hasn’t stopped me from texting my votes
Two more reasons to love Phillips? His mom — who told Ryan Seacrest that he gets more and more handsome every
year. And his dad — who said of the audition experience, “You just swell up. You’re so proud that it just makes you wanna
The two-night season finale starts Tuesday (May 22).