Season 10 American Idol alum Jimmie Allen is back as a celebrity mentor for season 20, and this week, he showed the contestants how it’s done. The country singer/songwriter put on a stunning performance of his emotional new song “Down Home” in Hawaii at the Aulani Disney Resort and Spa.
Jimmie Allen is proof that American Idol can launch careers, making him a great mentor to this season’s contestants. Although he did not win his season in 2011, he signed with a songwriting imprint shortly after. He went on to sign with a record label and released his self-titled debut EP in 2017. Since then, he has released two albums, and just announced that his third album will be released in June of this year. In November 2021, he won New Artist of the Year at the Country Music Awards.
Allen just released a new single, “Down Home,” which he performed for the first time on Sunday’s (April 10) episode of Idol. Co-written with Cameron Bedell, Rian Ball, and Tate Howell, the song is a tribute to Allen’s late father who passed away in 2019.
“I wrote it about my father – kind of like, hopefully, he’s in heaven and looking down on everything I’m doing and hope he’d be proud of me,” Allen said about the song. “In the midst of missing my father, I think about him seeing everything I’ve got going on and it’s like… even though he’s gone, he’s always with me.”
Allen’s performance had the audience and the three judges clapping along. His strong vocal performance and songwriting talent shone through. The lyrics are packed with emotional depth, as Allen recounts all the big moments in his life that his father is missing. However, he knows that his father is watching over him and his young daughter, knowing he would be proud of him.
This down home kid, is just how you left him
I still hate that you’re gone, I wish you were here
But I hope I’m making you proud
‘Cause I know you’re up there looking down home
The song brings up painful feelings for Allen, but his outstanding vocal control and stage presence made the performance a hit.
Even though he is on the show as a mentor, Allen admitted he was still nervous to take the stage. “I only made the Top 40, so they sent me home when they were picking the Top 24 for the live show. Going back this time and singing my own music, I still felt like I was being judged,” he laughed. “I was nervous like they were about to send me home again.”
Watch Allen’s full performance of “Down Home” below.
Photo Credit: ABC/Karen Neal