As 2012 gets off to a start, Scotty's college plans are becoming more and more real. "I've gotten into East Carolina," the North Carolina native tells BlogCritics.org. "That's the first place that I've heard back from ... I've applied to North Carolina State as well. Also, Belmont University and Middle Tennessee State. We'll see where I end up, but we're not certain yet."
'The Trouble With Girls' singer doesn't foresee any conflicts with juggling academics and his career, since he's been doing it since his senior year started last fall. "I enjoy high school, I enjoy being there with my friends and getting to hang out," he explains. "But I also enjoy the music and getting out here with the fans and singing a lot. It's really cool for me to be able to do both. It's been a fairly nice balance with schoolwork and being on the road. We've made it work."
Although, Scotty's 'after school job' on Brad Paisley's Virtual Reality World Tour 2012 may be more intimidating that some of his classmates'. "It's really easy when you have somebody like Brad out here, who's just such a nice guy and makes you feel right at home," Scotty assures. "And the Band Perry, they've been great as well. It's been a fun tour to be on."
Speaking of fun, they've only been on the road a few weeks, but has notorious prankster Brad set his sights on the opening act yet? "Yeah, he got me once," Scotty reveals. "He Photoshopped my head on a big, muscular Speedo body at the beach. He put it on the screen during the last song of the night, got a big roar from the crowd. It was all fun and games, so we'll have to find something that we can retaliate with."
The fans are also succeeding in giving the singer a few laughs ... and raising his concerns about their hygiene. "The funniest thing that's happened to me is a big guy came up to me and said, 'Scotty, sign my belly!' and lifted his shirt up," he recalls. "I had to commend the fella, so I signed his belly for him. He walked away and said, 'I'm never washing it again.' [laughs]"
On tour, it's easy to give into fast food and high calorie-catering, but the 18-year-old is using his self-control for a greater cause. "On the Idol tour, I was big into the sweets," he explains. "But now I'm coming up on baseball season, and I just need to get back in shape, so I'm eating healthier."
He's also found time to tune into the newest season of 'American Idol,' which now includes him -- the 2011 winner -- in the opening sequence. "It was pretty cool seeing that," he says. "I remember coming off the show people were saying, 'You're going be part of the introduction next year.' It was pretty wild."
He also saw a few more familiar faces in this season's competitors. "I've known that David Leathers, Jr. guy before from a previous competition," Scotty says. "Schyler Dixon and Colton Dixon. They were with me last year when we were at Hollywood Week, and we became good friends. So, I'm rooting for them this year."
He's even got some advice for 'American Idol' hopefuls. "You're just there to sing, have fun, and really entertain the crowd," the Southern gentleman explains. "If you let the stress of the TV part of it, the live show part of it get to you, the singing and the entertaining won't be fully there. Stay laid back, get your songs right, work hard, and you'll be set."