Philips, who is from Leesburg, Georgia, has just graduated from college
but missed his graduation ceremonies due to his participation in 'American Idol' show.
Philips and fellow finalist Jessica Sanchez performed in the final episode for the hearts and votes of millions of online viewers Wednesday at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, California.
Philips and Sanchez rendered three songs each for the judges with Sanchez emerging as the winner in the first round. In round two judge Tyler voted for Sanchez while Lopez went for Philips. Randy Jackson voted for both finalists which resulted in an even round.
The third round went to Phillips for his rendition of "Home", a mixed-style rock -ballad which earn him the night's standing ovation.
In an online poll covering 18,000 votes, Jessica Sanchez leads Philips with 62%
but the poll include international viewers but technically they're not supposed to be voting.
Sanchez' preliminary poll result giving her an edge over Philips did not appear to be the result of the actual voting as host Ryan Seacrest Ryan Seacrest told the audience in the show finale Philips is the new "America Idol" winner.
Earlier reports that Philips was ill
and needed urgent medical attention may have sealed his victory with sympathy votes from viewers after his rendition of his first single "Home", which gained standing ovation from the judges from and the audience.
During the show, Sanchez and Philips received keys to brand new cars from Ryan Seacrest as part of their prizes.
A lucrative recording and singing career await Philips, Sanchez and the top five winners of the eleventh season of American Idol.
Philips, along with the show finalists will soon perform in different US states in a concert designed to give fans a glimpse of their favorite contestants.