Scotty McCreery Wins “American Idol” Season 10

In a battle of country singers, Scotty McCreery defeated Lauren Alaina for the “American Idol” Season 10 title on Wednesday after receiving a majority of the record 122 million votes cast by viewers via text message, phone, and online.

The 17-year-old McCreery, whose impressive stage presence endeared him to audiences, is the first country singer to win “American Idol” since a young lady from Checotah, Oklahoma, named Carrie Underwood took home the title in 2005 en route to becoming one of the top-selling country singers in recent years. McCreery said that winning the Fox show was beyond his wildest dreams. “Never in my wildest dreams. I got to thank the Lord first. He got me here,” the teenager from Garner, North Carolina, said after the finale.

McCreery said the next step for him is to make sure that he picks the right songs for his upcoming album. “It’s all about the songs after this,” said McCreery, who sang his first single, “I Love You This Big,” on the last performance night on Tuesday.