Winner Phillip Phillips performs onstage at the “American Idol” finale on Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Commemorative shirts/editions on sale
The Albany Herald has started selling shirts at its downtown Albany offices with the special edition printed Thursday night announcing the win.
Commemorative shirts are $10, the special edition is $2 if they buy both it's $11.
Leesburg Those standing in line for tickets to Phillip Phillips' homecoming concert after being crowned the winner of American Idol will likely have to wait months, officials say.
Lisa Davis, Vice President and Marketing Director of the Lee County Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday morning that chamber officials are in talks with "Idol" officials but that a homecoming concert likely won't happen in the near future.
"While they were here, they hinted that it could be several months and it was likely to be that way even if he finished in the top three," Davis said. "They have the tour they go on as a group and then I think he'll have an individual tour so it likely will be a while before he comes home for something here."
With a record number of votes cast, Phillips edged out Jessica Sanchez in the finale to become the winner of American Idol's 11th season.
So what did Phillip say backstage after winning the big shebang?
"I'm just lucky," he said in his dressing room.
"I never thought any of this would happen. I never even thought I'd end up in front of the judges honestly. I'm not that good of a singer, I just love music and it's a blessing to be here," he told WFXL's Melanie Kendall after the show.
Clinging to his trademark humility and his southern charm, Phillips says he sings because he loves the music, not for the notoriety, which is now being heaped on him.
"I'm excited to do my album," said Phillips. "I know it's going to be challenging because a lot of opinions will be coming my way, but it's like the show, I know my music. I know how I want it. I'm not trying to win Grammys or be famous or anything."
Sanchez says that she called Phillips as the winner after she was eliminated, but spared by the judges earlier in the competition.
"I told Phillip, 'You're gonna win this whole thing,' and he was like, 'Nah, I'm not,'" recalled Sanchez backstage after Phillips' win. "I'm like, 'Yes, you are.' I don't think he totally believed that, and I totally believed it. I just went out in this competition after that moment and just sang. Phillip's gonna win, anyway. I might as well just sing my heart out."
In Albany, City Manager James Taylor congratulated Phillips and said that the city likely would yield to Lee County in terms of holding an event.
"We certainly don't want to usurp Lee County. That's his hometown and they should be the ones taking the lead," Taylor said. "We're certainly proud of him and the attention he's brought to the region."
When a person gains national notoriety through a show like American Idol, they often sign many of their rights away to the organization.
"It's kind of crazy. When they were here, it was clear that we were jumping through their hoops and they were calling the shots," Davis said.
Taylor said that the city had to get special permission from "Idol" just to hold a viewing party at the civic center.
"The little bit that he was available before...now he's almost totally inaccessible," Taylor said. "They control just about every facet of his life. We had to get their permission just to hold the event at the civic center."
As far as Phillip's future goes, the Internet was ablaze Thursday with speculation of imminent kidney stone surgery, followed by an American Idol tour. The Internet and T.V. celebrity gossip magazine said Thursday that Phillips's father, Donnie, was likely to sell the family's pawn shop.
"Donnie is banking on a bidding war, now that the shop has the "A.I." cache," the magazine said.