Derek Hough Steps In as Disney Night Mentor for American Idol

Derek Hough will be stepping in for Ben Platt as a mentor on American Idol's Disney Night. Brush off those mouse ears and get the exclusive details here!

By Daniel Trainor Apr 28, 2022 4:00 PMTags

UPDATE: Derek Hough is ready to bring the magic to American Idol.

E! News has learned that Hough will step in for Ben Platt as the Disney Night mentor for the May 1 episode. While Platt is no longer able to participate in the upcoming episode, he is now slated to perform on the May 22 finale. So fans of Platt can breathe a sigh of relief.

Hough is no stranger to the house of Mouse, as the Dancing With the Stars alum starred in 2020's The Disney Family Singalong and The Disney Holiday Singalong.

For a peek at Hough's Disneyland appearance, be sure to scroll on!


Ben Platt is headed for the wonderful world of American Idol!

The Dear Evan Hansen star "will be found" as a mentor during the show's Disney Night, E! News can exclusively reveal. The episode airs May 1 on ABC.

The Tony winner will mentor the contestants from Disneyland while providing advice on everything from vocals to stage presence.

Platt became the youngest solo recipient of the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical in 2017 when he won for Dear Evan Hansen at the age of 23. He also starred in the film version of the musical in 2021. His other musical theater credits include The Book of Mormon and Caroline, or Change.

He released his second studio album Reverie in 2021. 

Platt is no stranger to Disney, either. In 2020, he appeared on the ABC special The Disney Family Singalong: Volume II and performed a duet of "A Whole New World" alongside Idina Menzel.

American Idol: Where Are They Now?

Menzel herself once acted as the mentor during Disney Night, so perhaps she's passed along some pointers. Past Disney Night mentors include John Stamos and Rebel Wilson.

American Idol, currently in the midst of its landmark 20th season, has not been without a bit of turmoil. On April 11, 18-year-old contestant Kenedi Anderson announced she was leaving the show for "personal reasons."

In an Instagram post she wrote: "Thank you for giving me such an amazing opportunity to share my voice, chase my dreams, feel so much joy and happiness doing what I love, and make lifelong friends along the way."

Judge Lionel Richie said he was "heartbroken" by Anderson's decision in an April 20 interview with USA Today.


Watch the remaining crop of contestants head to Disneyland when American Idol's Disney Night airs live May 1 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

(A version of this story originally publishing April 25 at 11 a.m. PT)

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