Borchetta’s Inside Scoop From ‘American Idol’

Scott Borchetta. Photo: Rick Diamond.

Scott Borchetta. Photo: Rick Diamond.

No announcement has been made on whether Scott Borchetta will align with American Idol’s 15th and final season next year, but he offered plenty of insight about his experiences during the just-ended season during an interview yesterday (May 14). MusicRow caught up with the Big Machine Label Group founder and CEO when he received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement from the Music Business Association (Music Biz) at a ceremony in Nashville.

Borchetta’s duties with the show lasted four months, keeping him in Los Angeles for tapings (including the Borchetta Breakdown series online), spots on the broadcast and returning to Nashville to host the contestants on their trip to Music City.

Yesterday, Borchetta revealed he was most upset to see East Brunswick, NJ-contestant Jax depart Idol’s season 14. The 19-year-old was the only female to make it to the top three before being bested by White House, Tenn.-native Clark Beckham and ultimate winner Nick Fradiani, who received a recording contract with Big Machine.

“Right now all of our energy is going into the winner, and then we’ll see,” said Borchetta of whether or not his label group will sign other contestants from the FOX show.

Scott Borchetta (L), Nick Fradiani (R). Photo: Kevork Djansezian.

On the Idol season finale, Scott Borchetta (L) and Nick Fradiani (R). Photo: Kevork Djansezian.

Additionally, there is a chance an artist from another signing competition, NBC’s The Voice, could land on Borchetta’s label. Universal Republic, which is aligned with Borchetta’s Republic Nashville, has first dibs on contestants from The Voice, which will crown a new winner soon. Among the remaining contestants is Meghan Lindsey, who is now a solo artist following a stint with the duo Steel Magnolia, which was previously signed to Big Machine.

When asked about launching artists with or without reality television, Borchetta shrugged off comparisons between the two. “I don’t know if there’s anything that’s traditional about any artist launch,” he said. “Our mission is to attack all media all the time. They gave us the opportunity to go work on Idol, which is an amazing platform. We launch the best we can launch every time.”

Pictured (L-R): Scott Borchetta, Jax. Photo: Fox.

Pictured (L-R): Scott Borchetta, Jax. Photo: Fox.

Borchetta also reflected on the legacy of the program. “When you look at American Idol and the iconic show that it is, the legacy will live on in real-time with Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson and now Nick Fradiani and the other great contestants,” he continued. “To have that relevance in the marketplace to continue long after the show is done is the testament to its impact on American culture.”

Memorable experiences over the past season for the 52-year-old executive include working with Jason DeRulo and Boy George. “Jason is a great artist. Never in my life did I think Boy George and I would work together on anything. But we became immediate friends. He’s incredibly humble, kind and smart. I could go on and on, it was a great experience.”

Borchetta’s alignment with CAA helped secure his spot as Idol’s official season 14 mentor.



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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. | @EricTParker

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