Season 20 of the singing competition show, American Idol is about to embark on a journey with new contestants, new twists and new mentors. Don’t worry, judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie and host Ryan Seacrest will be staying on board this season.
Earlier this year, the longstanding in-house mentor for the show, Bobby Bones, announced that after five years with Idol he will not be returning to the show.
“Some of you observed I’m not within the ‘Idol’ promos this season,” Bones shared in an Instagram Live. “My contract [with] my new community will not let me do one other show proper now. Love ‘Idol,’ btw. Was a fantastic 4 years.”
Instead, American Idol will be welcoming two new replacements for the upcoming season to help guide the contestants through the tough competition using the knowledge they have of the music industry. Together, American Idol alum and country music star Jimmie Allen and singer, songwriter Bebe Rexha will be joining the team as visiting mentors for the highest 24 contestants. Allen posted the news on his Instagram account through a video with Minnie Mouse in the background.
“What’s up y’all we’re here at the Disney’s Aulani Resort and I am a mentor on the 20th season of American Idol,” Allen said in the video announcement. “I cannot wait for you guys to see the talent we have in store for you.”
Wearing a stunning purple dress, Bebe Rexha shared her new role on social media as well, in front of the Disney’s Aulani Resort on the island of O’ahu, next to some traditionally dressed Hawaiian dancers.
“Excited to announce that I’ll be a visitor mentor on @americanidol for the enduring twentieth season!” she wrote in the post.
In addition to the new mentors, American Idol will also be incorporating a new kind of form of entry into the competition, the platinum ticket. This ticket sits at a higher ranking than their traditional golden ticket that every singer hopes to walk out of their audition with as an invitation to the next intense phase of the competition, Hollywood. This season, contestants will also have the opportunity to snag one of nine Platinum Tickets. These will be given out in Nashville, Austin and Los Angeles.
“This ticket gives them the ability to go to Hollywood Week, which we’ve already filmed and was so rigorous and survival of the fittest, and they get to basically observe from the box seats at the theater,” Perry explained in a recent interview. “One day, they get to rest their voice, strategize, check out the competition and select who they want to duet with.”
This added piece could be a game-changer for nine lucky contestants who are hoping to win the show and get the chance to pursue their dream of being an artist.
Season 20 of ABC’s American Idol is premiering soon on Sunday, February 27, 2022, at 8 p.m. Once auditions are finished, viewers will see the chosen contestants travel to Hollywood and only the best of the best will be able to move forward to continue the competition in Hawaii.