June 1, 2023

Los Angeles: Deep-voiced country singer Scotty McCreary won the tenth season of American Idol on Wednesday by defeating contestant Lauren Alaina, who was named by the judges as the show’s leader, heading into the night.

McCreary, 17, hugged the other Idol contestants of the season and his family after host Ryan Seacrest announced him as the winner of a televised singing competition.

Never in my wildest dreams. First I must thank the Lord. He brought me here,” McCreary said.

Grocery store clerk from Garner, North Carolina, McCreery sang “I Love You This Big”, his first single, to a crowded audience on live television and then tried to catch the confetti falling on him with his mouth.

A record 122 million votes were cast by phone, text and online after McCreary and Alaina – both country singers – gave their final performances on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Alaina, 16, became the judges’ favorite after she overcame a vocal cord tear and delivered an emotional performance dedicated to her mother. But backstage after the show, Alaina said she expected McCreery to take the title.

“I told him at the beginning of the episode, ‘Scotty, are you ready to win?'” Alaina said. “He is my best friend and I love him and I am very happy for him.”

Also backstage, McCreery joked that, with the win under his belt, he would like to spend some time “on the couch watching SportsCenter and eating chips.”

The results were announced after a two-hour livestream with the stars, which included Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Judas Priest and even new Idol judges Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler.

McCreary captivated audiences throughout the season with his distinctive voice and stage presence that belied his youth. He became the first country music champion since Carrie Underwood won the title in 2005 and went on to become a top-selling record and tour leader.

When asked about plans for his album, McCreary said he was focused on making good songs.

“It’s all about the songs after that,” he said.

McCreery’s victory marked the fourth year in a row that a male contestant had won the competition.

As the new “American Idol”, McCreary signs a recording contract with the Universal Music Group label. An album of songs McCreery performed during the season was released Tuesday exclusively through the iTunes music store. Alina’s songs from this season are also on sale. as an album on iTunes and has her own single “Like My Mother Does”.

American Idol has been Fox’s top ratings star for 10 years and the most watched TV show in the country for the past seven years.

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