Phillip Phillips' new song skyrocketed in popularity after being played during women's gymnastics segments on NBC

By Grady Smith
Updated August 10, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

Gabrielle Douglas and the rest of the Fab Five won the U.S. its first team gold medal in women’s gymnastics since 1996, but athletes weren’t the only ones to walk away champs from the London Games. American Idol winner Phillip Phillips saw sales of his coronation single, ”Home,” boom following key placements during women’s gymnastics segments on NBC. The rootsy tune, first featured when the women took the floor July 29 (a night that peaked at 41 million viewers), shot from No. 98 on iTunes to No. 1 in fewer than three days, and it’s remained a top digital seller ever since. In the week following its Olympic debut, ”Home” was downloaded more than 219,000 times on iTunes, and it’s moving toward a platinum certification and a top 20 spot on Billboard‘s Hot 100. NBC’s senior Olympics producer David Michaels says it was his daughter, Idol supervising producer Megan Michaels, who turned him on to the song: “Everybody I played it for went, ‘Wow, what is that?’ and I’d go, ‘It was the American Idol winner,’ and they’d say, ‘Really? ‘” Georgia native Phillips, who is currently on tour with his fellow Idol contestants, is gratified to have so many new listeners. “It’s kind of cool that people like a song, and they don’t recognize it from an American Idol,” he says. Of course, it’s unlikely Fox will let anybody overlook the connection when Idol‘s 12th season starts in January.