From Jennifer Lopez to Barry Manilow, being a mentor on American Idol has become something of a trend among the biggest names in music in recent seasons. And looking at the list of this year’s celebrity tutors, Season 7 appears to be no different.
On Wednesday night’s elimination show, Ryan Seacrest took a time out from answering phone calls and hen-pecking Simon Cowell to run down the list of confirmed mentors for this season’s crop of American Idol finalists and these marquee represent the best in everything from pop to country to Broadway.
First there’s country legend Dolly Parton, who opened the door in the ’70s for brassy, blonde country stars and whose songs are often sung during the Idol auditions. And then there’s R&B and pop diva Mariah Carey, whose unique vocal abilities the judges often warn the contestants against trying to imitate.
From the other side of the Atlantic Ocean comes Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the award-winning mastermind behind some of the biggest musicals in theater history. The remaining finalists will try out their Broadway chops on tunes from Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and many others.
And getting one of the biggest rounds of applause on Wednesday was the name of Neil Diamond. The superstar singer/songwriter will open up his extensive songbook, which includes too many hits to count.
Start an office pool now to bet on which contestant gives "Forever in Blue Jeans" a shot — and which young singer will confess to not knowing much about the music legend.