It's pretty hard to believe, but not that long ago likely "American Idol" top two finisher Scotty McCreery didn't always sing in that signature bullfrog croak.
In fact, Meredith Clayton, the choral director at his high school, Garner Magnet High School, told MTV News this week that the country cutie who rocketed to within reach of the crown on Wednesday night with another trio of flawless performances, used to have a way different sound when he crooned for her.
Clayton, who also taught Scotty's older sister, Ashley, said she first got wind of Scotty a few years ago when she took Ashley's advanced choir class to New York for a field trip and the senior's choir-boosting parents asked if they could bring their sixth grade little man along.
"He started in my program in ninth grade, and I knew right away that he had a great voice," said Clayton, whose mother taught former "Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken's choir back in the day. "Did I know he could sing country and do solo work? Not a first."
And though he was an excellent student and was a quick study when it came to reading music, because he was one voice among the crowd in the choir and Clayton sometimes has to fill in musical needs as they come up, she had Scotty singing tenor during his first year.
But when he started 10th grade, she noticed he was having trouble hitting the notes, so she thought it might be time to switch him to bass. Then his mom sent her a link to a YouTube video of Scotty singing a country tune at the local "Clayton Idol" event (which he won). Clayton said she was so floored that she called up her husband and insisted that he check out the clip.
"That's when we thought, 'He is definitely a bass!' " she laughed.
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