American Idol Names Scott Borchetta (AKA the Man Who Launched Taylor Swift) as Season 14 Mentor

Looks like American Idol and Randy Jackson are (truly) never ever getting back together.

Fox’s reality-singing behemoth has named Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group and the man who helped launch Taylor Swift, to replace the outgoing Jackson as Season 14 mentor.

Perhaps more importantly, however, Borchetta’s relationship with the next Idol champ “will extend past the show’s finale,” the network announced. “Borchetta’s Big Machine Records will partner with 19 Entertainment and Universal Music Group to oversee the launch of his/her recording career. The winner will join Borchetta’s record label roster of superstar talent, including global pop star Taylor Swift, whom he discovered at the age of 14, as well as Tim McGraw, Reba, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and The Band Perry.”

To that end, the Idol mentor role — one which many critics felt was botched when Jackson left his judge’s chair and took over from Interscope records chief Jimmy Iovine in Season 13 — will undergo some changes under Borchetta’s reign.

Borchetta joined Idol during the filming of Season 14’s Hollywood Week round, watching performances to help get a better sense of their strengths and weaknesses before he begins working with them in later rounds.

Borchetta’s involvement in Idol comes at a crucial moment: While the show’s competitive advantage has long been its ability to launch viable chart-toppers like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry and Phillip Phillips, its Season 12 and 13 winners — Candice Glover and Caleb Johnson — achieved lackluster first-week sales of 19,000 and 11,000 copies of their respective debut discs.

“There’s only one reason I’m doing this: American Idol has proven again and again that it can launch superstars. I believe that working with these young artists the same way we work with new artists at the Big Machine Label Group will help the next [champion] be as prepared as possible to continue the tradition of creating new superstars,” said Borchetta, in a release. “The entire label group will be invested and we look forward to bringing our energy, focus and know-how to help develop this young talent at the highest levels.”

Excited about the idea of Borchetta taking a larger role in helping the Season 14 winner find post-show success? Any tips for what you’d like to see him do with the contestants? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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19 Comments
  1. Sara says:

    It is American Country Idol then i guess

  2. Zack Quinti says:

    I predict the ratings will go down this year because Randy is gone.

    • Bladam says:

      The ratings are going down no matter what. Randy leaving doesn’t affect things one way or the other, and neither does the arrival of Scott Borchetta.

  3. Jeff Marley says:

    Wow! Big machine is a powerful record deal!!! Look at all those stars that started at that record label!!! Even danielle bradburry and Cassadee pope got huge success from them. 😃😃😃

  4. Timmah says:

    “American Idol has proven again and again that it can launch superstars”. Unfortunately, the last “again” happened about 10 years ago.

    • Mary says:

      They might not have “Superstars other than Kelly and Carrie” but they have produced many of stars over the years more than other reality shows. “Superstars” today are rare in the music business, personally I think it is timing and luck involved. A good AR person helps.

      • Timmah says:

        Although there’s certainly luck and timing involved, I think it’s more about having that rare ability to communicate with and move people with your music. That elusive “it” factor, in other words. Taylor Swift seems to have “it”. I’m not sure it can be taught though.

  5. Terry says:

    He’s responsible for launching Taylor Swift? I dislike him already!

  6. CK says:

    This should be great for the contestants. He helped turn a girl with a shaky voice into a superstar. He should be able to steer better singers away from glorified karaoke performances and stylistic train wrecks as a mentor.

  7. queenbrat says:

    I miss Jimmy but I like what this new guy has to say. Anyone will be better than Randy was.

  8. Pavanne says:

    “The face that launched a thousand Swifts.” I guess it’s kinda catchy…

  9. Mary says:

    Kudos to AI for snagging him, he does have a reputation for making things happen in the music world. After saying that, it depends on who the judges and producers chose as contestants. He is good but if the winner is like last year or the year before who had no chance of being mainstream then not even he can make something happen. I will say that it is a start in the right direction that AI actually put effort into trying to make this show stable, but considering the age of the show it might be a little to late.

  10. Jo says:

    Interesting that a man who once took a dig at reality show contestants to prop up his own artist after a disastrous Grammy gig is now a part of the show he insulted.

  11. dman6015 says:

    Meh. BTW – Does anyone else think that Swifty is not attractive?

  12. As I listen to the singers presented to American Idol judges I cannot believe they are sending them to Hollywood. So bad…
    I cannot imagene anyone turning their chair around for them.
    I know they would not.