Each week on the remaining episodes of ‘American Idol‘ Season 11, one unfortunate hopeful will have to leave the stage for good. Rather than making that moment more awkward with silence or a peppy pop song spinning in the background, ‘Idol’ commissioned last season’s winner Scotty McCreery to record the farewell song to make it a memorable moment. McCreery chose to do a cover of Tim McGraw‘s 1999 hit, ‘Please Remember Me.’

Speaking of the song, McCreery told USA Today that he got the approval of the legendary hitmaker, who was excited to hear it make an appearance on the hit show. “I’ve known that song forever and loved it,” McCreery says. “I sent (him) 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.”

In addition to debuting on ‘Idol,’ the new version of the song will be available for purchase on iTunes beginning tomorrow (March 8), which is the same day it first appears on the show.

And while McCreery was the winner last season, and thus never had to walk off the stage in defeat, he does remember how tense those moments felt for everyone involved. ”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.” In addition to lending his vocal stylings to the farewell song, the young singer will make some in-person appearances on the show.

“I was ecstatic and I’m glad to get to be on there,” he says. “It’s cool to still be connected to the show every week. 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.” Perhaps the ‘The Trouble With Girls’ singer, who recently pranked Brad Paisley on tour, will remind the nervous contestants to remain calm and, just like he has learned to do, enjoy the ride.

McCreery’s runner-up Lauren Alaina will make a guest appearance on Thursday’s episode, performing her hit ‘Georgia Peaches.’

Listen to Scotty McCreery Sing ‘Please Remember Me’

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