Only time will tell if Phillip Phillips has more staying power than previous WGWG (white guys with guitars) “American Idol” winners, but he’s off to a great start. Sorry Jessica Sanchez fans (myself included), but it looks like the right contestant won. The American Idol 11 winner hit a “Home”-run with his coronation single. It doesn’t hurt that “Home” is actually a pretty good track. Kudos to writers Drew Pearson and Greg Holden for not giving us another “This Is My Now” (Sparks), “Do I Make You Proud” (Hicks) or “Flying Without Wings” (Studdard).
Phillips made an impressive debut on the Billboard Hot 100. The 21-year-old singer landed at #10. It’s the first time since 2008, that an Idol winner has cracked the Top 10 with their coronation song. Scotty McCreery and Kris Allen both hit #11 with “I Love You This Big” and “No Boundaries“. The other WGWG winner, Lee DeWyze barely made a blip with his cover of U2’s “Beautiful Day” which peaked at #24.
On Billboard’s Hot Digital Songs chart, Phillip also made a powerful impact. There, he landed at No. 2, with only Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” beating him out. Coincidentally enough, Jepsen is an Idol as well. She placed third in the fifth season of “Canadian Idol“. “Home” sold a solid 278,000 units. That number earns him the title of most first week downloads of any previous Idol coronation song. Even though David Cook hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2008, he only sold 236,000 copies of “The Time of My Life“.
In fact, Phillips’ first week sales is only a couple thousand downloads from toppling the all-time record for any Idol track. Back in 2009, Kelly Clarkson sold 280,000 copies of “My Life Would Suck Without You“. WOW. Is the Georgian singer on track to match Clarkson’s career? Probably not, but at least his future is a lot brighter than the worst Idol winner ever, Lee DeWyze.
Are you surprised by Phillips early success? Do you think he’ll have staying power? Do you think Jessica Sanchez has a shot at topping him with the right material instead of that sabotage called “Change Nothing“? Sound off below.