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Finalists Scotty McCreery, left, and Lauren Alaina are seen onstage before McCreery was announced as the winner at the "American Idol" finale on Wednesday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

'American Idol' crowns a winner

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Scotty McCreery won the "American Idol" battle of the fresh-faced country crooners Wednesday, pulling more of a record 122 million-plus viewer votes than competitor Lauren Alaina.

"I never in my wildest dreams," said McCreery, a 17-year-old with a strikingly deep, old-soul voice that contrasts with his youth. "I've got to thank the Lord first ... he got me here."

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