We’ve met two new judges this season.
We’ve learned we don’t miss Simon after all.
And now we know the winner of American Idol 2011 season 10.
17-Year-old country crooner Scotty McCreery took home the gold tonight and is the new American Idol 2011 winner.
Even after last night’s last minute scare, 30 minutes before going live, that Lauren Alaina had lost her voice and Haley Reinhart would be his new competitor.
Scotty made his hometown of Garner North Carolina proud by winning the tenth season’s top prize after a record breaking 122 million votes put him over the top.
“Scotty had what it took to go the distance and everybody in Garner is very proud of him. The entire town went into shock when we heard that Scotty had won.”
Scotty beat out 17-year-old country singer Lauren Alaina, and emerged as a frontrunner after the eliminations of Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Stefano Langone, Casey Abrams, Paul McDonald, and Pia Toscano.
So what prize does the winner of American Idol get?
The winner receives a record deal with a major recording label for up to six albums. All previous winners have reportedly earned at least $1 million in their first year after being named winner. Several have gone on to become superstars.
In addition, the top ten finalists go on the road with the “American Idol Summer Tour” kicking off this June and making each contestant a nice six-figure income.
This season of American Idol was a vast improvement over prior seasons. The ousting of bad guy Simon Cowell and the addition of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez ignited a fresh fire under the show.
Not that this season was without problems and drama.
Related: Was Idol’s James Durbin Arrested?
Things got a bit rocky when Pia Toscano was voted off before smooth operator Stefano Langone. Fans revolted and started a grass roots effort to have her reinstated - but ultimately failed in their attempt.
Fans were ecstatic when Pia announced she had signed a record deal only two days after being voted off the show.
Related: The Pia Toscano and Stefano Langone Drama
And fans cheered when alt-rock sensation Casey Abrams was welcomed back after the judges used their one “save” of the season.
However, some viewers felt that the addition of famous record producer Jimmy Iovine may have led some Idols astray by giving bad advice or pushing them towards a particular song.
Jacob Lusk for example, criticized Iovine for giving him bad advice that Jacob felt ultimately cost him his chance at winning.
Related: AI’s Jacob Lusk Arrested in L.A. – Mug Shot
And Chris Medina lashed out at producers when he was not invited to the finale live show. He felt that the show really played up his sad story about his fiancée, who suffered a debilitating brain injury, and then dumped him after he was eliminated.
Related: Chris Medina not invited to Idol Finale?
But all-in-all it was a great season. We really believe the changing of the guard propelled American Idol back to what it was in the early days.
And we congratulate Scotty for going the distance and bringing home the win.
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