As expected, deep-voiced country phenom Scotty McCreery defeated Lauren Alaina and took home the "American Idol" season 10 crown last night (May 25), making him the fourth straight male winner in the competition. Although Lauren's performance of "Like My Mother Does" earned raves from the judges on Tuesday's final performance night, Scotty's consistent performances, charming stage presence original track, "I Love You This Big" -- along with his consistent performances and charming stage presence throughout the season -- helped push him to victory.
One day after 122 million votes tipped in his favor, however, the 17-year-old North Carolina native has brushed the confetti out of his hair and is planning to continue his "Idol" momentum with more original songs and a possible appearance with Lauren at the 2011 CMA Music Festlval, which hits Nashville from June 9-12. In a conference call on Thursday, Scotty discussed his upcoming debut album, the romance rumors between him and Lauren, and the "crazy ride" of "American Idol."
How are you getting used to all of the attention of winning "American Idol"?
Scotty McCreery: This is pretty wild, I gotta say. It's a whole lot more than I bargained for coming into this. I never would have expected it. But I'm handling it well -- this is what I asked for, and it's my new life, so this is a really crazy ride so far.
Carrie Underwood made her debut at the CMA Music Festival and the Grand Ole Opry when she won. Are you headed that way too?
I think we're gonna try and get me and Lauren out there to (Fan Fair) this year. They're trying to work out the specifics right now about where we're gonna be playing, the booth signings and maybe playing at the Grand Ole Opry. They're working all this out as we speak. But we're gonna be down there for sure, I think.
This week, especially. Lauren Alaina, she's something else. She sings like a bird. She's just an amazing young lady. Every week I heard people say the "front-runner" stuff, but to me it never even crossed my mind, because everybody this year, from Top 40 down, was just so talented.
Lauren kissed you when you won last night -- is there any romance between you two?
Oh, no. We've been getting that question a lot today. Me and her, it's more like the brother-sister thing. She told me before the show yesterday that she was gonna do that, kind of like a joke. She's a character. But she's lovely, we're really close friends. I met her day one of Hollywood Week, and we were schoolmates through this whole experience.
What kind of album would you like to make now?
I'm really looking forward to getting my music out there. We recorded two [songs] this week and we weren't sure which one we were gonna do, and 'I Love You This Big' turned out to be the one we did. But the other one I'm really excited about too. I think it's gonna be a great album. I gotta pick good songs -- that's what it's all about after the show is getting good songs. The fans got me to where I'm at now, so it's my job to get them the music they want to hear and to have good songs. Hopefully me and Lauren Alaina get to do a duet at some point. I'm not sure about the first album, but hopefully sometime soon.
Lauren said that she thought you were definitely going to win going into the finals. What were your thoughts?
My thought was that she wrapped it up when she sang that finale song ["Like My Mother Does"]. That was one of the most beautiful songs I've heard. I was more than nervous coming into it last night, and it worked out in my favor. But Lauren, she's sweet, she's been supporting me and I've been supporting her through this whole process. We're really close friends, and we both came out winners last night.