As Scotty McCreery prepares to release his new album 'Clear as Day' next month, let's take a moment to look back on the top Scotty McCreery songs from 'American Idol' that put the winner into our homes and hearts. He sang over two dozen songs during his four months on television, but we've paired it down to the top 10 songs from season 10.
All 10 of these songs, except his duet with Tim McGraw, were competition songs -- meaning they counted for or against him. In actuality, his frequent duets with Lauren Alaina probably helped his chances as much as any song he sang individually, but since it is an individual singer's reality show we tried to keep the list to only the songs that mattered. Be sure to share your favorite McCreery moments in the feedback section below.
'Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),' Alan JacksonAir Date: May 11, 2011
It's possible that the 10th anniversary of the September 11 tragedy has us seeing this performance through red, white and blue sunglasses, so it kicks off our list of the Top 10 Scotty McCreery Songs From 'American Idol.' The song is a little too big for the show -- almost three minutes are trimmed from Alan Jackson's original -- and a little too big for McCreery, though. After all, he was only 7-years-old when the Twin Towers fell. He tries to make the song his own by moving up an octave late in the performance. It's a good effort, but there are certainly nine better.
'I Cross My Heart,' George StraitAir Date: April 13, 2011
A couple of times during season 10 of 'America Idol,' McCreery took the easy way out of seemingly challenging show themes. The movie category was an opportunity for him to prove he could sing styles beyond country, but he played it safe with a song from the 'Pure Country' soundtrack. It was a status quo performance that neither cost him or gained him fans. The next week he'd play it safe again by choosing 'Swingin'' as his 21st century song. That decision almost landed him in the bottom three.
'Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,' Thompson SquareAir Date: May 28, 2011
This was an odd choice by coach Jimmy Iovine because the song was very new by 'American Idol' standards. Iovine never really explained why he chose this song for McCreery, but the singer had no doubt heard it enough on his favorite radio station back home to have memorized the words. He pulled his acoustic guitar out for this performance, a pivotal one that helped earn him a spot in the final two. It's doubtful McCreery would have picked this song for himself, but he made the most of it -- and it makes our list of the Top 10 Scotty McCreery Songs From 'American Idol.'
'The River,' Garth BrooksAir Date: March 9, 2011
The always enthusiastic Randy Jackson begged McCreery with "don't change it!" after this 'American Idol' performance during the Top 13 week. He was still new to us then, but was quickly becoming a favorite amongst fans country and non-country. Later in the competition, he learned to take songs from other singers and make them his own; the 17-year-old was still holding in his true talents at this point. Week after week he continued to improve, but it was this performance of Garth Brooks' classic that solidified McCreery as a country singer and nothing but a country singer.
'Letters From Home,' John Michael MontgomeryAir Date: March 1, 2011
This early in the competition, McCreery still had to prove his value amongst other contestants, so he can be quickly forgiven for taking a few artistic liberties with such a humble song. John Michael Montgomery's hit still has a special ability to send shivers down the spine of moms and dads with kids in the military. McCreery's version was only goosebump-inducing, but that's still plenty good for someone as new to the game as he was in March 2011 -- so it has a place on our list of the Top 10 Scotty McCreery Songs From 'American Idol.'
'You've Got a Friend,' Carole KingAir Date: April 17, 2011
Many may have joked that contestants as young as Scotty McCreery would ask "Carole who?" before choosing a song for the Top 6 round on 'American Idol,' but this teenager was well versed in the King's music. This song held special meaning for a youth retreat he had been on in previous years, so he was familiar with the intricacies. From there it was only a matter of making it another Scotty smash ... much easier to do when you've already got the lyrics memorized.
'Live Like You Were Dying,' Tim McGrawAir Date: May 25, 2011
The competition was already decided by the time he joined Tim McGraw onstage to sing 'Live Like You Were Dying,' one of our favorite songs performed by Scotty McCreery on 'American Idol.' The two had great chemistry, with McCreery singing from a place many 17-year-olds don't know. His father is still alive and well, so maybe it was just a feeling of relief in knowing the difficult days of 'American Idol' were behind him that allowed him to open up and belt this song out like it was his own. To be honest, the singer rarely had trouble opening up after the show's first tentative weeks. McGraw's presence placed a stamp on the eventual winner's credibility.
'That's All Right,' Elvis PresleyAir Date: April 6, 2011
McCreery looked for every opportunity to include his idols into a performance. This round was almost a layup as it allowed him to sing an Elvis Presley song. His goofy smile and deep voice drew comparisons to the King, and the 17-year-old didn't let viewers down with a performance that left judges squealing like 16-year-old girls. It was around this point in the competition that McCreery started letting his personality seep through, which is why it ranks on our list of the Top 10 Scotty McCreery Songs From 'American Idol.' He quickly developed a stage presence few on the show could top.
'Your Man,' Josh TurnerAir Date: January 26, 2011
McCreery gets picked on for too often relying on this Josh Turner hit, but an unbiased listen proves that the song he auditioned with in Milwaukee, Wisc. last summer is amongst the strongest in his repertoire. The reality is it only feels like he sang the song each week because 'Idol' producers kept replaying his audition tape. He sang the song one more time during the competition, during the first round of Hollywood week.
'Gone,' Montgomery GentryAir Date: May 4, 2011
McCreery gave an encore performance of 'Gone' during the season finale, picking it as his favorite song from the 10th season of 'American Idol.' He brought an energy and enthusiasm to 'Gone' that forced judges to wonder aloud if they were at a Scotty McCreery concert. Since the show ,the song has been a highlight of the American Idols Live Tour.