Approximately 60 auditioning contestants recently traveled to Las Vegas to rehearse Beatles songs. Joining them there are Universal Music honcho Jimmy Iovine, who is helping to mentor this year's cast — and he's brought in chart-dominating writer/producers Tricky Stewart (Justin Bieber's "Baby," Rihanna's "Umbrella"), Alex da Kid (Eminem and Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie," B.o.B and Hayley Williams' "Airplanes"), Rodney Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's "Telephone"), Polow da Don (Keri Hilson, Trey Songz) and Jim Jonsin (T.I., Nelly).
This group has more contemporary credits than many other mentors the show has featured in the past, but the shift is in line with Idol's recent move to have contestants diversify their skills by seeing who can make the best music video, who can best promote themselves, and who does the best job at working with dancers and a band for an awards-show-type performance.
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