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Teenagers Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina square off in the 2-part American Idol season finale starting tonight at L.A. LIVE’s Nokia Theatre.  Although he’s the odds-on favorite to win the Idol crown, McCreery began his journey with rather modest goals.

“I didn’t come to American Idol looking to win this thing,” said the 17-year-old.  “In my initial auditions, I never even thought about it.  I never even dreamed I’d make it past the arena.  But now that I’m here, I want it.  I want to win it, so we’ll see how it goes.”

One reason for the country singer’s Idol success is his consistency and his willingness to heed early advice from judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson. “Early on they told me to stay on your lane, and don’t change, and just be yourself,” added McCreery.  “And that’s something I’ve done the whole year, so luckily it’s gotten me here, and I’m going to keep on being Scotty in the finale.”

Scotty McCreery discusses how he has changed during the  American Idol process.

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McCreery also comments on his friendship with fellow finalist Lauren Alaina.

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Catch American Idol on Fox tonight and Wednesday (both airing at 8 pm et/pt).

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi