- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
- Family removed from Southwest flight over tweet about rude agent, dad says
- Michael Bloomberg thumbs FAA ban, plots course to Israel
- California bans full-contact football practices in off-season
- Thune: Downed fighter jets show more evidence of separatist capabilities
- Obama tells DNC fundraising crowd: ‘I’m not overly partisan’
- Chambliss: Downed jet ultimately goes back to Putin
- Perdue strategy: Run against Reid, Obama, Pelosi
- White House: More changes to contraception mandate coming
- ‘Operation Normandy’ set to send 3,500 volunteers to border to ‘stop an invasion’
Tuning In to TV
Question of the Day
From that initial moment when Scotty McCreery stepped in front of the “American Idol” judges and bellowed “lock the door and turn the lights down low” in his deep-beyond-his-years register, the fresh-faced country crooner captured everyone’s attention and he never let it go. Scotty, a 17-year-old high school student from Garner, N.C., won the “American Idol” title Wednesday night after performing nearly flawlessly throughout the 10th season of the Fox talent competition.
And he did it with an unwavering commitment to country music - even when challenged with other genres. During the show’s installment of Elton John tunes, Scotty uncovered Mr. John’s “Country Comfort” and made it his own.
“You have amazing instincts about performing and about what’s right for you,” judge Jennifer Lopez told him afterward.
Armed with an unflappable aw-shucks attitude and genuinely goofy grin, Scotty managed to outlast an array of more seasoned and outgoing finalists, such as eccentric 20-year-old jazz lover Casey Abrams of Idyllwild, Calif., wailing 22-year-old rocker James Durbin of Santa Cruz, Calif., and sultry 20-year-old vocalist Haley Reinhart of Wheeling, Ill.
In the end, Scotty’s biggest adversary among the top 13 singers was the one most like him: 16-year-old fellow country darling Lauren Alaina of Rossville, Ga. Despite her vocal cord injury that needed medical treatment before their sing-off on Tuesday’s finale, the judges proclaimed that Lauren overpowered Scotty with her soaring vocal spectrum.
The viewers, who cast more than 122 million votes, didn’t agree. Scotty built a stronger connection with the audience than Lauren, who sometimes wilted under the lights - and pressure - of the “Idol” stage, while Scotty always sizzled. Sitting across from his parents in his dressing room after the finale, Scotty had one clue why viewers picked him.
“It’s because I’m one of them,” he said. “I was just a kid who was bagging groceries three months ago.”
The matchup between Scotty and Lauren, who individually performed with country icon Tim McGraw and fourth season “Idol” winner Carrie Underwood, respectively, on Wednesday, marked the youngest finale duel in “Idol” history. Producers lowered the minimum age requirement to 15 years old this season, which allowed Lauren the opportunity to audition last year.
Wednesday’s finale was seen by an estimated 29.3 million people. The Nielsen Co. said Thursday that was 21 percent more than last year’s ultimate show.
The outcome punctuates the inaugural season of Ms. Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler as judges. The pair, who joined veteran Randy Jackson on the panel, brought a gentler attitude to the show after the departure of biting judge Simon Cowell, who left at the end of last season to transplant his British talent contest “The X Factor” to the U.S.
The new panel initially energized the 10th season of “Idol,” which still reigns as No. 1 but has steadily dipped in weekly viewership and seen its audience age.
- Derrik J. Lang, Associated Press
‘Oprah’ finale scores biggest audience in 17 years
Preliminary figures show Wednesday’s finale of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” scored its highest audience in 17 years, the Associated Press reports.
TWT Video Picks
Retailer pays a price for getting too close to Obama
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down
- HURT: The cost of 'free' water in Detroit
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq