When Australian Idol returns to Seven next week it will come with a world-first format change, which has been given the approval of producers Fremantle and Simon Cowell-controlled SYCO.
Just 30 ‘Golden Tickets’ are on offer, down from 50 last year but how they are awarded will differ this year.
“If you look at a lot of the Reality Shows they end with a conclusion, whether it’s Survivor‘s Tribal Council, a Bachelor Rose Ceremony or a leaderboard score in My Kitchen Rules,” Seven’s Head of Scheduling Brook Hall tells TV Tonight.
“Idol was one of the original Reality babies but in the auditions, particularly at the start, it’s a whole bunch of (singers) and then the shows.
“You might see someone brilliant at an audition and say ‘Wow, I really love them,’ but you might see not them for weeks – whereas that’s not the case with a lot of our reality shows.
“In the two we’re against, MAFS and Survivor, you’re seeing the key characters each day. We’re trying to address that.”
This year instead of raw audition acts proceeding directly to the next round, they will have to front judges Kyle Sandilands, Marcia Hines and Amy Shark a second time to learn who gets the Golden Ticket.
Some may have to sing again.
“The good thing is you get to see all of the good artists once more. I think it’s really important for character development,” he explains.
“We’re not bastardising the format by any means. I think it’s just a way of updating it, because largely the format had not changed in 25 years.
“Fremantle, and Syco which controls the format, have had to be cross it. We’re not trying to do a silly trick. We’re just trying to ask, ‘How can we make sure there’s more character development early on?’
“When we get to Live shows you see them each week, singing, new genres, but we’ve got to be honest we didn’t have that at the start.”
Australian Idol returns 7:30pm Monday January 29 on Seven.