‘American Idol’ Contestants Freak Out Over Carrie Underwood Returning to Show

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

American Idol” legend Carrie Underwood returns to the show after 17 years, and the contestants she’ll be mentoring cannot wait to work with her.

Carrie Underwood won “American Idol” Season 4 back in 2005. She then went on to produce nine studio albums, 34 singles, and three hits in the Top 10. Underwood is country music royalty, but she got her start in the same way these contestants have: in a televised singing competition.

Underwood has returned to “Idol” before, making brief appearances to perform or mentor other contestants. But the current slate of contestants grew up listening to her music. HunterGirl, Leah Marlene, and Nicolina Bozzo all talked with E! News Daily Pop about the chance to work with such a legend.

“I’m so excited, I’m losing my mind,” HunterGirl told the outlet.

Marlene added, “She was my childhood hero of all heroes. I have so many videos of me singing Carrie Underwood growing up. It’s crazy, I’m just so excited.” 

In addition to HunterGirl, Marlene, and Bozzo, the country star will mentor Fritz Hager and Noah Thompson as part of the Top 5. “American Idol” announced Carrie Underwood’s mentorship at the end of the May 8 episode. Host Ryan Seacrest revealed to the contestants that they’d have a “once-in-a-lifetime mentor session” with her this coming week. Marlene, when she heard the news, reportedly fell down.

The official “American Idol” Twitter account also shared the announcement Sunday night. They captioned the post, “Well, here’s a dream come true! #AmericanIdol icon @carrieunderwood will mentor the Top 5, live from the home of her Las Vegas residency ‘REFLECTION’ at @resortsworldlv! Who better to help our hopefuls earn a place in the Grand Finale?”

Underwood then shared the post herself and wrote, “Can’t wait!”

Carrie Underwood’s ‘REFLECTION’ Residency Coming to an End Amid ‘American Idol’ Finale

On Sunday, May 15, the Top 5 will compete to earn one of three spots in the Grande Finale on May 22. Carrie Underwood will help mentor these “American Idol” contestants while also wrapping up her own tour.

For the last six months, Underwood has been performing her Las Vegas residency, REFLECTION, at Resort World Las Vegas. She has her last few shows coming up this month, and she’ll be performing them in and around her mentorship sessions with the contestants.

Underwood’s remaining shows take place May 13, 14, 18, 20, and 21. She’ll be meeting up with the Top 5 in and around those final shows, with her last show taking place the day before the “American Idol” finale. It’s a bittersweet moment for the country queen. But it also gives her a chance to rest and recuperate before her newest album, “Denim and Rhinestones,” drops on June 10.