Scotty wins 'American Idol'

Posted May 25, 2011
Updated May 26, 2011

— Scotty McCreery, the 17-year-old country crooner from Garner, has captured the “American Idol” crown.

"I never in my wildest dreams," said McCreery, a 17-year-old with a strikingly deep, old-soul voice that contrasts with his youth. "I've got to thank the Lord first ... he got me here."

McCreery bested fellow country singer Lauren Alaina, 16, during Wednesday’s finale of the Fox reality show. 

The teenager seemed overwhelmed as he took the stage for a celebratory version of  his single "I Love You This Big," halting to embrace his parents in the audience, Alaina and others. Then he playfully stuck his tongue out, trying to catch falling confetti.

"It really is a great song and a great way to start off my career," McCreery told WRAL News after the win. 

McCreery debuted the single Tuesday night, after performing Montgomery Gentry's "Gone" and George Strait's "Check Yes or No.”

Scotty talks to WRAL News after win Scotty talks to WRAL News after win

After host Ryan Seacrest announced McCreery as the winner, more than 8,000 fans watching the broadcast at the RBC Center in Raleigh erupted into cheers.

"We're such a small town and for something like this to happen, it's amazing," said Stephen Jones, a member of the Blue Crew, the fan group who has supported McCreery throughout the competition. 

McCreery said he wished he could have been in both places at once. 

"I just can't wait to get back home to Garner," McCreery said. 

“Idol” judges said Tuesday that Alaina, of Rossville, Ga., had won the night after an emotional performance of her potential single, “Like My Mother Does.” She also sang Carrie Underwood's "Flat on the Floor" and "Maybe It Was Memphis" by Pam Tillis.

McCreery said he and Alaina have become close. 

"We're just such close friends. Lord knows, it's just the beginning," he said. 

McCreery's parents say that college is not negotiable for the teen. They hope that they will attend college possibly part-time at Belmont University in Nashville. 

McCreery’s ascent to “American Idol” champ has been relatively painless. He was never among the bottom vote-getters and enjoyed praise from the judges each week.

McCreery's "Idol" journey began last year when he auditioned in Milwaukee singing Josh Turner's "Your Man" and Travis Tritt's "Put Some Drive in Your Country."

After singing "Your Man," a few times in earlier rounds, it became McCreery's unofficial theme song. Turner even surprised McCreery on stage on May 14 in Garner during a celebration in the teen's honor.

“Winning 'American Idol' would be great, but just to get into the industry and to be a part of the music industry and be in Nashville and sing with the greats – that's a dream," McCreery said during an interview with WRAL News in February.


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  • Shamrock May 27, 2011


    Kids can certainly have more than 1 role model in their lives. I hope my children grow up to have morals like Scotty.

  • myprayers May 27, 2011

    No one is liked by everyone- Scotty will have to learn to ignore people who hate and when I look at some of these comments, this area has alot of anger, negative, people who response to these articles. I have to wonder what has happened in their lives to cause them to be so mean. Scotty is a 17 year old who was in the right spot at the right time. I love his voice and he is what we all want our children to be. Look at what he has already encountered with meeting all those people, the experience of it all. He will have more memories to last him a life time. I will buy his music and support them. Aleast pick on someone who wants to fight----leave this guy alone.

  • ebeamer7472 May 26, 2011

    Generally, I just ignore the negative comments here. They are one person's opinion and have nothing to do with my decisions or opinions. Personally, I am delighted that Scotty and Lauren have done so well. Congratulations to them for a job well done.

  • ProudConservative2 May 26, 2011

    You can list whatever awards you want, these folks are winners of a glorified karaoke contest. They will NEVER have the staying power of The Beatles, Who, Led Zep, Aersomith(Shame on S. Tyler),Hank Williams, Patti Paige, etc..... Get REAL!!!

  • NCSU2311 May 26, 2011

    "Now we can watch him fade into oblivion like the rest of the AI winners."


    Really? Kelly Clarkson, the first American Idol, just had a duo video with Jason Aldean which was on the CMT charts for a record number of weeks. Carrie Underwood has 15 Billboard music awards, 11 ACMA awards, 6 People's Choice awards, 7 Grammy awards, 6 American Music Awards, 6 CMT awards, and countless others -- I'm tired -- you can look it all up yourself on Wiki.

    Other contestants who did not win have done well in their careers. Not that many have gone into oblivion. Most are more successful and have already made more money than the average person can hope for. You don't hear about them because they are not involved in your range of interest. The jealousy about these kids is insane.
    GOLO member since February 4, 2011
    May 26, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    LOL she named 2 and both FEMALE!!! Get

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 May 26, 2011

    Way to go, Scotty!

  • rroadrunner99 May 26, 2011

    Congratulation's to Scotty! I am one of your fan's from Day 1 of American Idol. I am glad to see you win it! I hope you go far in your pursuit's of a musical career.

  • 2early4me May 26, 2011

    Amen starrygrl2000!

  • 2early4me May 26, 2011

    The music industry is a tough and sometimes fickle business to be in. Not everyone is cut out for it, but some are. It depends on the performer as to how much staying power they have. You can't judge one performer against another simply because they used similar venues to achieve their stardom. Let's see what happens before we call him another Taylor Hicks - they are two different characters with two different styles and public appeal.

  • IAMAmerican May 26, 2011


    Sorry, I was talking about contestants on AI...........just because you haven't heard anything about someone lately, doesn't mean they're not "Musically and Professionally" doing what they want. I saw where Bucky Covington was in Nashville putting out a new Album, Kelly Pickler just married a producer or song writer (she's done really well)...........Taylor Hicks is on Broadway in Grease! .........................just saying!