Following is a transcript of Scotty McCreers’s press conference on Thursday morning:

How is he handling and getting used to all the attention he’s getting?

“This is pretty wild, I gotta say. A whole lot more than I bargained for coming into this. I never would have expected it. I’m handling it well. It’s what I asked for and this is my new life. It’s a really crazy ride so far.”

Scotty is one-quarter Puerto Rican. Does he speak any Spanish? Has he visited there? Does the culture influence him?

“I visited old San Juan once with my grandmother. We went on a cruise there. I don’t speak Spanish. I’ve done Spanish I and Spanish II classes. My grandma asked when I was young she said, ‘Do you want to learn Spanish?’ I guess I was just young and I should have because it would have helped me out a lot. Jennifer seems to think it gives me a little flavor that other people didn’t [have]. I was talking to her and her mom yesterday before the show. We were talking a lot of Puerto Rican stuff. My Dad was born in Auguilla and my grandma in San Juan.”

Is he going to the CMA Music Festival in Nashville in June?

“Yeah. I think we’re going to try to get me and Lauren out there to Fan Fest this year. They’re working out the specifics right now about where we’re going to be playing, the booth signing and maybe playing at the Grand Ole Opry. They’re working all this out as we speak. We’re going to be down there for sure, I think.”

Did he think at any point in the competition that he’d be going home that week?

“This week especially. Lauren Alaina–she’s something else. She sings like a bird. She’s just an amazing young lady. Every week I’ve heard people say the front-runner stuff and the favorite. But to me it never even crossed my mind like that, ’cause everybody here from Top 40 down was just so talented and it was an amazing ride. I never gave myself a chance before the show as a musician, now it’s just about the confidence thing. I’ve always had confidence in me. I don’t know. It’s weird. The nerves for this show, it’s something else.”

How many new high school friends did he make on his home town trip?

“Oh my goodness! They were all my friends before. We’re all a big going-to-high school family before. I got to talk to a lot of them that I didn’t really get a chance to talk to before. You know how that goes. But it was just a lot of fun to get back there and talk to them all.”

Is there any romance between Scotty and Lauren?

“No. We’ve been getting that question a lot today. Me and her it’s more like the brother/sister thing. She told me before the show yesterday she was going to do that (kiss him) kind of like a joke. She’s a character. She’s lovely. Really, we’re really close friends. I met her day 1 of Hollywood week. We were school mates through this whole experience. She’s great, but it’s more of a brother/sister friendship between me and her.”

What kind of album does he hope to make? Who would you like to work with?

 “I’m really looking forward to getting my music out there. We’ve already recorded two this week. We weren’t sure which one we were going to do. “Love You This Big” turned out to be the one that we did. The other one I’m really excited about too. I think it’s going to be a great album. I got good songs. That’s what it’s all about after the show – getting good songs. The fans got me to where I am right now. So, it’s my job to get the music they want to hear and have good songs. Hopefully me and Lauren Alaina will get to do a duet. I’m not sure about the first album, but hopefully sometime soon.”

Why was Ryan calling him “Scotty the Body” all season?

“He told me early on, he said ‘It’s kind of like a tradition.’ I think he’s done it with all the Scotts he’s had on the show – for Scott McIntyre, there was another guy named Scott (Savol, Season 4). It was more like a joke.”

On his emotional moment in the limo during his hometown trip to Garner,

“We were driving up to the school and I just looked out the window and I saw all the familiar faces I’d missed for so long. I rolled down the window and someone said, ‘We missed you and we love you brother’. I cry when I think about it. I missed them so much and it was such a great moment for me to be back there. They’re my friends. They were my friends before the show–they are the true ones that I just really love.”

At what point did he notice his voice changing. What did he used to sound like?

“I’ve always kinda sounded the same, other when I was young and had a really high voice. I’d say Vegas week was the week that I discovered that I could kinda sing higher than I had been singing in the competition so far. One of the vocal coaches–he kinda got it out of me. I used that a lot in “Gone”, “That’s Alright Mama”. I’ve used my low voice–I guess you could say that it’s changed over the competition.”

Did he have a game plan going into the competition? Did he decide to stay where he felt good? (rather than trying on different styles)

“Yeah. Everybody had their own niche. Casey was singing his jazzy kinda rocker growl music, Jacob sang his gospel music, James sang his rock music, I sang my country music. We all kinda had that same niche. They did different songs, but we all had that same genre we like to stay to. Country music is me. It’s what I grew up with. It’s what I do. I didn’t have any intentions of changing. My thing was ‘If it got me this far, why change it up?’ It’s what I love to do.”

On the basketball shot he made at the mansion,

“I tried it from the steps initially and I was missing terribly. So I looked up and I said, ‘Why don’t I throw it from the balcony?’ That was my third attempt from the balcony that I made that shot.”

Scotty’s song “I Love You This Big” is currently #1 on iTunes.

“Is it really? That’s the first I heard. That is amazing. That is wild! I love the song. The song is a great song to start off with. When they pitched it to me, I fell in love with it. Last night when I sang it for my finale, it was kind of a choked up performance. I got through it. I hugged my family with it. That’s really amazing that it’s #1. You’re the first to tell me that.”

What were his thoughts about winning going into the finale?

 “My thought was that she wrapped it up when she sang that momma song that she sang. It’s just one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard. I was more than nervous coming into last night. It worked out in my favor, but Lauren–she’s sweet. She’s been supporting me and I’ve been supporting her through this whole process. We’re really close friends. We both came out winners last night.”