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Inside ‘American Idol': Scott Borchetta Says ‘So Far, America Is Getting It Right’

Keith Urban Scott Borchetta
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

American Idol mentor Scott Borchetta is in a difficult position, but it’s one he’s familiar with. Each week moving forward he’ll work with the remaining Idol finalists, helping them choose their songs and how to perform. One misstep could mean the end of the run for a talented artist.

“I would equate that to every single selection that we make at the Big Machine Label Group,” the BMLG CEO tells Taste of Country, “and every video that we release and everything that we put out. Really, that’s where we live.”

While viewers will meet the 52-year-old who launched Taylor Swift‘s career for the very first time on Wednesday night (8PM ET on FOX), he’s actually been working behind the scenes since the Hollywood rounds. Recently Borchetta told USA Today he is hoping the best artist wins, even if he or she is not the best technical vocalist. The gap between artistry and mass appeal is often large on American Idol — and country radio. Borchetta says the biggest artists, the ones with true potential for long-lasting careers, build mass appeal naturally.

“The ones that truly have an artistic vision are ones who have something to say, are hard working, want to engage you in their life and their art … Those are the ones that become iconic,” he believes.

Privately Borchetta roots for his favorites, and even ranks the field. Of course he isn’t sharing who his favorites are, but did say he’s happy with the remaining contestants.

“I think so far, America is really getting it right,” the label head declares.

Only 12 of the 16 singers appearing Wednesday will survive to Thursday’s episode. Another will be eliminated before the show moves to once a week, starting next week. Borchetta will talk to Taste of Country each Wednesday morning. This week, we asked about two specific contestants: Clark Beckham and Jax.

“With Clark, it’s really understanding that he’s not playing on Lower Broad,” Borchetta says of Beckham. “He’s not a street performer. He has an opportunity to be in front of millions of people every week and work on his actual delivery because vocally, one of the best.”

Jax is a confident pop artist who seems primed to go far. Borchetta says she has great artistic instincts.

“When you have somebody that’s a little left of center you’ve got to make sure that they’re presented in a way people understand what it is. I think so far America has responded very well,” he shares, “So Jax is definitely a contender.”

Alexis Gomez is the most country of the remaining 16 on ‘American Idol.’ See how she and the other 15 fare tonight at 8PM ET.

Every Wednesday, American Idol mentor Scott Borchetta will join Taste of Country to talk about that week’s episode and the remaining finalists. 

How Well Do You Really Know Scotty McCreery?

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