Lou Diamond Phillips said he didn't expect to be crowned "King of the Jungle" during last night's live I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! finale broadcast.

"It's such a ridiculous honor.  I was stunned by it," Phillips told reporters during a Thursday conference call.  "I certainly didn't assume anything."

The 47-year-old actor defeated former WWE "Diva" Torrie Wilson and retired NBA player John Salley to win I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!'s title.  His victory was determined by home viewer voting that took place after Tuesday night's I'm a Celebrity broadcast.

"I would have been just as happy if [Salley] had taken it and I feel the same way about Torrie," Phillips told reporters. 

"One of the real blessings and surprises of this whole experience was competing with people who not only have accomplished so much in their lives, but are just amazing human beings.  I really, really consider them close friends now and I'm never going to lose touch with them."

Phillips said he was specifically surprised by the relationship he had with former American Idol finalist Sanjaya Malakar, who was eliminated during Tuesday night's broadcast.

"I didn't know what to expect from the kid.  I had not seen his appearance on Idol before," said Phillips.  "He came in just game, just ready to mix it up... Just a wonderful personality and great to be around.  I absolutely fell in love with him... He's my adoptive son now."

In addition, Phillips said he was "more and more impressed" by Malakar as the competition continued.

"I came into this anticipating him to do really well because his demographic is the tween demographic and they all have cell phones today and they all like getting involved," said Phillips.  "If he was able to carry over any of the Idol voting block that he had before, I knew that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with."

Phillips also offered some insight into Patti Blagojevich, the wife of indicted former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, whom he described as the game's "wildcard."

"She was a rock," said Phillips.  "Just out of her element, surrounded by a bunch of people with these ridiculously flamboyant personalities.  But she held her own and had such dignity and such poise throughout."

When asked about former supermodel Janice Dickinson and The Hills star Spencer Pratt, Phillips let their actions on the show do the talking.

"The behavior speaks for itself.  There's no need for me to embellish," he said with a laugh.  "I kind of stood back and shook my head a few times."
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Pratt and his new wife Heidi originally quit I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! only two days after it began but subsequently "earned" the right to return to the competition by spending a night in "The Lost Chamber," a run-down structure in the jungle. 

The couple's return was also allegedly subject to the consent of the show's other cast members, most of whom had initially voted against the idea when they were first asked to vote on the issue. 

While NBC insisted that the celebrities had "the final say" and the show presented the situation as though they eventually relented and decided to allow Spencer and Heidi's return, Phillips claimed that actually wasn't the case.

"We kind of figured out early on that we were not in control of this game.  The producers had the right to pretty much do anything they wanted because we signed the contract," he said.  "It was nice that they let us pretend that we were a democracy."

Phillips added he has never seen The Hills before, but was familiar with Spencer and Heidi due to his wife's reading of tabloid magazines.

"The impression I got was, 'Wow, these kids know how to work the media.  They know how to keep their faces out there,'" recalled Phillips.  "I'm not exactly sure what they're famous for.  But they are on 24/7.  They were so in our faces it was like a blast of hot air.  I just had to take a step back and assess the situation."

Phillips added he has "never seen anybody more aware of their image" than Spencer and Heidi -- which was is saying something considering Phillips has worked with Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Sean Penn and Robert Downey Jr..

"They called us the 'Brat Pack.'  We got nothing on those guys," said Phillips.

Still, Phillips said he was eventually "really happy" producers decided to allow Spencer and Heidi's return because it allowed them to "let their masks down a little bit."

"When they came back in knowing that none of us really wanted them there, they came back contrite and they came back a little more human," he said.  "I can say that I like them now."

With his experience in the Costa Rican jungle behind him, Phillips said he's now eager to return home to his family.

"I'm just so looking forward to seeing my family.  That was really the hardest part of this whole competition -- being out of touch with them... That was really the most trying of the hardship's we went through," he told reporters.

"I really want to get back and reconnect and just listen what's been going on in their lives because they've been watching what's been going on in mine."
About The Author: Christopher Rocchio
Christopher Rocchio is an entertainment reporter for Reality TV World and has covered the reality TV genre for several years.