After attracting an impressive turnout Saturday for his homecoming concert in Leesburg, Phillip Phillips will give the most important performance of his career tonight under the stage lights of “American Idol.”
The event this past weekend drew an estimated 20,000 to Leesburg for the parade and concert as Phillips and the other two finalists each returned to their respective roots before this week’s shows. They’ll each perform three songs — including one of each artist’s choosing — before Thursday night’s elimination show, which will winnow the once extensive field down to the final two.
It’s been a tremendous journey for Phillips, who performed locally in small venues before the swift accession of his star on the national talent show stage. Throughout the competition, he has maintained the down-home demeanor that adds to his appeal as a real person striving to do his best in an unreal environment.
Our money is on Phillips making the finals next week with strong performances tonight. Regardless of what happens, what the judges decide and how the vote goes, however, Phillips already is a winner who has given his hometown and our region the always-needed boost of a fresh, positive image. That’s especially important when you realize that seeing him perform is the only exposure many in our country have to Southwest Georgia.
Phillips is Southern exposure at its finest.
No city or area is without problems, and we have plenty to deal with. But it is refreshing to have a brief two or three hours of escapism when we can all get behind one of our own and pull for him to succeed in the national spotlight.
Good luck this evening, Phillip. We’re pullin’ for you!