Garner teen makes 'Idol' top 24

Posted February 24, 2011 8:33 p.m. EST
Updated March 1, 2011 8:33 p.m. EST

— Scotty McCreery's road on "American Idol" has been rocky, but it isn't over yet. The 17-year-old from Garner was named to the top 24 on Thursday night. 

Now, McCreery will perform for America's votes each week, with the hopes of making it to the top 12 finalists. 

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."

"I was a bundle of nerves inside, but I tell you what, in the moment, you're just there," McCreery told WRAL News during an interview earlier this month.

Following his performance, judge Steven Tyler let loose a spirited comment that was partially censored.

"I didn't know what to say when Steven made that little remark. I just kind of stood there and smiled. I had never heard that remark before. It was funny," McCreery said.

McCreery's audition was featured on promos for the show and aired on "The View." 

McCreery was handed a golden ticket to Hollywood, where he wowed the judges with "Your Man" again and was solid during a group performance.

The teen ended his stay in Hollywood by faltering and forgetting the words to Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance." His improvisation of the lyrics made him a viral sensation and a target for some bloggers. But the judges sent the Garner Magnet High School student to the next round, where he shined in Las Vegas with a group performance of the Beatles' "Hello, Goodbye." 

"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.