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Scotty-McCreery11
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Scotty McCreery Kicks Off the Charlotte Auditions on ‘American Idol’

Making his triumphant return to the show that made him famous, rising country star Scotty McCreery was on hand on Wednesday night (Jan. 23) to help 'American Idol' kick off its twelfth season audition rounds in Charlotte, NC.

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Scotty McCreery Makes His Return to ‘American Idol’ This Week

Obviously, Scotty McCreery is no stranger to 'American Idol.' The 19-year-old singer was crowned the winner in the show's tenth season, and has since embarked on a successful recording and touring career as a country artist. This Wednesday (Jan. 23), he will return to the show for an appearance during the audition rounds in Charlotte, in his home state of North Carolina.

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Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Carrie Underwood Thinks Keith Urban Is the Perfect Fit for ‘American Idol’

Keith Urban is the perfect representative for country music on 'American Idol,' according to Carrie Underwood. Of course Underwood's opinion matters, since she is one of the most successful 'Idol' alums in the show's storied history.

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Mackenzie Wasner
YouTube
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Mackenzie Wasner Wows ‘American Idol’ Judges With Vince Gill’s ‘Whenever You Come Around’

Seventeen-year-old country singer Mackenzie Wasner owned the Chicago auditions on the second night of the 'American Idol' premiere, easily winning her way to Hollywood Week with a stellar rendition of the Vince Gill classic 'Whenever You Come Around.'

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Keith Urban on Ellen DeGeneres
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Keith Urban Likens His ‘American Idol’ Experience to Joining a Band

Things may not always be hearts and flowers on the set of 'American Idol,' but new judge Keith Urban isn't going to let that phase him. In an appearance on 'Ellen' on Monday (Jan. 14), the country star laughed off reports of tension on the show, saying it's not that different from joining a band.

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Keith Urban
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
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Keith Urban Shares Why ‘American Idol’ Is Especially Important to Him

Keith Urban may be Australian, but the singer's reason for joining 'American Idol' as a judge proves that the American Dream is a concept that transcends cultures and geographic divides.

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Keith Urban, Fellow Judges Pledge to Make Dreams Come True in New ‘American Idol’ Commercial

Back when Simon Cowell was a judge on 'American Idol,' it wasn't exactly a show that made wannabe stars eager to follow their dreams. Cowell's biting comments could turn anyone away from a path to stardom. But with a few new judges -- including the kind-hearted country crooner Keith Urban -- next year's 'Idol' season is all about inspiring viewers to make their dreams come true, as is proven in this new commercial.

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Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Toby Keith Took ‘Five Seconds’ to Consider ‘American Idol’ Judge Offer

Earlier this summer, when 'American Idol' execs were trying to nail down their judges panel, several names of country music stars were thrown into the mix. Before Keith Urban accepted the gig, Toby Keith was approached with an opportunity to take a seat at the table. Now, the in-your-face country star admits that he didn't hesitate at all when he declined the offer.

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Paley Center For Media's Paleyfest 2011 Event Honoring "American Idol"
(Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images)
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Pia Toscano Eliminated From ‘American Idol’

'American Idol' got its second shocking elimination of the season, only this time, the judges weren't able to Pia Toscano.

In a major surprise, the 22-year-old beauty, who wowed America early on with such performances as 'I'll Stand By You,' 'All By Myself' and this week's 'River Deep, Mountain High,' leaves the competition tonight as season 10 wields down to just eight contestants.

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Kurt Cobain On 'MTV Unplugged'
(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
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Casey Abrams Brings Nirvana To American Idol [VIDEO]

For the first time ever, a contestant on American Idol sang a song from '90s grunge-gods Nirvana. Casey Abrams, who missed a show last week when he was hospitalized for a bowel condition, kept the drama going on Wednesday night's telecast with his out-of-left-field selection of  "Smell's Like Teen Spirit."

The reactions from judges Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson to Abrams' performance were very positive. Jennifer Lopez was a bit less enthusiastic, although she stated she still "loved" Abrams.

See a clip of Abrams' rendition for yourself:

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Idol Backflip
(FOX)
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Idol Backflip Gone Wrong [VIDEO]

"American Idol" is a great place to see amazing (and amazingly bad) singers. But Wednesday night's episode also featured this moment, which could just as easily have shown up on "America's Funniest Home Videos." Watch a poor cameraman get creamed when a contestant's stunt doesn't turn out as planned. (Via TV Squad)

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