Audience favorite Phillip Phillips had a rough week to say the least. The young guitarist with the endearing voice was rushed to the hospital late last week for kidney stones. But, don’t worry America, that didn’t stop him from making it to his rehearsal to work with guest judges and record label executive Jimmy Iovine and blow them both away.

After hearing Phillips sing (and realizing that he was going into surgery that night for kidney stones) the Black Eyed Peas celeb said, “I know people that would have cancelled … I wouldn’t have cancelled, but I wouldn’t have sung it that good.”

Taking the stage to sing a song from his birth year in keeping with tonight’s ‘Idol’ theme, Phillips stepped out from behind the comfort of his acoustic guitar and left the strumming to his regular wingmen. This time he was also joined by a full brass section for the Black Crowes’ 1990 Otis Redding cover ‘Hard to Handle.’ Bringing the energy (and the signature smile and baby blues), Phillips seemed remarkably comfortable in the spotlight.

“Phillip Phillips, yo yo,” Randy Jackson started, though the audience didn’t let him speak for a bit longer. “Dude, you know by now you’ve been doing this show for a minute. You’re like a fish out of water doing this because you’re kind of unique.” Then Jackson praised the young performer on his style and encouraged him to do a cover of ‘Hard to Handle’ as an artist after the competition.

Joining Jackson in his excited praise, Jennifer Lopez gushed, “It just goes to prove that this is just so natural for you. It’s in every cell of your body,” but then she remembered she was talking to a kid less than a week out of surgery and added, “not to get too medical. It’s all over you. I loved it. I can’t believe it.”

“I’m really glad that you pick songs that match your voice and character,” Steven Tyler offered at the end. “Watch your melody, but keep it up man.” And hey, if Phillips just overcame kidney stones and a hospital visit to make it to that stage without so much as a complaint, we’re pretty sure he’s going to keep it up.

Watch a Snippet of Phillip Phillips Performing ‘Hard to Handle’ on ‘American Idol’

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