Garner 'Idol' thrills in emotional homecoming

Posted May 14, 2011
Updated May 15, 2011

— "American Idol" finalist Scotty McCreery performed for a cheering hometown crowd thousands strong Saturday afternoon in Garner. The performance was Scotty's hometown reward for advancing to the final three in this year's season of "Idol." 

Scotty McCreery American Idol's Scotty McCreery gets wet with NCSU baseball team

In stops at local radio stations, his high school and his former workplace, McCreery insisted he's the "still the same old kid" who left Garner for Hollywood four months ago.

"It's been a crazy ride so far. I'm glad to be back in Garner, North Carolina," McCreery said. "Southern accents – I'm glad to hear Southern accents."

McCreery, who is parlaying his accent and deep voice into singing success, focuses mostly on country numbers on the show. He did the same Saturday, treating fans to songs from John Michael Montgomery and Montgomery Gentry. 

When the time came for him to perform the song he called his "theme song on the show," Josh Turner's "Your Man," McCreery was joined on stage by the man himself.

McCreery spoke frankly of his faith in God, giving him credit for keeping forecast rain away from Garner's Lake Benson Park for the duration of the celebration.

McCreery credits God for holding off the rain McCreery credits God for holding off the rain

Wherever McCreery went Saturday, fans lined up for a handshake, a hug or a picture. They credited his eyes, his voice and his Christian faith.

Brenna Bizzell, a 16-year-old from Johnston County, said, “He sings. He has a great attitude, and he loves Jesus.”

“And he’s hot,” chimed in her friend, Alexis Juarez.

He did a round of radio interviews and visited an AT&T store, Garner Magnet High School and Lowes Foods, where he used to work.

"These guys out here, they're the ones putting me through, and I appreciate it," McCreery said.

Click for complete details of Scotty's visit.

He arrived at Lake Benson in a yellow convertible waving, blowing kisses and stopping for autographs along the way.

"It's the biggest thing that’s ever happened in Garner," Mayor Ronnie Williams said.

“He’s our town hero,” exclaimed Larry Langworthy, a 51-year-old father of three who lives near Lake Benson. “He’s a hometown boy. He’s got it going on,” said his wife, Mary Langworthy.

Scotty McCreery Our lens on Scotty McCreery

After the concert, the rain caught up with McCreery. He was slated to throw the first pitch at the North Carolina State University baseball game, and he did. But the game was canceled due to rain.

The kid in him came out when McCreery led the team across the tarp in a couple rounds of slip-and-slide.

After all his official appearances, McCreery got a brief rest at his home. He said he was excited because he heard that Bojangles will be catering dinner, with sweet tea and fried chicken.

Then, McCreery headed to prom.

Cheering classmates from Garner Magnet High welcomed him as he slipped in a back door at the Crabtree Marriott hotel.

McCreery's mother, Judy, said that he's done his school work with the help of a tutor and made the honor roll.

'Idols' head to Raleigh on tour 

"American Idol" fans lined up as early as 4 a.m. outside the RBC Center on Friday to buy tickets to the show's tour, which will feature McCreery.

Win tickets to the American Idols Live Tour.

The tour hits Raleigh on July 27. 


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  • lkanzig May 17, 2011

    when will this madness end? hoping soon so that triangle residents get their minds back! kid has talent but the media overkill is WAY too much! by the way garner, did you recoup that $61k yet? way to watch the tax payers money during these robust financial times!

  • MerryMemories May 16, 2011

    WRAL, thank you soooo much for broadcasting all the Scotty excitement. And exciting it is! How can anyone find anything bad to say about any of it??? Just sour grapes! Let's have some fun and make him the next American Idol!

  • NCSU2311 May 16, 2011

    What about the 16 year old that just graduated college? Thats a story.

  • bmg379 May 16, 2011

    Thousands Gathered

    from the crowd shots looked like maybe 2-3 thousand people not anywhere near the 30 thousand they hoped for

    Scotty sings ok,but remember people being under 18 might break his career,Miley got so huge because of disney being under 18,also his parents have to make his decisions for him as he can not sign a legal contract.american idol takes at least 50% of you including merchansising if you sign anything with them,they ruined several friendships Chris Daugherty had as they pushed his friends aside for people of their own choosing to watch out for their ,not Chris best interests.

  • May 16, 2011

    Go Scotty! I've always heard great things about him. I love that he is grounded in his faith, his manners & seems so humble. Don't change Scotty! Our country needs a teen role model like you and so many others that are stepping up to the plate to take us to the next generation of leaders and entertainers. Compare this young man to Miley Cyris and he is a world apart...and Miley had the younger generation so long and has brought dissapointment to our young people. Please vote for Scotty, as we need him to show other young people that there is a better way!

  • way2busy May 16, 2011

    to RMT-NC Yes, she is from Ga.,but due to the damage in her hometown by the tornado, she had to do her shoot in Chattanooga, TN. Ryan also addressed that when he was talking about the "hometown tours." Scotty Rocks

  • pedsRN May 16, 2011

    I thought it sounded like Lynda Loveland talking during Scott's performance.

    Scotty seems so well grounded. He's a good role model for teens. He really seems overwhelmed by the fan-mania.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc May 16, 2011

    I thoroughly enjoyed the coverage on Saturday. Go Scotty!!

  • adamsamore May 16, 2011

    I thought everything was done very well! I could definitely see Scotty was so humbled by all of the support from the town and everyone else who came out to support him! I am really excited to see how the next Scotty Voting Party goes on Thursday night! WRAL, you all did a fine job!

    "Don't know what's going on with "5" today but this was a horrible piece of footage. There was a 'background' (female) voice overriding him as he spoke to the crowd." -skyyekatfromafar

    As for as the comment above, WRAL was not the only camera set up, there were other stations there right beside them and she was most likely from another station. They were all set up very tightly together.


  • RMT-NC May 16, 2011

    I enjoyed the 2 1/2 hr coverage you all had on Scotty as it was unfolding live on Saturday afternoon. The clips you all have showed of of the other 2 Idol homecomings (aired last night & this am), you might want to check your facts - according to American Idol's website Lauren is from Rossville, Georgia not Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ryan Seacrest also said Rossville, Georgia last Thursday when he said Lauren was safe.