Scotty McCreery and Five Other “American Idol” Winners Return to Mentor the Top 24

Eric Adkins

Scotty McCreery and five other American Idol winners return to the show that made them famous this Thursday, to mentor contestants during the farewell season. Though the identity of the two singers he worked with is top secret, the season-10 winner says he knows how valuable the three days he spent with them is.

“I remember how important it was to me during my time on Idol to meet and learn from all the great artists who visited the set and offered their advice. I was proud to be able to come back and offer whatever guidance I could to my two talented contestants. This is their season and their show. I was there to help them shine… and I believe they both did!” he brags.

While most people may not realize exactly how hard the Idol contenders work, the 22-year-old certainly does.

“That was honestly probably one of the most stressful times of my life,” he recalls. “I was just 17, so that’s a time when you should be having fun — and I was. I was having a blast! When you’re looking from the outside in, you see the singing day and you see the elimination day, and it was seven days a week.”

On May 3, the 2011 champion will reveal even more when his memoir, Go Big or Go Home:  The Journey Toward the Dream comes out — including more details about the kind of pressure the Idol contestants face.

“Stress and hard work and decisions — having to stand up to the head of the biggest label in the country and just make decisions — that’s what I’m saying. In the book, you’re going to really hear about a kid at 16, 17 that had to grow up in an adult world and make decisions.”

Just days ago, Scotty faced another very adult decision, as he and his record label parted ways. Though he’s been working on finishing the album to follow his single “Southern Belle,” so far there are no details about when it’s coming out or who will release it.

Tune in to see Scotty Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, when he’ll also perform duets with two of the contestants in the top 24.

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