Inside ‘American Idol’: Scott Borchetta Says Nick Fradiani Could Go Country
If Nick Fradiani wins Season 14 of American Idol, mentor Scott Borchetta says he may steer him towards country radio. The Connecticut native wasn't promoted as the next Nashville hitmaker when the show began, but in recent weeks he's shown his country side.
“I think Nick has a chance to be in the country format,” Borchetta tells Taste of Country. “His voice is one of those voices that could work in pop or country. So there’s a chance that could happen.”
Even if the 29-year-old Fradiani doesn't win, Borchetta could still sign him. He was non-committal when asked if he'd sign more than just the winner when the season wraps next Wednesday. Fradiani and Jax are considered to be favorites to win, although a Clark Beckham win wouldn't be surprising. Beckham and Borchetta sparred verbally throughout the last week after the Big Machine Label Group CEO criticized his song choice and judges criticized his performance of "Your Man."
In an artist’s world, you need to be black and white ... All of my artists know that I’m going to call it like I see it, regardless of who they are.
“Should he win, it’s going to be an interesting record to make because he has a little different idea of what will work in the mainstream," Borchetta said of Beckham. Last week he used the word "interesting" in previewing Beckham's performance. Later that night fans and viewers would learn he wasn't all-in on the singer's choice. Whether or not the mentor was using the word as code for "troublesome" in the case of a future album remains to be seen. He did speak about the general health of their relationship at this point in the conversation.
“Clark and I have always had a very honest relationship since day one,” Borchetta says. “The reason I challenged Clark is because he’s so talented. And I want to see him do better.”
Borchetta adds that he works an artist's strength and weaknesses. All four remaining contestants get the same treatment, but Beckham's weakness is "song sense."
“While he’s a great singer, he doesn’t have a great understanding of what a hit song is. He doesn’t run toward hits.”
This week the judge's and mentor will pick two of each performer's three songs. Borchetta picked U2's "Beautiful Day" for Beckham, a song he admits is a risk. But it's also a response to the singer's request to be pushed outside his comfort zone. Fradiani's mentor-chosen song is Bruce Springsteen's "Because the Night" (another risk, Borchetta says). Elsewhere Jax will sing "My Immortal" by Evanescence. At the end, he's going to give his feedback in a manner that's true to how he gives it to his BMLG roster.
“In an artist’s world, you need to be black and white. If everybody tells you you’re great all the time, you become less great because you’re not challenged. All of my artists know that I’m going to call it like I see it, regardless of who they are.”
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