Lauren Alaina's not about to be a sore loser.
Although many (including Kelly Clarkson) pegged her as the season-10 winner of American Idol, the singer wound up in the runner-up spot as fellow country crooner Scotty McCreery took the prize on Wednesday's finale.
"You would expect that I felt disappointed, but I didn't," Alaina, 16, told Us Weekly after the show. McCreery, 17, won the life-changing honor after a record 122 million viewer votes were cast. On Tuesday's performance show, judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler suggested Alaina deserved the crown.
No hard feelings at all, Alaina told Us. "Scotty's my best friend and we went through this whole process together...I knew it in my heart and I'm just so proud of him and I'm proud I got second place to him, it's just unbelievable."
Idol fans were also abuzz about the duo's kiss -- on the lips -- and the intimate convo after McCreery's name was called. "I said 'I told you so' and 'I love you'," Alaina revealed. "He said 'I love you too' and I said 'go get 'em'!"
She also shrugged off Tuesday's night's laryngitis drama. "Never once did it go through my mind that I wasn't going to sing," she said. "Even if I sounded like someone was holding onto my throat I was going to go out there."
Next up, the teen plans to move to Nashville and work on her debut country album. "Nashville is the place for me!"
About that kiss...?
"Ask Scotty!" she said, laughing.
McCreery's explanation: "She told me she was going to do that before the show," the champ told Us. "It's all fun and games, she's just a sweetheart!"