Expect a surge in the Top 4’s performance level next week: Fox has confirmed to EW that Lady Gaga is set to appear on American Idol as a mentor for our remaining finalists. And before you scoff at the idea of a 25-year-old handing out career advice, remember that Miley Cyrus served as a mentor on the show last year, at the ripe age of 17 years old. And it’s not like Gaga doesn’t have anything to offer — some of our contestants (ahem, Lauren!) still have plenty to learn when it comes to truly performing to a crowd. Who better to teach them than the dramatic artist herself? (If only Pia were still around to pick up a few pointers… )

But it’s interesting to consider how she might aid the contestants, considering next week’s theme. While Gaga would have seemed an appropriate mentor during “Now & Then” week — who wouldn’t want a currently charting artist doling out advice on current music? — the contestants will be singing Leiber & Stoller numbers next week. And for you youngsters out there, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were known for penning such Post-World War II hits as “Jailhouse Rock,” “Yakety Yak,” and “Hound Dog.” (A theme created for the Elvis-loving Scotty? Conspiracy theorists, discuss!) If nothing else, however, Gaga has proven to be an old soul capable of eschewing Auto-Tune for old-school performances utilizing just her voice and a piano (check out her acoustic version of “Poker Face,” for one), so perhaps the flexible Gaga’s a better choice than one would think.

If nothing else, at least she’ll be on Haley’s side, right? (Lord knows the girl needs an ally.)

What do you think about Gaga mentoring the Idols, PopWatchers?

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

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