Entertainment TV 'Idol' Poll: Should Contestants Be Allowed to Play Instruments? By People Staff Published on February 13, 2008 12:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email For the first time in seven seasons, American Idol contestants are allowed to use instruments in their performances. Over and over again throughout the years, the judges have often reminded contestants who rap — or beat-box like last season’s runner up Blake Lewis — that Idol is a singing competition. That’s why it was no surprise, in last night’s Hollywood round, that the judges weren’t too thrilled with some of the multi-talents. Brooke White, who played “Beautiful” on the keyboard, did well. But others, like Jake Mellema on the drums, did not. Tell us: Should contestants be able to play instruments on this season of American Idol?