Part of the perks from getting into the Top 3 on “American Idol” is the chance to go home for the first time in months. For 17-year-old Scotty McCreery, that homecoming was long in coming, especially for someone who had been noticeably homesick for some time (he seemed to remind the audience that he wanted to go home each week). But little Garner, N.C., made it worth the wait, shelling out a reported $60,000, according to the Hollywood Reporter, to host his homecoming celebration. And that wasn’t all. Scotty got to meet Josh Turner — the guy whose song, “Your Man,” became a Scotty staple in the first few weeks of “American Idol,” so much so that it was questioned whether or not the contestant was a “one trick pony.”
But Scotty’s one trick turned out to be popular enough to keep him around and his talent and ability to arrange songs to fit his countrified vocal stylings proved to be anything but “one trick.” Now in the Top 3, he is one show away from the finale, just two shows short of becoming the next American Idol.
Scotty made the rounds while home (Garner police had to cordon off his house in the Raleigh suburb to keep out the throngs of fans and well-wishers who showed up to see newly minted celebrity). As has become customary, he dropped by his former place of employment, where he worked as a bagboy. Bagging groceries and talking to customers, Scotty joked that he had gotten a call from his manager that he had failed to turn in his two-week notice.
As has become part of the show, he received his judges’ choice song while at home. For Scotty, the judges have chosen Kenny Rogers’ “You Believe In Me,” a song well suited for his deep vocal range.
The finalists always perform for the hometown fans sometime during their visit. Scotty made his way to Lake Benson Park for his concert, where the mayor of Garner gave him a key to the city and declared May 14 “Scotty McCreery Day.”
It was during the show that he got the biggest surprise. There was not a doubt that the young singer would perform “Your Man” sometime during the concert. After all, it was the song that people first identified him by. But when he did, Turner, the country singer who made the song famous (taking it to #1 on the Billboard Country Songs chart in 2005), strode out on stage halfway through the song.
“I heard you had never sung this song with a band before — I thought I’d bring a few of my guys in,” Turner told the shocked teen.
Scotty, ever one to be quick on his feet, told Turner. “I only sang 30 seconds of it.”
Turner told the crowd, “This is unrehearsed. We’re gonna wing it.”
And they did, much to the delight of the hometown fans.
Scotty, who said he was honored by the support from his home town and was glad to be able to hear people with Southern accents again, according to the Washington Examiner, will return to Hollywood to finish the “American Idol” Season 10 competition. He will compete Wednesday to see who will become the two finalists who will face off in the season finale. While Scotty was home in Garner, Lauren Alaina went home to Rossville, Ga., and Haley Reinhart went home to Deer Park, Ill. This year’s winner of “American Idol” will be announced on May 26.
Watch the Scotty McCreery and Josh Turner duet of “Your Man” on YouTube.com (from WRAL in Raliegh, N.C.).
Cortney Wiils, The Hollywood Reporter, “‘American Idol’ Top 3 Visit Hometowns, Judges’ Choice Songs Revealed,” Billboard.com
WRAL, “Josh Turner surprises Scotty McCreery on his stage,” YouTube.com