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Scotty McCreery Gives Fans the ‘Inside Scoop’ on His ‘American Idol’ Experience

Scotty McCreery
Kris Connor, Getty Images

Scotty McCreery is right up there with Carrie Underwood (and, to an extent, Kelly Clarkson) as one of the most successful country music alums from ‘American Idol.’ Over the weekend, McCreery — who won Season 10 back in 2011 and is prepping his sophomore album — took to Twitter to give fans the inside scoop on how the show works. He lived it, so he would know.

McCreery won our hearts at the tender age of 17 when he delivered a rumbling, stirring rendition of Josh Turner‘s ‘Your Man’ for his initial audition, which was one of the most memorable of the season and of the series.

But it almost didn’t happen.

“Fun Fact: For the ‘Idol’ auditions you have to sing a song that is cleared by the show for rights and stuff. ‘Your Man’ wasn’t cleared my audition day,” McCreery shares.

He further reveals, “If you sang a song that wasn’t cleared they wouldn’t put your audition on TV, which makes it tough on your chances of making the show. I told the producers I didn’t care, and I was singing ‘Your Man.’ Miraculously, about 15 minutes before my audition, they told me they got it cleared! If that had not happened, we would’ve never got to hear Steven’s crazy line, and who knows if I’d be here today!” McCreery is, of course, referring to then-judge Steven Tyler’s wacky response to his voice.

If the clearance hadn’t come, it could have drastically changed the outcome of Season 10 and of McCreey’s life.

The young star was also told that he was not auditioning for ‘Nashville Star,’ and the producers asked him to sing a non-country tune. He chose ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ by crooner Frank Sinatra. “Imagine that in my country voice, haha,” he joked with his Twitter followers.

It was on the show that McCreery sang Jamey Johnson‘s ‘In Color,’ which won him a golden ticket. He had to learn a pop song and picked John Mayer‘s ‘Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,’ which was performed in a non-filmed audition. Believe it or not, he was even asked to perform — get this! — Lady Gaga‘s ‘Bad Romance.’

Wait, what? Country crooner Scotty McCreery going Gaga? He was a good sport and tried it, but stopped at the midpoint, saying, “This ain’t on my country station back home, I don’t know this.” Turns out, the execs of the show weren’t serious. They simply wanted to hear a “country boy sing Lady Gaga, lol.”

The Season 10 winner held no ill will, adding, “Love all those producers too, they’re cool!”

Don’t you love Scotty McCreery for sticking to his country guns? His complete play-by-play of his ‘Idol’ experience is detailed here.

Next: 10 Things You Never Knew About Scotty McCreery

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