Saturday, October 29, 2011

#89 Scotty McCreery

Next on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 89 finalist, who is none other than the current American Idol, country singer Scotty McCreery. He is the winner of American Idol season 10. He is my least favorite American Idol winner. He was pimped (or shipped) all throughout the voting rounds. He won with significantly inflated voting margins. I am glad Adam Stanton did a pop cover of McCreery's coronoation song "I Love You This Big." McCreery worked as a grocery store clerk at the time of his stint on American Idol. I never voted for him on American Idol. His favorite quote is, at Phillipians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." His musical influences are Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Conway Twitty, Garth Brooks, Josh Turner, George Strait, and Elvis Pressley.

Scott Cooke McCreery was born on October 9, 1993, to Judy (née Cooke) and Michael McCreery in Garner, North Carolina. His mother Judy is a realtor, and his father Michael works as a manufacturing systems analyst. His father was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, to a Puerto Rican mother from San Juan and an White American father.  His mother is the daughter of a retired school teacher from Gates County, North Carolina. McCreery used to impersonate Elvis Pressley during childhood, and began to study guitar at the age of ten. He attended Timber Drive Elementary School in Garner, North Carolina, and later West Lake Middle School where he sang at his graduation. He also attended Garnet Magnet High School where joined vocal ensemble known as Die Meistersingers, that performs across the United States. He started out singing at the tenor register but switched to the bass register when his voice turned lower in his sophomore year.

McCreery won a singing contest called "Clayton Idol" at the Clayton Harvest Festival in Clayton, North Carolina. He was one of the 36 finalists in a "Rip the Hallways" contest featuring teenage vocalists in North Carolina. He has performed at various local charity events.  He also attended Caswell Youth Retreat in the summer of 2009, and participated in the talent show there singing Long Black Train by Josh Turner.

McCreery is very religious. He often states that his religion plays a significant role in his life and that God helps him get through the things he has to face in life. He openly tells others that he loves Jesus Christ with all of his heart and that he needs to stand by Him all the time, because God is the only way he can get through the competition.  He also states that Sunday is his favorite day of the week because, he gets to attend the First Baptist Church in Garner and helps his mother prepare meals for the church.

McCreery auditioned for American Idol season 10 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with the songs "Your Man" by Josh Turner and "Put Some Drive in Your Country" by Travis Tritt. The judges were struck by his deep bass voice unusual for his age.  During the first Hollywood round, McCreery did an encore of "Your Man" by Josh Turner. In the Hollywood group round, he joined the "Guaps" and became embroiled in the drama when fellow group member Clint Jun Gamboa expelled Jacee Badeaux from the group. They performed "Get Ready" by The Temptations. He later expressed regret for not standing up for Jacee. During the third Holywood Round, McCreery performed "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack. In the Las Vegas Round, he performed "Hello, Goodbye" by The Beatles. During the Sing for Your Life Round, he performed "Long Black Train" by Josh Turner. He was one of the five male vote getters in the semi-final round to advance to the Top 13.  In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, he confirmed that has Puerto Rican ancestry, specifically his paternal grandmother.  McCreery was never in the bottom 2 or 3 during the season joining past winners Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, and Lee DeWyze.

During top 24 semifinal week, McCreery performed "Letters from Home" by John Michael Montgomery. During top 13 week, he performed "The River" by Garth Brooks. During top 12 week, he performed "Can I Trust You with My Heart" by Travis Tritt. During top 11A week, he performed "For Once in My Life" by Stevie Wonder. During top 11B week, he performed "Country Comfort" by Elton John. During top 9 week, he performed "That's All Right" by Arthur Crudup. During top 8 week, he performed "I Cross My Heart" by George Strait, featured on the 1992 Western film Pure Country. During top 7 week, he performed "Swingin'" by John Anderson. During top 6 week, he performed a solo "You've Got a Friend" by Carole King and a duet "Up on the Roof" by The Drifters with Lauren Alaina. During top 5 week, McCreery performed "Gone" by Montgomery Gentry and "Always on My Mind" by Brenda Lee. During top 4 week, he performed "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" by Alan Jackson and "Young Blood" by The Coasters. During McCreery's top 3 homecoming day, Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams gave McCreery the key to the town of Garner and officially made May 14 "Scotty McCreery Day." During that week, McCreery performed "Amazed" by Lonestar as chosen by himself, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" by Thompson Square as chosen by Jimmy Iovine, and "She Believes in Me" by Kenny Rogers as chosen by the judges. During finale week, he did an encore of his first top 5 peformance and then performed "Check Yes or No" by George Strait, and then his coronation song "I Love You This Big." He won American Idol season 10 on May 25, 2011, with Lauren Alaina as the runner-up.

McCreery released his coronation single "I Love You Tis Big" shortly after winning American Idol season 10. The song entered the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart at number 32, becoming the highest debut for a debut single since the chart converted to BDS data the week of January 20, 1990. The song sold 171,404 units in its first week, and was RIAA certified gold on August 25, 2011. A music video for the song, shot on Angels Point near Dodger Stadium, was released on August 9 2011. He signed with Mercury Nashville, earning a contract that gave him over $250,000 in advances for recording the first album. On October 19, 2011, McCreery sang the United States National Anthem in Game 1 of the World Series between the Saint Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium in Saint Louis, Missouri.

McCreery's first album, titled Clear as Day, was released on October 4, 2011. His coronation single "I Love You This Big" is the second track on the album. Tracks from the album include a song from Keith Urban, and the title track "Clear as Day." A single from this album, "The Trouble With Girls" was premiered on radio on August 30, 2011, and released onto iTunes on September 1, 2011. An exclusive pre-order package on the album was offered in his website on August 8, 2011.

The album sold 197,000 on its debut week, and Scotty McCreery made history as the first country act to debut at No. 1 on Billboard 200 ith their first studio album, as well as the youngest man to open at the top of the chart with his debut release. It reached No. 1 on five separate Billboard charts - Billboard 200, Top Current Albums, Digital Albums, Internet Albums, and Top Country Albums.

Next up on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 88 American Idol finalist. She lost the finale to the subject of this blog entry.

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