Scotty McCreery will be singing a tune he never had played for him: American Idol's annual elimination song.
Viewers will hear last season's Idol winner perform his version of Tim McGraw's Please Remember Me beginning Thursday (Fox, 8 ET/PT) with the first weekly elimination after Wednesday night's Top 13 performances.
"I was ecstatic and I'm glad to get to be on there. It's cool to still be connected to the show every week," says McCreery, who is expected to appear on the show this season. "Most likely, I'll be able to come back and perform and get to see all those familiar faces and give the current Idols some advice."
Please Remember Me was one of three songs the 18-year-old high school senior was asked to consider for the goodbye. His version will be available Thursday at iTunes.
"I've known that song forever and loved it," said McCreery, who performed with McGraw on last season's Idol finale. "I sent (McGraw) a little message and told him we just cut it and it was going to be on Idol every week. He said, 'Oh, man. That's really cool. I'm sure you nailed it.' He gave me some good feedback."
McCreery, who went platinum with his first album, Clear as Day, and has been touring with Brad Paisley, joins other Idol alumni who have performed the goodbye theme, including winners Carrie Underwood, David Cook and Ruben Studdard, as well as Season 5 finalist Chris Daughtry.
Although he never exited the competition, McCreery understands the song's significance.
"Every week, when the song would play and we'd have to watch the goodbye video, it was always a tough time," he says. "I never had to experience it, but I always felt it."