'American Idol' past stars return to mentor Season 21 contestants

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Saturday, April 1, 2023
'American Idol' alums return to mentor season 21 hopefuls
Seven famous faces from past "American Idol" seasons are returning to mentor the latest contestants.

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES -- "American Idol" put a new spin on its annual Hollywood Week. For 2023, seven famous faces from past Idol seasons return to mentor the Season 21 contestants and help them maneuver those tricky judges.

Facing the judging panel of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan is one of the most exciting, stressful and intimidating, parts of "American Idol."

For the next two episodes of Hollywood Week, the Idol hopefuls get a little help before they face the music. They all have the opportunity to be mentored by past "American Idol" finalists and winners.

"Hollywood Week... everyone is good, but there's just a couple little tweaks that can take them from good to great," said Justin Guarini.

The Idol alums will each lend their expertise in areas ranging from confidence to songwriting to on-stage presence. Even if you're mentoring someone you've known her whole life, which is something that happened to Jordin Sparks.

"I know exactly what these contestants are going through. Especially the ones that are younger," said Sparks. "I remember being just a kid and coming in so bright-eyed and then being 'Oh I really have to do this. It's an actual competition.' Here we go!"

David Archuleta remembered, "Hollywood Week was stressful, it's kind of a blur. It's so stressful. You feel the pressure, there's like a thickness in the air."

"Suddenly you get to Hollywood Week and your whole view of what your world is crumbles," said Catie Turner. "You have a ton of people. You have to deal with stress, self-doubt, while still sounding good... it's a lot at once!"

"Long days... and it just creates this chaos that is good for TV," laughed Phillip Phillips. "People want to see other people miserable!"

The "American Idol" Hollywood Week episodes air Sunday, April 2 and Monday April 3 on ABC.