Talent Recap

‘American Idol’s Hollywood Week to Feature Former Contestants as Mentors

Phillip Phillips at SiriusXM, Jordin Sparks at 2023 MusiCares Persons Of The Year Honoring Berry Gordy And Smokey Robinson, David Archuleta at the 2023 Queerties AwardsPhoto by Andrew Toth/Getty Images, Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage, Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images

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American Idol Season 21 is getting ready to head to Hollywood Week, and it looks like a few former contestants will be making appearances as mentors during the infamous round. The famous names include Justin Guarini, Jordin Sparks, and David Archuleta.

American Idol Hollywood Week to Feature Former Contestants

According to Billboard, seven former finalists from past seasons will be on hand to mentor the Season 21 contestants during Hollywood Week — Season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini, Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken, Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, Season 7 runner-up David Archuleta, Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, Season 16 favorite Catie Turner, and Season 20 winner Noah Thompson.

“Having a mentor in Hollywood Week is something we’ve always wanted to explore,” showrunner Megan Michaels Wolflick told the outlet. “We usually have over 150 people come to Hollywood Week, so it’s hard to have one mentor talk to everyone individually. I thought, ‘Who better to mentor on the Hollywood experience than people who have actually been through it.’”

Wolflick also shared that instead of the typical genre challenge, this season’s Hollywood Week will instead have contestants choose one of three areas to work on: confidence, songwriting, or stage presence. Aiken and Archuleta are the mentors for confidence, Turner and Phillips for songwriting, and Sparks and Guarini for stage presence.



Noah Thompson Will Be on Hand to Provide Motivation

The seventh mentor is last year’s winner Noah Thompson. Rather than mentoring the contestants on one of the three specific areas of improvement, Thompson will apparently give motivational speeches and share his own experience on the show.

“I can’t tell you how many people auditioned this year inspired by him,” Wolflick said of Thompson. “His friend Arthur signed Noah up [to audition], so we had a lot of people secretly signing people up, which was really cool.”

Wolflick also teased that Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard will join runner-up Clay Aiken to perform during this season’s finale, “20 years to the day” after their own finale back on May 21, 2003.

American Idol Season 21’s Hollywood Week round kicks off on Sunday, April 2, at 8/7c on ABC.

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