Photo Credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage
The road to American Idol victory wasn't just about out-singing his fellow contestants for Phillip Phillips; he also had to overcome serious health issues during the competition. All throughout the season, the American Idol winner battled severe chronic kidney problems that required a total of eight surgeries.
After Phillips' win, his proud father explained just how much his son had to endure in order to make it to the finals.
"He's been doing [well], but it's just grueling hours and it's just amazing what he's done through the journey," said the new Idol's dad, also named Phillip Phillips, at the show's after party. "Eight operations since we started American Idol ... He's hitting 50 percent, but he's still up there swinging away."
"I was so proud I could cry," he said of his son's win. "They've just seen a glimpse of what Phillip can do. We can't wait to get him well and 100 percent and really see how he can perform."
Phillips, 21, suffered from a massive build-up of kidney stones and had the multiple operations to remove them. Before the Idols Live tour begins later this summer, Phillips must have another surgery to reconstruct his kidneys and then spend time recuperating in time for the tour.
"The recovery's probably two to four weeks," said his father. "He's healthy, he's good. His kidneys are good. I can't wait for America and the whole world to see him [after his surgery], because he's a big cut-up. He's going to have some fun."