'American Idol': Scotty McCreery identifies with Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez
"You know, early on I decided I can't have a favorite because I really know how each and every one of these kids are feeling," he says backstage after his performance of Season 11 exit song "Please Remember Me." "I've been in their shoes, I know how their heart's pounding before the show and the nerves, and their stomach's in knots. I feel for them because I know the nerves they're going through. But afterwards I know they're relieved. And I'm relieved for them, because I know they did great."
Although the judges declared Sanchez the winner of the first two rounds and Phillips the third, McCreery says it doesn't really matter in the end.
"I don't know if I won a round last year. You just have to have fun with it, and it's TV and that's their opinions. They've been in the business for years, and we're still the newcomers," he says. "That night you're really on pins and needles trying to figure out what tomorrow's gonna hold."
Speaking of the judges, McCreery says he appreciated the entire panel during his time on "Idol," and will be sad to see Jennifer Lopez exit at the end of the season -- if the rumors are, in fact, true.
"I love her on the show. I'd hate to see her go. She's been a great choice," he says. "I was on her guinea pig season and it was cool having her out here and Steven [Tyler], but whatever happens, happens. She's got a lot going for her, so she'll be fine."