Australian Idol Is Back — Here’s Everything We Know

This year, Australian Idol will be hitting our screens after a 14-year hiatus. The show that has been a launching pad for so many singers is currently in its audition stages and we are itching to see what talent it plucks from around our country this year.
Its revival is long-awaited — a lot has changed in 14 years. 14 years ago, Owl City's 'Fireflies' and Black Eyed Peas' 'I Gotta Feeling' were being blasted at school discos, Kevin Rudd was prime minister and ‘00s Bohemia style — think skinny scarves, boleros and tiered maxi skirts — were all the rage.
Image courtesy of Channel 7
Australian Idol judges Kyle Sandilands, Meghan Trainor, Amy Shark and Harry Connick Jr.
The music landscape has changed drastically since and if the comeback of Bennifer and long denim skirts have taught us anything, it's that things are all the sweeter the second time around.
Here's everything we know about the return of Australian Idol.

When Did Australian Idol Last Air?

Australian Idol landed on our shores in 2003 and aired until 2009. The Idol franchise is the most widely watched television franchise in the world. It's broadcast in over 150 countries, has 55 adaptations and boasts a global audience of more than three billion viewers.
Aussies have been eagerly waiting for the series to return, though a slew of reality TV shows like The Masked Singer and The Voice have filled some of the musical void.
Australian Idol's return was initially announced in October 2020, but because of the pandemic, the show was pushed back. While it used to be run by Channel 10, Channel 7 will now be taking the reins.

Who Are The Judges?

Image courtesy of Channel 7
Australian Idol judges Harry Connick Jr., Amy Shark, Meghan Trainor and Kyle Sandilands
The new judges for Australian Idol are Kyle Sandilands, Amy Shark, Harry Connick Jr and Meghan Trainor.
 "I’m excited about the auditions. It’s going to be pretty special to find that diamond in the rough and then see how they progress through the show. Idol has changed the lives of so many artists in the past, so I’m excited to be part of that," said Amy Shark.
Marcia Hines will also be returning as a guest judge. "I feel honoured to have been asked to come back. Australian Idol is a great vehicle for uncovering some fantastic Australian talent. What a ride!" she said.
"I know it’s not an easy task singing in front of strangers, but I hope that contestants show us their heart and the gift that is their voice."
The OG trio of judges were Mark Holden, Marcia Hines and Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson, while Kyle Sandilands and Jay Dee Springbett also had stints as judges.

Who Are The Hosts?

Australian Idol fans know that the hosts make the show. The duo who originally held the title were James Mathison and Osher Gunsberg, who went by ‘Andrew G’.
The hosts for the new season are former Idol contestant Ricki-Lee Coulter and TV host, Scott Tweedie.

Who Are The Contestants?

Contestants hail from all across the country including Scone, Mackay, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast and Perth. So far we've been treated to a sneak peek of a few contestants from Australian Idol 2023.

Sara Houston — 27

Image courtesy of Channel 7
Australian Idol contestant Sara Houston

Joshua Hannan — 20

Image courtesy of Channel 7
Australian Idol contestant Joshua Hannan

Sash Seabourne — 25

Noora H — 27

Angelina Curtis — 15

Royston Sagigi-Baira — 23

Piper Butcher — 18

Maya Weiss — 28

Amali Dimond — 16

Sharin Attamimi — 24

Joshua Hannan — 20

Ben Sheehy — 24

Sara Houston — 26

Bec Voysey — 24

Peter Karagounis — 21

Anya Hynninen — 19

Harry Hayden — 18

James Vawser — 28

Damien Agius — 27

Kartik Kunasegaran — 27

Spencer Turnbull — 20

Layla Schillert — 16


Harry Carman — 26

Cooper Turnbull — 18

Phoebe Stewart — 15

Taigh Wade — 21

Angus Holmes — 21

Bobby Holmes — 17

Charlie Chech — 18

Kaitlyn Thomas — 22

Michaela George — 26

Kristie Roberts — 28

Gemma Ann Rourke — 25

Hamish Guiana — 18

Who Has Previously Won Australian Idol?

There have been a total of seven winners, three of whom are women. In season one, Guy Sebastian took the crown (in a contentious win against Shannon Noll). In 2004 Casey Donovan won and the following year saw Kate DeAraugo take the title of Australian Idol. In the next years, Damien Leith, Natalie Gauci, Wes Carr and Stan Walker were the winners.

What Is The Air Date?

Australian Idol premieres on Monday, January 30 on Channel 7 and 7plus.
Here's a sneak peek trailer of the upcoming season of Australian Idol:
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