‘American Idol’ notes: Phillip Phillips, Elise Testone, and Kelly Clarkson

His face signifies pain at times.

For the Thursday morning edition of our “American Idol” notes, we’re starting out with the present season — but then, we’re closing with the very first winner of the whole competition.

Phillip’s still struggling – The packaged material for Wednesday’s show did show that Phillip Phillips is still in a good bit of pain thanks to his kidney stent while he tries to handle the stress and the long hours of the competition — and now, another contestant is opening up about it.

Speaking to ABC News Radio, Colton Dixon said that Phillip was struggling for most of the competition trying not to let the pain get the best of him:

“Phillip’s had [a] rough go … He’s had some trouble with his kidney or whatever and I’ve gotta give him props for it ’cause he’s always professional about it…he never lets you know about it.” 

While Phillip tends to brush off his pain whenever asked about it, you can see it in his face more when he sings now compared to back at the start of the season, where he seemed to be able to sing and move a little bit more freely.

Elise gets Ellen’s support – It’s almost easy to forget about the one season in which Ellen DeGeneres was a judge on the show (mostly because it didn’t work out in any shape or form, even if she hilarious), but she is still watching — and she apparently loves Elise Testone.

In a post on Twitter, Ellen wrote a rather simple message to Elise after the show:

“Hey Elise @ETestoneAI11, I love you. You’re my favorite. #Idol

Will Ellen’s support help keep Elise safe? That’s hard to say, but the endorsement certainly doesn’t hurt considering that the talk-show host has more than 10 million followers.

Kelly Clarkson not ashamed of her past – Finally, we close with the season 1 champ opening up about a rather nasty rumor that’s been around for years suggesting that she is desperate to move on from “Idol” and somehow doesn’t like people to reference where she came from.

Speaking to Zap2It on the subject, Kelly finally clear the air and makes it clear that she’s happy where she came from:

“It’s been a misunderstanding that everybody always thinks I’m trying to get away [from that] … I’m super-proud of how I got in the business, especially a business where there’s a lack of funds there used to be. There’s no artist development anymore; if you don’t make it right off the bat with a No. 1 hit, labels drop you.”

Considering that Kelly’s “Stronger” is still reasonably new, we would be stunned to see her not return at some point in the finale. Sure, she’s doing some stuff on other singing shows — but you have to honor your past! (You can check out a tease for Kelly’s “Duets” below.)

As always, check back for more daily “Idol” news!

Photo: Fox

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