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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Interview with Phillip Phillips at Star 94 Jingle Jam; Bo Bice gift wraps at Lenox 12/18; Fantasia at Atlanta Civic Center 12/29

Phillip Phillips relaxing in his dressing room at Gwinnett Arena Dec. 13, 2012. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Phillip Phillips relaxing in his dressing room at Gwinnett Arena Dec. 13, 2012. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

I caught up with Leesburg’s own Phillip Phillips, winner of “American Idol,” at Star 94’s Jingle Jam at Gwinnett Arena Thursday afternoon before the show.

He looks much better than he did while on “Idol” nwo that he’s fully recovered from painful kidney stone surgery. And he seems to be in good spirits.

Heck, he just met Pres. Barack Obama and more enthusiastically, Neil Patrick Harris, at the Christmas tree lighting in Washington D.C., airing on TNT Dec. 21. “Starship Troopers!” he said. (I just checked and saw Psy of “Gangnam Style” fame was there, too. If I had known ahead of time, I would have asked if he knew the dance. I think not.)

He is enjoying all the travel, the performances, the whole rigamarole that being a rock singer involves so far. Being an “Idol” winner has its benefits – for now. And he’s more comfortable than ever with interviews.

He recently latched on to a month’s worth of opening slots for Matchbox Twenty. He said he’s a big fan of Rob Thomas and was psyched to meet him and the band. He’ll then do some college dates but isn’t sure yet what the summer will bring in terms of touring.

He did blank when I asked about other memorable moments in recent weeks. It all, understandably. blurs together at this point. And despite long hours and less than normal sleep, he looks surprisingly well rested.  He is learning to nap in small doses. He recalls dozing on “The View” until right before his performance.

The band teases him when he can’t remember what city or even state he’s in when he’s on stage. He said he knows he’s in Georgia tonight, of course, and plenty of family and friends will be there, too.

He isn’t sure what his next single is for radio though “Home” is still going strong. It’s now at No. 9 in the top 40 charts, No. 2 on Hot AC, No. 1 on Triple A and No. 14 on AC, according to Mediabase 24/7.

My colleague Melissa Ruggieri watched the Jingle Jam concert. Here are her thoughts.

Here’s the video interview. I’m using my video camera instead of my regular camera. It’s a bit dark but still comes out pretty well considering how little light there was:

And I only now read about this Wilson Lou Diamond Phillips Phillips parody, courtesy of E!. (I was so busy today, I didn’t do any real research ahead of time, unfortunately, and missed it.) How did he forget to bring this up?


***

Bo-Bice-2010-imageFrom Tuesday, Dec. 18 – Monday, Dec. 24, “American Idol” will be setting up a complimentary gift wrapping station at the Lenox Square Mall where shoppers can have their purchases wrapped in exclusive “Idol”-themed paper.

Cumming’s own Bo Bice, season four runner up, will be at the mall on Tuesday at 1 p.m. to greet fans and help with wrapping. I know. this is a bit strange but I hope Bice will be well compensated!

People will also be able to donate American Red Cross.while having gifts wrapped.

Gift Wrapping Times: Dec. 18-23: 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM; Dec. 24: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

***

Season three winner Fantasia is headlining a show on Dec. 29 at the Atlanta Civic Center along with Charlie Wilson and Kem.

Yes, our favorite! I’m sure there will be a flood of ticket sales after I post this. Or not.
***
David Cook, season 7 winner, has sold his home in Los Angeles for $1.365 million. Yes, the man has made some bucks in his time but maybe it’s time to downsize now that he no longer has a record deal. It must be an expensive neighborhood. It’s a three bedroom, three bath home with a recording studio and about 3,000 square feet.

***

Syesha Mercado, season 7 third place finisher, has joined “The Book of Mormon” Chicago production.

***

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28 comments Add your comment

[...] only I lived in Atlanta! I’d be all over this like stick on tape. AI wrapping paper! Ho ho ho, who wouldn’t go? From Tuesday, Dec. 18 – [...]

[...] (my colleague and “Idol” authority Rodney Ho talked to Phillips a few hours before the show – check out his video interview) – and it will only get bigger for him next year when he tours with Matchbox Twenty. P-squared [...]

Highlander

December 14th, 2012
7:09 am

:lol: Where do I get the Christmas CD??

Tom

December 14th, 2012
7:33 am

Yeah, I wouldv’e been much more enthusiastic about meeting Harris, too.

Still waiting for B98.5 to go all-Christmas….if that idiot they brought in as program director ever gets his head out of his wassail.

Deirdre

December 14th, 2012
7:35 am

Morning!

Love, love, love the Wilson Phillips Phillip Phillips album!

Thanks for the interview, Rodney. As I said last night, you can definitely feel Px2 relaxing and starting to enjoy the limelight just a bit.

Tom

December 14th, 2012
7:36 am

In the meantime, I’ll simply keep listening to “That Christmas Channel” at live365.com

Woodpappy

December 14th, 2012
9:57 am

Phillip looks better and his sales will probably soar with matchbox twenty. Way to go Georgia Boy !

Negativo

December 14th, 2012
10:06 am

Absolutely LOVE Phillip. Dude gets Neg’s 100% stamp of approval. Album kills and so do his live shows. That Wilson Phillips Phillips bit is freakin hysterical! Love how he’s barely able to keep it together.

Deirdre

December 14th, 2012
12:40 pm

Hey Neg!!!!! Good to see you. Amazingly enough, I love Px2, too! How often does that happen?

Deirdre

December 14th, 2012
12:41 pm

Wp, I agree that Phil looks a lot better…healthier.

Rodney Ho

December 14th, 2012
2:22 pm

Just read some spoilers on MJ’s blog. Looks like two people I really liked last year Johnny Keyser and David Leathers Jr. are back and make it to the top 60. That’s good news.

Deirdre

December 14th, 2012
3:38 pm

My heart is breaking for the parents who lost children today. RIP to those tiny souls.

Sam-A

December 14th, 2012
3:47 pm

What a horrible disaster this is. Lots of adults died too. One sick creature – I can’t call him “human being” because there’s not a drop of “humanity” in any living creature that can so heartlessly do this! Yet it happens over and over in this country.

Sam-A

December 14th, 2012
4:02 pm

This creep was 24 years old. They’re holding his brother as possible accomplice. In his single crumb of decency, he at least killed himself also! And he killed his roommate, and apparently his girlfriend and another friend are missing and thought possibly dead as well.

Christmas season will never again be happy for a lot of families, sadly.

Sam-A

December 14th, 2012
4:13 pm

Needed some cheering up so I just watched the Phillips film – LOVE it – its hilarious.

Sam-A

December 14th, 2012
4:42 pm

Good weekend everyone.

Deirdre

December 14th, 2012
7:37 pm

A quote from Clay Aiken:

“I don’t know that they did it with Justin Guarini and all those folks. But ‘Idol,’ back in those days, was about the contestants. Kelly (Clarkson) and Justin and Tamyra (Gray) and Nikki McKibbin, they were all the stars of the show. And when I was on, Ruben (Studdard) and myself and Kimberley Locke were the stars of the show. Now ‘Idol’ is about the judges. I don’t even know if they remember there are contestants anymore.”

Mercedes S.

December 14th, 2012
8:15 pm

Good for Clay.

Seth T

December 15th, 2012
12:01 am

Deirdre/December 14th, 2012/7:37 pm/RE:A quote from Clay Aiken:

When they gave-away the show to Tyler, Lopez, with them using the show for TV commercial jobs, recognition, new song releases, magazine covers – then bring -in Mariah Carey (one of Randy’s cohorts), and Nickie Minaj at ransom prices – it shows to go us that Clay see’s what many of us do.

The contestants have become more like pawns to provide the entertainment for promoting the Judges, with a couple “selects” that will be seeded-in by the producers but most of them will be working on the cheap for entertainment pay, to provide a big stage for the Judges publicity. Even the top 10 tour money has been reduced.

PP used the system well by refusing to let Hilfigger dress him, having a mind of his own.and scoring a mega-hit song. On that hand. Idol has much more potential than the Voice, which is unashamedly all about the Judges.

PP has already had far more success than last years X-Factor winner.

Seth T

December 15th, 2012
12:06 am

That was just commenting on the post that D used from clay- not meant to be a quote from Clay, looking back, it might have looked wrong, the way I copied the beginning of the time post.

JTesla

December 15th, 2012
2:57 pm

Clay says some smart things… sometimes. Simon was still on Idol when it became all about the judges It didn’t happen in just one season, but it was just the progression.

Deirdre

December 16th, 2012
7:31 am

For all those who haven’t heard the news yet(that would be you k&cf ;-) ) Kelly Clarkson’s boyfriend Brandon Blackstock put a ring on it! They are officially engaged!

mable

December 16th, 2012
9:22 pm

Agree that Phillip is super talented! Hope to see him perform again soon. In that top picture, his hand looks to be gigantic…lol.

Sam-A

December 17th, 2012
8:10 am

Kelly was the first one on “Divas” (thankfully, so I didn’t have to sit thru Demi L, et al) and they announced her engagement – and boy it looks like a good chunk of diamond! Lucky girl!

Sad weekend – everywhere you looked, just sad stories and devastated people.

Mercedes: Saw “Hitchcock” – I was pretty bored with it, but it did get better the last half. Helen M was excellent. That home was gorgeous. Surely could have found a closer look-alike to Janet Leigh than Scarlett J – too short, hair all wrong – just bothered me, even though she was pretty good.

Sam-A

December 17th, 2012
8:40 am

Posted this – “in moderation” – have changed the name of the movie I saw – this is sooooo nutsy!

Kelly was the first one on “Divas” (thankfully, so I didn’t have to sit thru Demi L, et al) and they announced her engagement – and boy it looks like a good chunk of diamond! Lucky girl!

Sad weekend – everywhere you looked, just sad stories and devastated people.

Mercedes: Saw “Hitchc0ck” – I was pretty bored with it, but it did get better the last half. Helen M was excellent. That home was gorgeous. Surely could have found a closer look-alike to Janet Leigh than Scarlett J – too short, hair all wrong – just bothered me, even though she was pretty good.

Deirdre

December 17th, 2012
10:54 am

Morning!

I’ve been busy all morning cleaning around where we are putting the tree up. And we have to get rid of ALL the dog hair as my CA son is allergic. So why do you have dogs, you may ask. Cuz I like them!!!! Anyhow, we always manage to get the place livable before he gets here. And the dogs don’t mind their basement home as they get lots of treats including gigantic bones from Publix. I think they probably wish CA son would visit more often.

Sam-A

December 17th, 2012
12:54 pm

Slow day around here. Guess everyone’s busy getting work caught up to be off for Christmas.

Deirdre: Good for you – don’t let no stinkin kid keep you from your beloved dogs! (Really, glad you’re able to work it out so you can have both around – sad for anyone who can’t hold a dog, nuzzle his/her neck and get those heavenly kisses – at least at puppy breath stage!).

Mercedes S.

December 18th, 2012
12:18 pm

Is this the official Idol hangout place?
Swamped weekend and Monday with chores and duties; tree is half-dressed, maybe 20% of cards have been written; feel like I’m fending off one pet disaster after another… yesterday, li’l Jasper, all of 12 weeks, came running into the house with a very dead, and very small, copperhead in his bitty mouth. Then his older step-sister Jenny, 12 years, found a bag of chocolate-chocolate chip cookies a guest had left behind.