'American Idol' adds Scott Borchetta as new mentor to replace Randy Jackson
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/03/2014
American Idol has signed on a new mentor for the reality singing competition's fourteenth season, which premieres January 7.
Fox has announced Scott Borchetta, the President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, has inked a deal to serve as Idol's new mentor, ultimately replacingRandy Jackson.
"There's only one reason I'm doing this: American Idol has proven again and again that it can launch superstars. I believe that working with these young artists the same way we work with new artists at the Big Machine Label Group will help the next American Idol be as prepared as possible to continue the tradition of creating new superstars," Borchetta said in a statement.
"The entire label group will be invested and we look forward to bringing our energy, focus and know-how to help develop this young talent at the highest levels."
The winner of American Idol's fourteenth season will receive a contract with Borchetta's label, joining greats like Taylor Swift -- whom he discovered at age 14 -- Tim McGraw and Reba. Big Machine Label Group will partner with 19 Entertainment and Universal Music Group to oversee the launch of his or her recording career.
Season 14 of the series has expanded the mentor's role beyond live shows. Borchetta apparently joined American Idol during Hollywood Week when he watched the contestants perform in advance of offering the artists who continue on in the competition his unique perspective and expertise.
"The greatest legacy of American Idol is that we produce legitimate stars. Over the years, not only have we made more stars than any other talent show in the world, we have also provided the very best people from the music industry to guide our singers and offer valuable advice," said creator and executive producer Simon Fuller.
"This year, we are thrilled to have one of the music industry's shining lights take on the role of mentor for our talent, overseeing their journey right through to the recording and release of the winner's album. Scott Borchetta is enjoying unparalleled success right now. Not only did he mastermind the incredible career of Taylor Swift, but also countless other incredible artists. We are extremely proud to have him on the American Idol team."
According to Trish Kinane, another executive producer of American Idol, the judges have found some "truly talented singers" this season and Borchetta's participation and enthusiasm will help give them "a unique shot at success."
"I'm stoked," added Fox executive David Hill.
American Idol's fourteenth season will premiere with a special two-night, three-hour event on Wednesday, January 7 from 8-9PM ET/PT and then Thursday, January 8 from 8-10PM ET/PT. Ryan Seacrest will be reprising his role as host.