Since the early rounds of the competition, viewers have wondered about the unusual way 'American Idol' contestant Scotty McCreery holds his microphone. His fellow contestants have had fun teasing the 17-year-old about his sideways grip, and a recent episode featured a few of them mocking his style by playing the microphone like a flute.

One of McCreery's biggest fans, a former teacher, offers some firsthand insight into the mystery of the sideways microphone. Beth Hunnicutt, Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church in Garner, N.C. tells Taste of Country she thinks her longtime student had gotten used to using a crooked neck microphone holder while singing and playing guitar in a chair. “So the mic is turned … and he's singing into the mic and playing guitar," Hunnicutt explains.

Last week, McCreery used a more traditional hold while singing Carole King's 'You've Got a Friend.' Hunnicutt believes that the teasing along with some good coaching has straightened him out.“Somebody is helping there," she says. "That's not a good habit to have.”

In addition to helping McCreery develop his voice since he was in pre-school, Hunnicutt has become good friends with the entire family. She says his mother and father are also very talented singers. The younger McCreery even emulates Dad's microphone grip, although the sideways angle is a Scotty original. "His dad uses the same four finger spread," Hunnicutt says with a chuckle.