Scotty  McCreery Scotty McCreery

After the record-breaking 122 million votes were tallied, Scotty McCreery was crowned the new American Idol champ. "I couldn't believe it," says the down-to-earth 17-year-old. "It was an incredible experience and a moment I will never forget."

TV Guide Magazine: Kelly Clarkson said she didn't think she was cool enough, or thin enough, or pretty enough to win American Idol. What kind of doubts were challenging you as the competition progressed? 
Scotty: I don't see myself any differently. I'm just a normal kid. So it's weird for me to be in the spotlight like this. I don't think I ever really gave myself a chance as a musician before this show. I kind of figured I was okay for the small town that I was in. But outside of that, I might not be too hot. But the show has proven to me otherwise. It's given me a lot more confidence.

TV Guide Magazine: You've said that you doubted yourself for the longest time. Why?
Scotty: I just always told myself that I could sing good for my small church where I was at, and outside of that, there were singers who were a whole lot better than me. There are still lots of people out there who are a whole lot better than me.

TV Guide Magazine: We know that you leaned on your faith throughout the competition. Is there a particular Bible passage that speaks to you? 
Scotty: Yeah, my favorite verse, Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." That's the verse I lean on when things get tough.

TV Guide Magazine: The girls were always screaming when you were on stage. Did that surprise you?
Scotty: I've been singing for four years now — I had no girls screaming my name out before this. It's definitely a little different. People are screaming your name out and wanting to touch you, or wanting you to shake their hand or give them a hug. It's really different from what I'm used to.

TV Guide Magazine: Does it make you uncomfortable because they don't really know you?
Scotty: Oh, no. I portrayed exactly who I am on the show. What you see is what you get with me. I think if they watched the show closely, they saw me grow as a person... I've tried to portray that. They don't know me on a personal level, but that's all right.

TV Guide Magazine: Steven Tyler says he'd like to hear all of you sing when you've had a few more miles under your belt, when you've gone through heartache and break-ups and the like. Is he right? Have you had your heart broken already?
Scotty: I wouldn't say heartbreak. I haven't had my heart broken yet. I'm still young and have a lot of youth left for that to happen. I'm sure it will. But he's definitely right. I've got a lot of life to live and lot more life experience to go through. That will help me out, singing-wise, and help me out in life. It'll be a lot more personal when I'm singing songs, because I'll be able to feel that. I mean, I can feel some of that and relate to that, because everybody's had a crush on somebody that hasn't really worked out. But I wouldn't say heartbreak for me, yet. I'm still a kid. I'm still 17.

TV Guide Magazine: Did your high school music teacher really have you singing tenor?
Scotty: Yeah, she did for my first two years singing in class. And finally I pulled her aside one day and said, 'I'd really like to try to sing bass one day and see how it works out.' She didn't even know I could sing country music. I'd just always been singing classical music in her class so that's all she knew of me.

TV Guide Magazine: We know you want to go home, watch SportsCenter, eat chips and buy a truck. But how many hours do you want to sleep right now? 
Scotty: I could sleep a whole day and night and be content. Refuel myself.

TV Guide Magazine: What would be the perfect meal right now?
Scotty: Oh, you know what I'm gonna say. Fried chicken and sweet tea. And some nice French fries to go with it.

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