After a record breaking 132 million votes were tallied, Phillip Phillips earned the title of American Idol over fellow finalist Jessica Sanchez.
“This doesn’t feel real,” the 21-year-old told reporters backstage after the finale. “It’s so unreal. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s such a blessing. I have no idea why this happened. I just want to play music and I’m just a lucky guy.”
As for why he became so emotional during his performance of his new single “Home,” Phillips said he was overwhelmed by his Idol journey. “I just started thinking about the whole journey and how far all of us have come, and how we’ve made it. It’s so overwhelming,” he said.
“I hate crying, but I’ll probably cry some more,” Phillips added. “It feels good at times.”
In addition to the title of American Idol, Phillips was awarded a Ford vehicle and a contract with 19 Recordings. He will participate in the Idol tour this summer.
As for Sanchez’s feelings on her loss, she said she is “relieved” a winner has been chosen. “I’m kind of relieved that this whole thing is over, but I’m also going to miss everybody here. I really think that Phillip deserves to win and I’m so happy for him,” she told reporters.
“Phillip has everything about him,” Sanchez added. “He has his funny side and his humble side and he’s just an amazing, original artist. I think we all are talented and I think we all are going to have really successful careers.”