It's been quite a year for Scotty McCreery since he emerged as season 10 victor on "American Idol." Now, the reigning champ will return to the stage twice this week, to help crown the 2012 winner.

"I am so excited about going back to 'American Idol' and seeing everyone again," the North Carolina native says (quote via Music Row). "I hope to spend some time with the finalists, Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez, and share some of my experiences with them. I can't believe that it's been a year since I was in their shoes."

In March, the 18-year-old returned to the "Idol" stage to perform his single, "Water Tower Town" and his voice has been a regular feature on the show all season. Scotty recorded Tim McGraw's hit, "Please Remember Me," which was heard during a video montage for eliminated contestants each week.

Since taking the top prize last year -- with another country hitmaker, Lauren Alaina, being voted runner-up -- Scotty's post-"Idol" whirlwind has included a run with Brad Paisley as opening act on the superstar's Virtual Reality tour, and a No. 1 album, putting the singer well on the way toward his goal of being known for more than just his appearance on the hit show.

"I want to go down the same road that Carrie Underwood did -- kinda separate myself from 'Idol," Scotty explained with The Boot. "I want to cross that bridge. There's a lot of pressure and work that goes into it, but I'm looking forward to it."

The teen singing sensation, who is also celebrating two nominations for Teen Choice Awards this week, will balance time on the road with Brad with his studies as a freshman at North Carolina State. Keep track of his tour schedule here.

Scotty will appear on the "American Idol" finale Tuesday and Wednesday (May 22 and 23), at 8:00 PM ET on FOX.

Watch Scotty Sing Live in Our Studio
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