Jordin Sparks, Clay Aiken, Phillip Phillips and More Return to ‘Idol’ as Hollywood Week Mentors

‘Idol’ brings back its best to frame the contestants during Hollywood Week.

ByEvan Wyno and William Escobar

Friday, March 24, 2023 11:12 p.m.

'Idol' brings back its best mentors during Hollywood Week.

LOS ANGELES– “American Idol” continues its 21-year celebration of incredible talent and remarkable entertainment. Familiar faces from previous seasons chat with On The Red Carpet about their return as mentors for budding singers during Hollywood Week.

Season 5 winner and returning mentor Jordin Sparks is thrilled to be back coaching a whole new group of passionate and talented singers. “I can help with some things, I can assess some things and also just encourage them to be who they are so I’m very excited to be back here.”

David Archuleta recalls his experience 15 years ago as a competitor. “You feel the pressure, there’s like a lot of that thickness in the air. People are excited but mostly nervous and it’s just a bit of an uncomfortable place,” the Season 7 finalist explains. why it’s okay to be like, hey, it’s okay, you can get through this and be a bit of a relief to everyone.” As former Idol Season 16 contestant Archuleta, Catie Turner shares her feelings about the stress of the Hollywood week. “Suddenly you come to Hollywood Week and your whole view of what your world is all about crumbles because you have a ton of people. Everybody’s crazy and you kind of have to deal with the stress, doubt yourself- even while sounding great and uh making friends,” Turner said. “It’s a lot at once and you and you are sleep deprived. It’s crazy. It’s like singing bootcamp.”

On top of Hollywood Week Stress, Season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini talks about his ability to channel nervous energy into something positive. “There are just a few little tweaks that can take them from good to great. What I like to do in my job is say, hey, take that pressure, take those nerves – either get rid of them , leave it out or use it,” Guarini said. “So I love taking the energy and shifting it and diverting their attention from ‘I’m not good enough’ and focusing it more on presence and the connection.”

For Season 2 finalist Clay Aiken, returning to the show that launched his career is an unforgettable experience. “When we checked in to the hotel last night, here right next to us, there was a kid checking in, who is a competitor and it reminded me that yes, I had to get here and check in. recording, all alone that day,” Aiken said. “It’s almost kind of the last moment of innocence that really was the start of Hollywood week because after that it all took off and it’s been that way for 20 years.”

Phillp Phillips is grateful to be an “Idol” mentor. “It’s my first time back as a mentor,” the Season 11 winner said. “I feel like it’s going really well, just talking, just communicating with these contestants. was fun and it was really an honor for them to ask me. So yeah, hopefully we all learn a little something this week.”

Watch “American Idol” Sundays on ABC at 8/7c. Hollywood week begins on Sunday, April 2.

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