‘American Idol’ Alum Joins Season 20 as Mentor

American Idol

ABC "American Idol" judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan

Season 20 of ABC’sAmerican Idol” is set to premiere on Sunday, February 27, 2022, at 8 p.m., and spoilers from the season have slowly started to appear online.

Bobby Bones acted as the in-house mentor for the past five years, since the show first premiered on ABC. He announced in January 2022 that he would not be returning to the show for the upcoming season, citing contract issues.

“Some of you noticed I’m not in the ‘Idol’ promos this season,” Bones shared during a now-expired Instagram Live. “My contract [with] my new network won’t let me do another show right now. Love ‘Idol,’ btw. Was a great four years.”

“American Idol” has enlisted an “American Idol” alum as well as a current music star to serve in his place, at least when it comes to the top 24 of the competition.

Jimmie Allen Returns to ‘American Idol’

Jimmie Allen posted that he’s joining “American Idol” on his Instagram account alongside a video with Minnie Mouse.

“Hey y’all, Jimmie Allen here. I’ll be a guest mentor on @americanidol for the iconic 20th season! Tune in and catch me at @disneyaulani. Hope y’all are as pumped as I am for this year’s talent,” Allen wrote in the announcement.

Bebe Rexha also announced her involvement.

“Excited to announce that I’ll be a guest mentor on @americanidol for the iconic 20th season!” she wrote in the post.

It was first reported by the account Idol Spoilers, which has consistently posted accurate information about “American Idol” seasons, both Rexha and Allen will serve as mentors for the top 24 contestants on season 20 of “American Idol.”

The mentors will likely speak with each of the contestants before they get up on stage to perform during the round of the top 24, which is the round that comes directly before the beginning of live shows each season.

‘American Idol’ is Switching Things Up for Season 20\

Ahead of season 20, “American Idol” introduced a brand-new twist called the Platinum Ticket, as reported by The Wrap.

In a trailer for the season, judge Katy Perry explained the ticket to a contestant, saying, “See that wall over there? There is one platinum ticket that gets given in each city we go to. You get to go to Hollywood Week, but you get a little shortcut ’cause it’s the 20th year of creating superstars and you’re a superstar.”

She added at a TV Critics Award event, “This ticket gives them the ability to go to Hollywood Week, which we’ve already filmed and was so rigorous and survival of the fittest, and they get to basically observe from the box seats at the theater. One day, they get to rest their voice, strategize, check out the competition and select who they want to duet with. They get a tiny advantage because they’re the cream of the crop.”

The Platinum Ticket, Richie explained during the event, is given to the most deserving recipients.

“For me, it was just the fact that they’re just naturals,” he said. “Some people walk out and they’re stars, they have all the boxes ticked: stage presence, delivery, their sound, their style. They have it all there so that when they open their mouths you know exactly who they are as artists. It just rings that bell. And when that happens you just give them the platinum ticket as fast as you can.”

Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan will be returning for the upcoming season. They’re joined by long-time “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest and will be joined by a number of “American Idol” alumni as mentors throughout the season.

“American Idol” returns on February 27, 2022, at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time on ABC.

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