Jelly Roll Revealed As Guest Mentor For Upcoming Season Of ‘American Idol’

The genre-bending star will also get to perform in the beachside setting of Hawaii.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

February 7, 2024

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Jelly Roll is making his triumphant return to American Idol as a mentor on the upcoming season.

Entertainment Tonight reported that the genre-bending star will get to share his wisdom and advice with this round of contestants alongside fellow guest mentor and Idol alum, Tori Kelly. 

The episodes featuring Jelly Roll and Kelly will take place at Aulani: A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai’I. Here, the Season 22 contestants will do their best to impress judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie as they perform on the beachfront stage.

This Isn’t The First Time These Artists Have Appeared On The Show

For Kelly, this experience will be a form of homecoming as she got her start on Idol in Season 9. At just 18 years old, her powerful vocals earned her golden ticket and sent her through to Hollywood Week, where she ultimately was eliminated.

This will mark Jelly Roll’s first mentorship role; however, it won’t be his first time stepping onto the set of the singing competition show. Last year, he appeared on the season finale to perform his GRAMMY nominated “Save Me” alongside Lainey Wilson, and later returned to the stage to sing his platinum-selling “Need a Favor” with Idol contestant Oliver Steele.  

In a recent post announcing Jelly Roll as a mentor, Steele was quick to share his excitement to see his former duet partner return to the show in a new way.

He wrote, “I can say from experience, this man is an excellent mentor!!! ❤️❤️❤️”


Along with their mentorship duties, fans will get to see Jelly Roll and Tori Kelly bring their talent to the stage of American Idol in the upcoming season. It has yet to be revealed what song each of the artists will be performing. 

A Sneak Peek Into The Season

Viewers recently got the first look into the upcoming competition through a full-length audition that set the tone for all the emotional journeys that will take place throughout the season. 

The video highlights contestant McKenna Breinholt, a Gilbert, AZ native, who stood in front of the star-studded panel of judges and openly shared her personal story of adoption before showing off her musical talent. 

McKenna Breinholt; Photo Courtesy YouTube American Idol
McKenna Breinholt; Photo Courtesy YouTube American Idol

The 25-year-old explained she her birth mother, who was also a musician, died before they got the chance to meet. However, she recently discovered the rest of her birth family and had plans to meet them in the coming weeks.

When the Arizona native finally got the chance to show off her talent in front of the judges, she sang a stunning version of Dolly Parton and Zach Williams’ duet, “There Was Jesus.”

The Surprise Of A Lifetime

The judges were clearly overcome with emotion after hearing McKenna put her heart on display through the faith-filled lyrics. After sharing their positive feedback, the judges invited McKenna to bring her family into the room to hear their good news.

What McKenna didn’t know was that when she opened that door, her adopted family would be waiting with her birth family. 

The clip resulted with happy tears and plenty of hugs as McKenna took in everything that was happening in that moment.Viewers will have to tune into the season premiere to see if McKenna earned her golden ticket that will advance her to the next round in Hollywood. 


YouTube video

This season of American Idol will likely have many more surprises in store as well as a few new adventures including the judges’ getting to visit each other’s hometowns – Santa Barbara, CA, Tuskegee, AL, and Leesburg, GA. 

“Oh, you have no idea,” Richie previously told ET, while Bryan recalled, “It was like being on a field trip.”

American Idol season 22 premieres Sunday Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. PT/ET on ABC. The first set of auditions will also be available for streaming via Hulu. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.