Bebe Rexha and Jimmie Allen on Being 'American Idol' Mentors After Previously Auditioning (Exclusive)

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Bebe Rexha and Jimmie Allen are returning to their roots. ET's Lauren Zima spoke to the musicians at Disney's Aulani Resort & Spa in Kapolei, Hawaii, where the pair were serving as mentors on American Idol, years after they each auditioned for the singing competition series.

"It's hard, 'cause I feel like we actually care about the future generations of music of all genres," Allen said of their mentoring gig. "I feel like the time we put in now ,can really help shape them as the artist they wanna be one day, to where they continue the legacy of making great music, no matter what genre it is."

Both Rexha and Allen know what it's like to be on the show, with Allen making it to the top 40 the year he auditioned.

"2000. Season 10, the year Scotty McCreery won. I made it to the top 40 that year," Allen said of his season 10 experience. 

"Oh, I didn't even make anything," Rexha added with a chuckle.

As far as what Allen said he would tell this year's contestants about navigating the American Idol process? "Enjoy it."

"I would just tell 'em to enjoy it," he shared. "Don't really look at it as a competition."

Allen continued, "It's a learning experience, you know what I mean. Make the best out of this opportunity, 'cause I told her [Rexha], I said look, you've been given this platform that millions of people are watching and they made it to the top 24, so 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."

Rexha on the other hand, said wants to give the contestants tips they can take with them long after the signing competition is over.

"It depends on who the contestant is, some contestants are working on self-confidence, some of the songs are a little too high, so, we're working on some of the keys," Rexha explained. "Some of them need help with stage presence. 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. I want them to be able to take those tips with them outside."

Allen agreed, telling ET that what separates the singer from the artist is the plan they have for their future as a musician, which is something he's working to help this year's top 24 create.

"Have a plan, because there’s a difference between being a singer and being an artist. There’s a lot of great singers," the "Down Home" singer  explained. "An artist kind of has a plan, has a path carved out, where you want to go. You've got this opportunity and you should at least already have 4, 5 songs written, ready to go, like when you knew you were coming to this competition, you should already have had songs on stock ready to go, so, that way when your building this fanbase, you know especially if you -- say you get sent home top 24, top 10, whatever -- you’ve got songs ready to go, ready to release, to put out."

Allen added, "Use your social media platform to continue to engage with people that you met on this show, because that’s the problem. Once this show's over you have off season until the next season starts." 

It's not all work for the pair in Hawaii, in addition to performing, Allen and Rexha will get the chance to hang with the judges -- a welcome reunion for the "Meant to Be" songstress who opened for Katy Perry back in 2018.

"I opened for her in Brazil and that was an insane experience," Rexha gushed. "She was so kind, and she like took me on tour. She took me and my whole squad out to dinner. We went to an amazing steak restaurant, and I thought it was so sweet."

"So, that was definitely a really fun time," she added. "So, I'm excited to see her again and talk to her."

See Rexha and Allen when American Idol airs from Aulani Resort tonight Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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