By Sterling Whitaker
McCreery came out to Charlotte Motor Speedway, where ‘Idol’ was holding its huge open cattle call auditions. He addressed the throng of hopefuls with an endearingly self-deprecating joke. “Two years ago this year I was sitting in the stands like y’all, and Ryan Seacrest came out and said, ‘The next American Idol could be in this room,’” he recalled. “And I said, ‘Yeah — yeah, right.”
Of course, the next American Idol was sitting in that room — McCreery went on to win the entire thing, and has since launched a hugely successful country music career. His debut album ‘Clear as Day’ has sold more than a million copies on the strength of singles like ‘The Trouble With Girls,’ ‘I Love You This Big’ and ‘Water Tower Town.’ He recently released a Christmas album that’s also been certified gold.