As "American Idol" opened its 11th season Wednesday, at least three Tar Heel residents won golden tickets to the Hollywood rounds, hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow North Carolinian Scotty McCreery.
Scotty, the Season 10 winner and Garner High School senior, was mentioned right off the bat by the first contestant of the night, David Leathers Jr. of Fayetteville. David, right, a 17-year-old high school senior who looks about 12, said he even competed against Scotty -- and won -- in a local music competition several years ago.
David, who said his friends refer to him as "Mr. Steal Your Girl" because of his way with the ladies, sang a version of The 21st Century's "Remember the Rain." The "Idol" judges loved it, comparing him to a young Michael Jackson and asking for a quick encore of "Never Can Say Goodbye."