With a record-breaking 122 million votes cast, the winner of American Idol season 10 is…
"Never in my wildest dreams [did I think I'd win]. I've got to thank the Lord first, he got me here. Thank y'all so much!" McCreery, 17, said after host Ryan Seacrest revealed the Garner, N.C., native beat out Lauren Alaina for the title.
Performing his coronation single, "I Love You This Big," McCreery was clearly emotional as he ventured into the audience to hug his parents and fellow Idol finalists.
McCreery's win -- clinched after he belted out "I Love You This Big," Montgomery Gentry's "Gone" and "Check Yes or No" by George Strait for viewer votes Wednesday -- comes as no surprise to judge Steven Tyler.
"You've come a long way," Tyler told McCreery after the performance round. "In the beginning we were worried about your range and you proved it right there again. You take your chances, you ran with it and you nailed it again."
Idol's last girl standing -- the youngest finalist in show history at 16 -- says she's content with her run on the show.
"I dreamed of being the next American Idol since I was six years old standing in my living room and I would scream into the remote control that I was going to win," she told reporters hours before Wednesday's finale, held at L.A.'s Nokia Theater. "If I lost to Scotty I'd still be a winner because he is the bomb!"
Echoes McCreery of his runner-up: "We've been together since day one and we're going to stay together."
For more from Idol's big finale -- including news, video and photos of the night's showstopping celeb performances -- keep checking back at UsMagazine.com on Thursday.
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