Entertainment

Garner teen makes it to 'Idol' top 3

Posted May 12, 2011 8:56 p.m. EDT
Updated May 12, 2011 10:57 p.m. EDT

— Garner better be ready to "lock the doors and turn the lights down low," because native Scotty McCreery is on his way home for a visit after securing a spot in the top three on "American Idol." 

Hundreds of people turned out at Garner High School Thursday night to watch the hometown boy advance. Thousands more are expected to crowd Lake Benson Park Saturday for his homecoming concert. 

Click for details of Scotty's visit.

The 17-year-old, who is joined in the finals by Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart, advanced on Thursday after performing "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)" by Alan Jackson and "Young Blood" by The Coasters Wednesday night. Each contestant in the top three will be visiting their hometowns along with "Idol" camera crews.

Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams said the town will host a parade and concert – rain or shine – at Lake Benson Park. The mayor advised fans to plan to arrive at the park no later than noon on Saturday. Scotty is scheduled to perform with a surprise guest at 3 p.m. Pets, tents and coolers will not be allowed.

"I hope they come with an empty gas tank, and I hope they come hungry, so they'll spend some money in Garner while they're here," Williams said.

The town has budgeted more than $50,000 for the celebration and is working to secure some corporate sponsors to help assist with the cost, Williams said.

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."

Since then, McCreery as earned praise from the judges each week and has never been among the bottom two vote-getters on the show.

"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.