In a move that is setting up Season 5 to be the biggest and best yet, Executive Producer C.J. Allen announced today that special judge Rick Barker, former manager for Taylor Swift and current manager of American Idol Season 15 winner Trent Harmon, who has been responsible for reviewing and selecting the contestants who will advance beyond the video auditions will also join the panel for the Live Auditions, Callbacks and Finale in September.
“All of the credit for this goes to our friends at WestJet,” said Allen, “they’ve been very generous in providing their support and we’re very excited to have Rick join myself and the other judges at the table for Season 5. Having Rick judge the video auditions has been great but bringing him in to be part of the entire process takes the experience for the contestants to a whole new level.”
So far, the producers have pulled out all of stops to make this year’s iteration the most exciting and engaging season since the show began in November 2014. Earlier in the year, it was announced that this season would be the first to feature a five (now six) person judging panel which includes Allen, returning judges Juneyt Yetkiner, Danya Dixon, Joni NehRita and new face Jessie T. With WestJet’s sponsorship, Barker has been added to the table.