Music teacher says Phillips was quiet in class

Some are calling it "Phillip Flu" and it's taking the place of "Beiber Fever."

Local musician and Leesburg native Phillip Phillips began trending nationwide on Twitter after stunning American Idol judges with his soulful vocals and guitar skills during Wednesday night's show.

"I wish I could take credit for that talent but no he had it before he got to me," says Lee County High School Music Teacher Kevin Blaise, who says he remembers having Phillips in his guitar class for two years.

While Phillips passionately projects when he sings, Blaise says he wasn't always so vocal.

"He was a quiet person," he says. "He played all the time, and so he was one of those where my assignments were easy. He was working on his own stuff even from the beginning."

Before auditioning for American Idol, Phillips auditioned to sing at his graduation, which is where Blaise says the first time he ever heard Phillips sing.

"At his graduation he sang the song for the graduates so that was the first time I really heard him sing is then. He had spent two years in guitar class with me and I didn't really know he could sing that well," says Blaise. "When he sang at the graduation it was just as good. He was loose, that bluesy style voice and it's very nice to listen to."

He says he not only believes Phillips' has the skills to make it to the top spot, he says he has the determination.

"The people that do that, I mean they got it in them and they go after it," says Blaise.

Other local celebs who hail from Leesburg include Country Singer Luke Bryan and Baseball Star Buster Posey.

Stay connected with Phillips' journey on FOX's American Idol on our website at and the FOX 31 newscasts.