American Idol Season 14 contestants will see their journey mentored by the same country-pop powerhouse who gave the world superstar Taylor Swift.
Big Machine Label Group President and CEO Scott Borchetta will join the show in the role of in-house mentor, replacing former judge Randy Jackson, who served as mentor for a single season. Beyond the show's spring finale, the next Idol champ will work closely with Borchetta, signing with his record label, in partnership with 19 Entertainment and Universal Music Group. The label's current roster includes Swift, who was discovered by Borchetta at age 14, as well as Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and the Band Perry, among many other big names in country music.
Borchetta, who joined Idol during Hollywood Week, watched the performances in advance of offering his expertise to the contestants who will continue in the competition. In a statement Borchetta says, "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."
In 2009, Borchetta joined Naomi Judd and Big Kenny of Big & Rich as a judge for the second season of the CMT talent search, Can You Duet. That season's winner, Steel Magnolia, released an EP and later their only full-length album as a duo on the Big Machine label.
American Idol XIV returns with a two-night, three-hour premiere event on January 7th and 8th on FOX. Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., return as judges, with host Ryan Seacrest. Auditions from Kansas City, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco will be featured before Hollywood Week whittles down the competition further.