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!

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