OFFSTAGE: Did Scott McCreery Outsing George Strait?

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I like George Strait a lot. But not in a closed-minded way, like as if no one but Strait can ever do Strait songs justice. On the contrary, actually. Strait covers are some of my favorites. And after Wednesday night’s (April 13) American Idol, when the aw-shucks contestant of the season Scotty McCreery, got up onstage and did “I Cross My Heart,” I thought it was close to perfection. After toying with the idea of singing “Everybody’s Talkin’,” he decided to stick close to his country roots. And here’s what the judges had to say. Steven Tyler: “I just love your voice, man. I think all of America has fallen in love with your voice. You picked the just-right song.” Jennifer Lopez: “Everybody wants us to be tough with you guys, but the truth is, you’re so damn good. All I really want to say is ‘Wow.’ You performed it beautifully.” Randy Jackson: “I actually love you singing George Strait. My motto in life: If it ain’t broke, don’t even consider fixing it, right? I’m a huge, ginormous fan.” Not sure what Jackson meant by the “if it ain’t broke” comment. Maybe that no one should even try to sing Strait? But this time, I’m so glad someone did. I’ll bet even Strait himself is glad.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.