“You know Daughtry, he really brought some rock to the scene, and I thought that was really good,” said Phillips.”He didn’t even win and he was very successful, so I thought that was really cool.”
But his biggest influence seemed to be Casey Abrams, the eccentric underdog of the the show’s tenth season.
“And then I saw Casey Abrams in season 10. You know I really respect those kind of artists that are very different and not scared to show it, and he’s really an amazing musician and I really respected him for that. He really gave me an idea to even try to audition. Me and him are pretty tight. We’re not best friends,” he chuckled, “but we try to keep in touch.”
Abrams’ no-holds-barred brand of performance style seemed to truly motivate Phillips.
“He’s one of the biggest inspirations honestly of why I wanted to try out because he played the bass. You know nobody can play the bass like that and get away with it. I thought that was really cool. I just went up there and didn’t think I was going to do anything spectacular and just kind of got blessed I guess,” Phillips concluded.
Interestingly, neither artist Phillips sited as an inspiration won the singing competition. Phillips himself is set to be one of the more successful Idol winners. His single “Home” is currently #1 on the iTunes and Billboard Digital singles charts. After it’s repeated use on the Olympics, Phillips saw a 472% sales increase.
-Brad Haynes, MIX 105.1/Orlando