Imagine what Phillip Phillips could do if he were 100 percent healthy.
The American Idol winner dazzled viewers all season long, despite battling chronic kidney problems – and having eight separate surgeries – since the competition began, his father told PEOPLE Wednesday after an eventful finale.
“He’s been doing [well], but it’s just grueling hours and it’s just amazing what he’s done through the journey,” said the singer’s dad, also named Phillip Phillips, at the show’s official Ford-sponsored after party. “Eight operations since we started American Idol … He’s hitting 50 percent, but he’s still up there swinging away.”
Adding, “I was so proud I could cry” over his son’s win, the elder Phillips also said, “They’ve just seen a glimpse of what Phillip can do. We can’t wait to get him well and 100 percent and really see how he can perform.”
The younger Phillips, 21, suffered with a build up of kidney stones and underwent multiple operations to remove them. In the next few weeks, after another surgery to reconstruct his kidneys, he is expected to make a full recovery in time for the Idols Live tour.
“The recovery’s probably two to four weeks,” said his father. “He’s healthy, he’s good. His kidneys are good. I can’t wait for America and the whole world to see him [after his surgery], because he’s a big cut-up. He’s going to have some fun.”
The singer himself told reporters Wednesday that the problems were a struggle but that he had the support to get through them.
“I’m going to get some surgery done, so I’m going to get all better for the tour,” he said. “It was very tough [getting through the season]. I had great doctors and great people surrounding me [who] really helped out, so it’s just a blessing to be here.”