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Scotty, Lauren sing for 'Idol' title

Posted May 24, 2011
Updated May 25, 2011

— It was a close night between country crooner Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, as they each sang for the title of "American Idol."

The judges said Alaina, who producers said earlier Tuesday lost her voice during rehearsals, had won the night after performing the song "Like My Mother Does," which would be her single if she wins.  Scotty McCreery and friends Scotty fever: Garner teen's 'Idol' journey

At the beginning of the broadcast, host Ryan Seacrest brought a doctor onto the Nokia Theatre stage who explained that Alaina blew out one of her vocal cords during rehearsals but had been given "a lot of medicine" to be able to sing on the finale with McCreery, the 17-year-old country crooner of Garner, N.C.

"I'm here," Alaina said. "I'm ready to sing. I'm fine."

If Alaina had been unable to sing, producers said Haley Reinhart, who was eliminated last week, would have taken her place. 

McCreery, the 17-year-old baseball-playing high school student of Garner, N.C., had a good night as well, but didn't get as much praise from the judge's during his potential single "I Love You This Much." 

McCreery wowed earlier in the night with performances of Montgomery Gentry's  "Gone" and George Straight's "Check Yes or No." 

Alaina, the 16-year-old cheerleading high school student of Rossville, Ga., took on Carrie Underwood's "Flat on the Floor" and "Maybe It Was Memphis" by Pam Tillis.

Judges called the first round for McCreery and the second and third rounds for Alaina. 

After the performances, McCreery told WRAL News that he was happy it was over. 

"I'm so glad it's over. It's been such a stressful week for us both. We went out there and gave it our best. It's in America's hands now," he said. 

Web only: Scotty, Lauren after the show Web only: Scotty, Lauren after the show

The pair have both delivered consistently smooth performances since their attention-grabbing auditions when McCreery wowed with his deep register on Josh Turner's "Your Man" and Alaina impressed with her soaring range on Faith Hill's "Like We Never Loved At All." McCreery never appeared as one of the low vote-getters, and Alaina did only once three weeks ago.

The duo have managed to outlast more seasoned and experimental finalists, such as 22-year-old songstress Pia Toscano of Howard Beach, N.Y., 22-year-old rocker James Durbin of Santa Cruz, Calif., and 20-year-old Haley Reinhart of Wheeling, Ill. 

Throughout the competition, McCreery has maintained his old-school country style with renditions of such songs as Travis Tritt's "Can I Trust You with My Heart" and Garth Brooks' "The River," while Alaina has presented herself as a potential pop-country princess with performances of Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine" and Miley Cyrus' "The Climb."

The show's judges — Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler — have equally heaped praise on the upstarts. However, without ever facing elimination this season, McCreery is expected take the title over Alaina after Tuesday's installment with a bigger base of voting fans, joining the likes of past "Idol" winners like David Cook, Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze.

WRAL.com will host a live chat during the American Idol finale starting at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

McCreery said Monday that he has tried to remain humble despite the praise he has received. He said he hoped to win the title for the people of his hometown. 

"To all the people back home, I'm going to give it my best. I'm going to try to bring it back home to Garner. I'm doing all this for them. They are the ones (who) got me here," McCreery said Monday alongside fellow finalist Lauren Alaina.

Garner residents cheer for Scotty Garner residents cheer for Scotty

The Town of Garner held a viewing party Tuesday night at McCreery's school, Garner Magnet High School.

"I've known him since eighth grade. He's a very good singer and I'm proud of him," fan Briana Wells said. 

Shortly before the party started, Garner Magnet received a check for $10,000 from Ford – a major "American Idol" sponsor. 

A viewing party for the "American Idol" finale will be held Wednesday at the RBC Center. Admission is free. Parking will be $10. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. If you can't make it to Raleigh, you can watch the party LIVE on WRAL.com.

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  • VoiceMatters May 25, 2011

    GO Scotty Go!

  • HeadPro May 25, 2011

    I hope Scotty wins. Was it just me or did it look like Lauren was on something last night???
    packersfan4life

    She was on medication for her vocal cords. It was addressed at the very beginning of the show.

  • gallbury May 25, 2011

    You go solarflare 40; you are so right.

  • leo-nc May 25, 2011

    Great kids, but better singers have already been voted off. It's not a singing contest once in the hands of America's voters. It's all about popularity.

  • carolinarox May 25, 2011

    Alaina is her last name, that's where you got it RMC10
    Raleighmomof3

    No, Alaina is her middle name, her last name is Suddeth.

  • Raleighmomof3 May 25, 2011

    Alaina is her last name, that's where you got it RMC10

  • RMC10 May 25, 2011

    Oops from prior post - correct name is Lauren for 2nd place! Where did I get Allaina??? I've been watching off and on all season!!!

  • RMC10 May 25, 2011

    I think the Judges gave Allaina way too much praise for her last sone, and their comments about Mom, Apple Pie and America just may have tipped the scale away from Scotty - but I hope not. He's the best idol singer maybe ever, and he's polite, humble, and comes from good family and values. Allaina reminds me so much of Kelly Clarkson in both her uneven range and her looks. They will both win tonight, both will get the contracts, the concerts and record albums...but Scotty is "doin" country at a time no male country star is on the horizon. We'll be cheering for ya Scotty, and would your parents be interested in an arranged marriage contract my daughter can wait for a dude like you - she's only 13...Good Luck

  • shirleystrickland May 25, 2011

    I think what ryan did was unfair to scotty. I like Laren but to promote her over scotty is wrong. I just hope american voted for scotty to win. He has been great the whole time and and has been a gentlman the whole time

  • ncrebel May 25, 2011

    Isn't it amazing how many Idol finalists have come from North Carolina? I think that says a lot of our State.

    It is also very amazing the amount of poise and maturity these kids have at such young ages. This is a direct result of being well grounded and good foundations from their families.

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