Phillip Phillips' 'Terrifying' American Idol Return

'American Idol' Phillip Phillips performs on Access Hollywood following his big win, May 24, 2012 'American Idol' Phillip Phillips performs on Access Hollywood following his big win, May 24, 2012

Phillip Phillips is the reigning “American Idol” champ, but the singer says returning to the stage that made him famous on Thursday night was panic-inducing.

“It was terrifying,” Phillip told AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman following his performance on the show in Los Angeles. “Being on live television is scary. You never know what’s going to happen. But it went good.”

The “Idol” winner — whose hit “Gone, Gone, Gone” is being used as show’s goodbye song this season — also admitted he was just as stricken with stage fright during his initial run on the reality hit’s 11th season.

“I was just as terrified [last year] — every week,” he said. “Live television sucks!”

Judge Randy Jackson presented Phillip with a plaque celebrating his hit “Home” going quadruple platinum, and while the singer appreciated the recognition, he wasn’t quite sure how to handle the moment.

“It’s always awkward… I was like, ‘What am I supposed to do?’” he said with a laugh, before joking, “Did I react OK?”

“American Idol” continues next Wednesday at 8/7c on FOX.

-- Erin O’Sullivan

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