Entertainment

Garner teen makes it to 'Idol' finale

Posted May 19, 2011 4:32 p.m. EDT
Updated May 20, 2011 3:50 p.m. EDT

— Garner's country crooner Scotty McCreery has made it to the “American Idol” finale.

The 17-year-old will take the stage on Tuesday to sing for the title against fellow country singer Lauren Alaina.

Hundreds gathered at McCreery’s school, Garner Magnet High School, on Thursday night to watch the results. Some lined up as early as 4 p.m. to get a spot.

"I love to hear country music and he does it very well," fan and McCreery's neighbor Courtney Telfaire said. "We love the family and it's great to be here amidst all this excitement." 

McCreery's "Idol" journey has been relatively painless. He has never been one of the bottom vote-getters on the show and has enjoyed praise from the three judges. Alaina’s journey has been a bit bumpier with a few trips to the bottom three and lukewarm comments from the judges early on.

McCreery advanced to the finals on Thursday after performing "She Believes in Me" by Kenny Rogers, "Amazed" by Lonestar and "Are You Going to Kiss Me or Not?" by Thompson Square the previous night.

Alaina took on Faith Hill’s “Wild One," Band Perry’s "If I Die Young" and Lee Ann Womack’s "I Hope You Dance."

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 Saturday in Garner during a celebration in the teen's honor.

To show support for McCreery, the Raleigh Convention Center changed the lighting of its Shimmer Wall to blue on Thursday. It will stay blue through next week's "Idol" finale. Garner Magnet High School's student fan group has been dubbed the "Blue Crew" because of the school's colors.

Relive Scotty's visit to the Triangle

“Raleigh is proud to show its total support of our neighbor’s favorite son,” Mayor Charles Meeker said in a press release.

"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.