For the first live elimination show of “American Idol” Season 12, last season’s winner, Phillip Phillips, got to provide one of the big musical performances of the night. He took some time afterwards to chat with press — which was awfully nice of him, considering how crazy busy his life has evidently become in the past year.

When asked about what it was like coming back to “Idol” during a new season, Phillips mostly noted how weird it all felt, “It’s just strange, being back in the room,” he said. “On the stage, it was terrifying. I hate being on live television, so… I think it went good. I think it was good. I think it was OK.

Unfortunately, Phillips didn’t have much of an opinion about the 10 singers hoping to follow him into “Idol” fame. But at least he had a good reason for it: Thanks to album promotion and an upcoming college campus tour, the singer hasn’t been able to watch any of Season 12. “I hate saying that,” he admitted. “I don’t have time to watch any TV. It kinda sucks.”

Phillips did at least have some words of advice for the first eliminated contestant, Curtis Finch, Jr. “It’s just a TV show,” he explained. “You have to work hard for what you want, and he could still do that.”

As for his own career taking off in the past year, Phillip Phillips still seems to be in shock over it all. “It’s cool. I’m very thankful. I’m feeling very blessed,” he said. “We were on the plane the other day coming from London. And before the plane took off, ‘Gone’ came on. It was just weird. We just went over there to promote the stuff! To hear it on the plane is just weird. Weird and cool.”

The hopefuls of “American Idol” Season 12 must be hoping for such a “weird and cool” life in their own futures.

Posted by:Laurel Brown