Jimmie Allen and Bebe Rexha are proof that failing on American Idol does not equate to failing in the music industry.
Singers who went home early should use these two singers as role models. Both left the show very early and are now two of music’s top stars.
Now, both singers are coming back this week to help mentor singers in American Idol’s top 24 round.
Jimmie Allen and Bebe Rexha reflect on American Idol past
Jimmie Allen was living in poverty and lived out of his car. In American Idol Season 10, he auditioned and earned a golden ticket.
However, he went home before the live voting rounds started, his time cut short. Luckily, he met Scotty McCreery and the two became friends. Scotty won the show and the two ended up reconnecting when Jimmie began his rise in the country music industry.
For Bebe Rexha, things also initially looked grim.
When she was 18, Bebe waited in line for 10 hours to audition for American Idol. She didn’t even make it through.
“Season 10, the year Scotty McCreery won. I made it to the top 40 that year,” Allen told ET.
“Oh, I didn’t even make anything,” Rexha said.
It didn’t hurt either of them.
Six years later, Jimmie Allen released his debut album, Mercury Lane, in 2018. He won the CMA Award for New Artist of the Year in 2021, only the second Black artist to win after Darius Rucker.
He has had three number-one singles on the U.S. Country Airplay charts with Best Shot, Make Me Want To, and Freedom Was a Highway.
Bebe Rexha was 18 when she auditioned for American Idol, and when she was 24, she had writing credits for Eminem, Selena Gomez, and Nick Jonas.
She released her debut album Expectations in 2018 and it went platinum. Bebe’s 2017 single Meant to Be went 11-times platinum.
Jimmie and Bebe working with American Idol as mentors
Now, Bebe Rexha and Jimmy Allen are mentoring American Idol hopefuls.
“It’s a learning experience, you know what I mean. Make the best out of this opportunity,” Jimmie said. “They actually made it to perform live, so it’s not really about impressing me, it’s not really even about impressing the judges.”
“It’s about you slowly making fans with every performance you have and getting to know you as a person in interviews, but getting to know you as an artist through your performance.”
Bebe agreed, but she had more personal tips for the singers.
“It depends on each contestant, but my main thing, is I want to give them tips if they win the competition and they go ahead, or don’t go ahead,” Bebe said. “I want them to be able to take those tips with them outside.”
American Idol airs on Sunday and Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.