“American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips told Jay Leno Thursday night (May 24) that he had slept only a couple hours following Wednesday’s finale, but he didn’t look much worse for the long night and day. The fact that he got to meet Rihanna probably didn’t hurt.
Phillips made a post-victory appearance on “The Tonight Show” Thursday and talked about his win, a brief encounter with Rihanna at the finale and his health issues. He suffered from chronic kidney stones throughout the season and will have surgery for the problem.
“It’s been tough,” he says in the second clip below. “… You’ve got to go after your dream [when] you know you want it bad enough. I’ve had a lot of great doctors and people around me who helped get me through.”
Phillips says he’s planning to have surgery in the next couple weeks and expects to be ready for the start of the “American Idol” tour in July. “It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he says. “I’m gonna be jamming out with some guys — it’s not going to be all about the singing for me.”
Here’s the full interview.