Phillip Phillips rocks on

LEE CO., GA (WALB) - Phillip Phillips of Leesburg finds out tonight whether he'll make it into the top 8 on American Idol.

He delivered another solid performance last night as his sister and her family sat just a few rows away in that Hollywood auditorium.

It's expensive for his family to fly back and forth to Hollywood that's why local businesses are helping.

Phillip Phillips has made his way through American Idol and people in South Georgia are excited about his progress.

Kenny Rogers of Tifton said, "he's accomplished a lot. I know the county is behind him, his family is behind him."

For those who know him best, it's even more thrilling.

Taylor Jenkins of Leesburg was a high school friend of Phillips'.  He said, "I remember growing up in high school, we'd be in the back just cutting up singing around. We used to tell him 'you've got a gift, you need to do something with this'."

Over the last few months, many businesses have done things to support Phillips.  There are signs everywhere - even T-shirts for sale.  And Carter's Chicken is one of those.

Sam Addison is the owner of Carter's Fried Chicken.  He said, "me and my business partners decided we wanted to do something."

The menu at Carter's is extensive.  Chicken is the specialty of course.  But now you can order a side of help for the family of Phillip Phillips.

"We're actually doing 10 per cent of our proceeds Thursday from 2 o'clock until close," said Addison.

His performance last night brought standing ovations from the judges - and from Lee Countians.

Starla Willoughby of Leesburg said, "it blew my mind that Stevie Nicks said that he would have been part of Fleetwood Mac if he had been there in that time."

But while he's already become a star based on his performances, what would it mean if he were to actually win?

Paul Branch, the Assistant Fire Chief of Lee County said, "I think it would be good for Lee County.  They've showed a lot of pride in supporting hometown folks."

If he does win, they may just have to make room on this sign, but it's an expense that the county would probably take on gladly.

Addison says that he will continue to donate part of their sales to the Phillips family every Thursday until he's eliminated.

And it looks like that won't be happening for a while.

Celebrity mentor Steve Nicks sure loved Phillip last night.

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