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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV/WRAL) - The 17-year-old contestant from Garner, NC, hugged his parents after he was named the winner of 'American Idol' during a power-packed, two-hour concert in Los Angeles Wednesday night.
Scotty McCreery won the contest beating co-finalist Lauren Alaina Suddeth, a native of Georgia.
"I never in my wildest dreams," McCreery said moments after he was named the winner. "I've got to thank the Lord first, he got me here."
Following the announcement which was made around 9:55 p.m., McCreery sang his version of "I Love You This Big" and choked up while singing the lyrics as he hugged fellow contestants who gathered on stage to congratulate him.
As the television show ended, McCreery stuck out his tongue to catch falling confetti and he then fell to his knees on stage.
McCreery debuted his single during Tuesday night's show.
"Its really a great song and a great way to start off my career," he told WRAL news after his big win Wednesday night.
More than 8,000 fans packed the RBC Center in Raleigh to show their support of McCreery. During the two-hour finale, the producers of the show cut back to live video shots at the RBC Center at least twice as fans cheered and held up signs of support for McCreery.
McCreery's parents say their son plans to go to college. They hope he'll attend Belmont University in Nashville while simultaneously working on his budding music career.
Several months ago, McCreery auditioned as a contestant for the show in Milwaukee where he sang Josh Turner's "Your Man" and Travis Tritt's "Put Some Drive in Your Country."
During an interview with WRAL in February, McCreery said he hoped to win 'American Idol', but that his biggest dream was to sing in Nashville with other country music singers and to break into the music industry.
McCreery is the second contestant from North Carolina who has won the title of 'American Idol.'
Greensboro native Fantasia Barrino won during the third season of the show in 2004.
In 2003, Clay Aiken of Raleigh came in second place to winner Ruben Studdard during the second season.
Kelly Pickler of Albemarle finished sixth place during Season 5 during 2006.
Copyright 2011 WBTV. WRAL.com contributed to this report. All rights reserved.