Harry Connick Jr., who sat on the American Idol judges panel from seasons 13-15 (2014-2016) will serve in the same capacity for Australian Idol when it returns to TV in 2023. Pop singer Meghan Trainor will also sit on the panel alongside Australian singer-songwriter Amy Shark and Aussie radio broadcaster Kyle Sandilands.
Australian Idol will be hosted by 2004 contestant and multi-platinum selling star Ricki Lee, joined by entertainment presenter Scott Tweedie.
The Australian Idol franchise has launched the careers of Aussies Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Ricki-Lee, Anthony Callea, Casey Donovan and Courtney Act, to name just a few.
Harry said he was looking forward to seeing new Aussie talent. “I love the camaraderie with the judges, the excitement of the crowd and the fun of it all,” he said. “I love the idea of musical competition – it forces performers to focus on a bunch of things that contribute to their development as artists.”
Harry was a famously tough judge when he sat on the American Idol panel, offering up more than just puffy platitudes for the contestants. He cited his own tough musical training as a kid in New Orleans to explain why he held the talent to high standards.
Meghan,who grew up watching American Idol, said she was “honoured” to join the Australian version.
“I can’t wait to sit front row and meet new talent,” she said. “I haven’t been to Australia since 2015, so I’m really excited to get to see the whole country and basically get to live there.”
Meghan is no stranger to television singing competitions. She sat on The Voice UK panel, served as a Team Blake Shelton advisor on The Voice US and was a judge on Seasons 1 and 2 of the FOX competition The Four.
Amy Shark said she was excited about the auditions, looking for that “diamond in the rough” to see how they can progress through the show. “Idol has changed the lives of so many artists in the past, so I’m excited to be a part of that.”
And for Kyle Sandilands, Idol is “the big one,” adding, “We all know the stars that came out of Idol.”
From October 4, aspiring hopefuls aged between 15 and 28 will showcase their talents at the judges’ audition rounds covering Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast.
Australian Idol originally aired on Network 10 from 2003-2009 and is coming soon to Channel 7 and 7plus.
— Harry Connick Jr (@HarryConnickJR) September 27, 2022