Derek Hough was the special guest mentor on American Idol on Sunday night.
The theme was Disney Night, where each season, the top contestants sing songs from Disney movies.
With Hough a member of a fellow Disney reality show in Dancing with the Stars, it was easy to get him over to work with the singers on American Idol.
While this mentor confused some American Idol fans, the explanation was rather apparent.
Derek Hough was there to help the singers with stage performance
Throughout the season, guest mentors have shown up to help the singers with their voices.
Each of the mentors gave advice based on their personal experience, helping each of the singers know when to hit the high notes, when to pull things in, and how to switch things up to make the songs their own.
This has happened with every single mentor on the show.
However, as anyone who understands the music industry knows, there is much more to learn than just how to sing the notes perfectly. If someone wants to succeed in the music industry, they also have to know how to perform.
When Ameican Idol announced Derek Hough as the guest mentor, there were plenty of fans who didn’t get it.
“Dancers are coaching a singing show now??? I don’t get it,” one person said.
“Why him??? He’s a dancer, not a singer,” another responded.
“I don’t mean to sound like a jerk but he’s a dancer what the hell is he doing mentoring on a singing competition show,” a third asked.
Clearly, the people didn’t understand the importance of stage presence for a singer – something Hough knows everything about.
On Sunday night, Derek gave singers some of the best advice about what they needed to do when performing. He wasn’t there to tell them how to sing for the sixth or seventh time – that was already done in the previous weeks.
Hough told them what to do with their hands, feet, and eyes while performing. He was there to teach them how to connect with the audience. One look at Nicolina’s performance showed how stage presence is just as important as hitting the high notes.
That is the real reason Derek Hough was on American Idol.
Derek Hough was a last-minute replacement
Derek Hough wasn’t even supposed to be there on Sunday night.
Ben Platt was supposed to be the original mentor for Disney Night on May 1. However, Ben had to pull out of the appearance and could no longer participate.
The good news is that Ben will be back later this season when he will perform on the May 22 finale.
Ben is a Broadway star who has appeared in The Sound of Music, The Book of Mormon, and Dear Evan Hansen.
American Idol airs on Sunday and Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.