The long wait is over, and ScottyMcCreery, 17, beat out Lauren Alaina, 16, as Season 10's American Idol, nabbing a record-breaking 122 million votes.

"I've got to thank the Lord first; He got me here. Thank y'all so much," McCreery said to an adoring crowd, flaunting his North Carolina drawl, after host Ryan Seacrest announced his victory. Then he got behind the mic to perform "I Love You This Big," the song that was written to be his breakout single. He choked on the words as he embraced the members of his family in the audience and his former American Idol rivals onstage, one by one.

Alaina, with whom McCreery was neck-and-neck on Tuesday night, seemed especially excited for her friend, planting multiple kisses on his cheek after he finished his song. "I dreamed of being the next American Idol since I was six years old standing in my living room, and I would scream into the remote control that I was going to win," she told reporters before the finale, according to Us Weekly. "If I lost to Scotty I'd still be a winner because he's the bomb," she said.

McCreery felt similar affection for the runner-up. "It's been a year since Lauren and I tried out," he said. "Me and her have been together since day one and we're going to stay together."

Judges Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler were also proud of the star they helped produce. "You've come a long way," Tyler, who was arguably the hardest on McCreery, said. "In the beginning we were worried about your range, and you proved it …. You take your chances, you ran with it, and you nailed it again," he said.

Watch the victory song here:

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