Phillip Phillips phenomenon grows

Published: Mar. 2, 2012 at 11:06 PM EST|Updated: May. 24, 2012 at 1:23 PM EDT
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The Phillip Phillips Phenomenon is growing.  The Leesburg singer made it to the top 13 on American Idol Thursday night.

Phillip Phillips fever is taking the country by storm.
Thursday night on the show, a music producer said Phillips is so good, he'd sign him to a record deal on the spot.
Soulful tunes and creative covers are how Leesburg's newest legend is captivating a country.

And Southwest Georgia is supporting him every step of the way. His family is thrilled. 

"We're real excited about it," said Phillips' Uncle Joey Coffey. "He is rock and rolling like we thought he could do!"

Phillips is also lighting up the social media world. He went to Twitter to thank his many followers and supporters. Kevin Dowling, the principal at Lee County High School, remembers the song Phillips' sang at his high school graduation.

"I've got to say, his performance was right up there with the best of them," said Dowling. "He just took out his guitar and sang a song. It was beautiful. I had to speak after that and I said I don't know how you follow this up, but I guess I've got to give my speech."

Phillip's dad called his brother-in-law today. He and Phillip's mom are on their way back to Southwest Georgia. Many fans compare the singer to Dave Matthews, and that's just what he wants.

"That's his idol," said Coffey. "He has always kind of followed Dave Matthews and he is a lot like him. We're real proud of him."

A Facebook campaign has also been launched to remind fans to vote for him every week.

"We're going to do our part down here in Leesburg, Georgia and I'm sure in the Albany area as well," said Dowling. "We are going to push and try to get as many people as we can. I know I had my Ipad out the other night and kept hitting vote, put in the little code, vote, put in the little code, vote." 

Southwest Georgia seems confident that he'll make it to the finale.
The Hollywood scene is new to Phillip. His uncle told me today that he wishes that he could make it back in three weeks to go turkey hunting, but they think he will already have plans.

His uncle plans to join Phillip's parents in the audience in Hollywood if Phillip does make it to the finale. 

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.