Australian Idol: Verdict Show

Idol’s Monday night was always a bit of a naff for the audience because it was really just 15 minutes of content rolled out over an hour, but we’ve recognised that and strengthened it,” Dicko said two weeks ago.

To borrow a Big Brother phrase: I don’t think so.

Instead, Monday night’s Verdict edition consisted of 15 minutes of content rolled out over 70 minutes.

This year Idol decided to flag the bottom three at the top of the show and re-open the voting lines (ker-ching) to close at 8pm AEST. Viewers in WA had previously been encouraged to check the Idol website to learn the name of the bottom three for voting that closed at 6pm WST. In South Australia and Northern Territory, the voting closed at 7pm CST -which is actually 30 minutes earlier than the equivalent time elsewhere, of 7:30pm CST. Sorry, Adelaide & Darwin.

That process has only dragged out the results even more.

The show resorted to interviewing its ‘bottom three’ no less than three times: when they were announced, after they had sung a second time by Ricki-Lee backstage, and then on the couch a third time. How many times can you say you weren’t happy with your performance

Meanwhile the show played ‘journey’ video packages, interviewed some of the other finalists, saw the Idols share their week in video packages (including a plug for a car), a song from American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and finally – finally – at 8:30pm, returned to the point of the night: revealing the results.

Meanwhile viewers of 90210, Burn Notice and Torchwood were forced to wait an additional ten minutes for their shows – a risk indeed when some of them are barely registering decent numbers.

Clearly the Verdict show is dependent on two immovable things: its 8pm voting cut-off and tallying the votes. But after six years there was far too much excess.

On the basis of this it would seem TEN is indeed more interested in dragging its viewers across to 8:45pm (when it finally ended) and avoid losing viewers to City Homicide or alternate programming.

For the record, Idol‘s first contestant voted off was Jonny Taylor, ahead of Teale and Sophie.

Australian Idol Show Watch


  1. The verdict show should be 30 minutes. The interviews and responses by contestants is always the same answer. Who cares?

    For me though Idol HAS TO GO. It’s way past it’s use-by date. The singers are completely out of touch with what’s popular as they’re all ‘pretend’ musicians who don’t have a clue about the music industry and what is actually a good song.

    Seriously – would you buy a record made by any of these contestants???? Combine them all together and their combined talent wouldn’t even be equal to the talent in Elvis Presley’s left toe.

  2. Well I don’t want to stop coming here each week. There’s just certain things I don’t like being spoiled about.

    I’m not saying anything against you David. It’s your site and you can do what you want. I just thought I’d ask so I don’t catch any unwanted spoilers.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  3. There’s no easy answer to this sort of stuff for shows like Idol, BB, Dancing, It Takes Two etc.

    I avoid front page spoilers for things that haven’t aired, but once something has aired, yes it’s fair game. Viewers on the East Coast want the info instantly, and there are even viewers on the West Coast who want to know ahead of time. One of the problems is if I hold off posting the news there are other sites (including networks and newspapers) that freely publish it, so it risks this site lagging behind.

    As such I’ve decided to continue to publish with an East Coast skew and once something has aired it’s newsworthy including on the front page. ie. Eurovision happens earlier in Europe but I didn’t publish the winner til it aired via SBS. Emmys are live next week so they are fair game.

    If you want to hold off coming here for an 2 hrs to avoid hearing a winner or loser that’s your call I guess.

    In TV land, a winner is news worthy.

  4. David, when you post the results each week, you won’t put the picture of the one that’s voted out on the front page will you? I know you didn’t this time and you can see who’s voted out by clicking on the article but I just want to know for sure so I don’t accidentally spoil it. I’ve avoided this site for a couple of days just in case I found out by mistake.

    On another note, I really hate how long the verdict show is. It’s ridiculous! I like how the bottom three are announced at the beginning and they perform again but after that, it’s just way, way too long.

  5. In reply to Ben Tree, they official site did have the results, as they were announced. They just didn’t place them on the front page. You had to click on ‘Voting’ on the menu.

  6. The Wikipedia listing puts the top amount for SMS revenue at $16m in 2004. Its subsequent estimates for later years aren’t sourced from anywhere other than this 2003 article. It is probably also gross revenue estimates so not all going to TEN.

    That said, I’m sure it remains a money spinner for the network.

  7. Worst season ever. For all his faults, at least Mark Holden recognised talent (and the lack of it). He was the only judge last year who constantly urged the contestants to step up (until it became obvious that most could not). This year’s Top 12 is even worse, and much of the blame has to go to the three wimps posing as judges. Seriously, who thinks Tom, Sophie, Teale, or even Luke can actually SING? And can someone please tell Chrislyn that every night isn’t Aretha Franklin night. I thought 2006 was a standout year, but it’s been downhill ever since. No David Cooks here, I’m afraid.

  8. I like to see Who’s in and out but I could see the writing on the wall when you mentioned the announcing of the three lowest at the beginning of the show.

    Not only do I feel this is a money making exercise as I have mentioned before and I can see you agree David, but I decided to tape the lot and edited their show to a little over 10 minutes – no commercials, no repeats of last nights performances, and definitely no vote casting on my behalf :)

    All in all a good result for me – A loss for TEN – and an hour of my life back!

    All good :)

  9. I always thought it cost to vote for american idol, but you’re right that it doesn’t. I guess being the number 1 show means they can afford not to make income from votes. Must be a lot of people over there getting rsi.

  10. Todd and the rest (nice to see a contingent from the Official Idol Forums here…) methinks you’re being a teeensy little bit defensive. “Haters”? Give me a break. I watch the show because I like the show, but I don’t blindly think everything they do with it is the best thing ever. The Australian version of Idol has historically made *extremely* bad decisions with the format of its Monday night verdict show, and this year’s is no exception. It could be a lot better. What’s wrong with expressing that opinion? And why does that make me a “hater”?

    Tony: Holden “trademarked the Touchdown”? Unlikely, but also incorrect to credit the poor doofus with inventing the idea. At least one judge on American Idol had done it before Holden magically came up with it.

    As for the money Ten makes off voting, let me remind everyone once again that ALL voting on American Idol is completely, 100% free of charge to the viewers.

  11. I haven’t watched the show this year. I’ve discovered that I really don’t miss spending that 2 hours a week every week for 3 months with Idol anymore. The show’s more or less the same every year. Funnily enough, I’ve watched every season except this one. I did enjoy Battle of the Choirs and the Aussie SYTYCD earlier in the year, but now I guess I’m finding Idol just doesn’t interest me. It’ll probably still be around for another 5 years minimum, its one of Ten’s most successful programs and if they axed it they wouldn’t have anything to take its place, other than hour-long editions of Taken Out

  12. I think you under-estimate the success, Ladette – especially in the US where most of the Idol winners remain huge stars.

    In Australia, Guy, Shannon, Anthony and Damien have all carved reasonable careers. A few others, like Rikki-Lee, are also making their mark. Even the “over-exposed” Axel Whitehead has just released a critically-acclaimed cd.

  13. Sly Doggie you are 100% WRONG

    The show makes approximately 26 million dollars (a year) in profit from the voting alone. THAT is the reason why the bloody thing is still (and will continue to be) on air.

    The more you see of these people behind the scenes, the more you become attached. Which equals more votes. Why do you think everyone on the show has a sob story?

    There have been 2 or 3 genuinely good singers with staying power come out from idol in the whole world.

    The show is not about making a star, it’s $$$ all the way.

    Good on em I say.

    Wise up people! Vote with your remote!

  14. Agree with all the comments above saying if you don’t like it don’t watch. Personally I think it’s great that we know who’s safe within 5 minutes of the show starting. Happy to see the group performances gone, cos they were always lame anyway. They’ve got a really good bunch this year (aside from 1 or 2) which made the sunday night show great viewing. To all you haters – Idol won’t be going anywhere, anytime soon – as much as that p*****s you off – I’ll happily watch Idol for years to come. It’s a great show. Haters: SWITCH OFF. (Oh that’s right, you already do – and then whinge on here like idiots)

  15. Reply to slydoggie [“TEN actually barely make any money off the SMS. It’s something like 2c out of each text message. Hardly going to make you rich”]

    I dunno how it works this year, if telstra aren’t a sponsor (no idea tbh) – but in previous years, I think it was a 50-50 split of the 55c charge for the sms/1902 line.

  16. Never mind all that. How was Kyle ripping off Holden’s “Touchdown” on Sunday night? I couldn’t believe it, and what a poor imitation it was too. I hear Holden has trademarked the touchdown, but has given the show permission to use it.

  17. I loved it last night. The only thing missing was the Group Song which as terrible as the song choices can be, its still nice to see.

    I’m sick of everyone bitching about it all the time, just don’t watch it if you don’t like it :)


  18. TEN actually barely make any money off the SMS. It’s something like 2c out of each text message. Hardly going to make you rich.

    Why can’t they just make this half an hour. Punchy, cut to the chase, keep your viewers. I’d go half hour Idol, half hour comedy, 90210, Burn Notice. Keep them all running on time. The hour long boredom fest is a great way to kill a franchise…I wonder how So You Think You Can Dance Australia 2009 will go given the massive over exposure of the latest American series? Or House given the 300 rpts we’ve now had to put up with?

  19. I loved the new format. Made it clear who was the worst of the night right away. I liked it.

    I also liked they got a second chance to sing again. People who heard them sing the night before and thought they were crap could listen again and go ‘oh no wait. I’m hearing the song live again and it sounds better than i thought. i’ll vote again for them’.

    Yes, a 30 min show would be better but viewers out there also want to get to know the idols and see what they do during the week. it’s no good if you just hear them sing and you think ‘oh they’re sweet’ and then backstage they’re like ‘f**k you dicko. i hated your comments’ and ‘shut the hell up marcia’ or something like that.

    it’s good we see a backstage side to them and interview all the contestants. a 30 min show would be so quick. we could even do an ad break if that’s what people wanted.

    okay, the bottom 3 are ‘1,2,3’ and then australia has voted out ‘1’. then we go to a commercial about ‘napisan plus’. is that what you what? how much shorter do you want the idol shows?

    i mean please, there is 20 million people in australia to please. i mean, if idol can please at least 1/20th of them they’re doing good.

    so tune in later or don’t watch at all and check on the idol website at 9pm to see who got out. i mean, who’s holding the gun to your head forcing you to watch the show every week.

  20. Part of me was glad that burn notice was late cause i was watching media watch (i wish they would put that on iView, as i can never be bothered with the other format) and forgot burn notice was on so i turned the telle off.

    The other part of me hated it because i had to get up and find a tape (yes, i still use a good ole VCR, on analogue tv, i figure i still have 4ish years before i need a pvr) so i could tape the end of burn notice because boston legal was about to start (and Ch7 starting a show before 10 means 10 is running very very late).

    As for the actual format, i couldn’t care less, i don’t watch it as i don’t like the show full stop, but im not going to whinge about it, Top Gear is on at the same time and i much prefer that.

  21. Yeah it was a horrible verdict show. Made no difference. I even checked the website at 7pm as i live in Adelaide and they didn’t even have who was in the bottom three on it. I even checked it again 15 minutes later and still not there, and then again 15 minutes later and not there again.
    If they say they are going to do something they should really do it. Even though I wouldn’t have voted.

  22. Most of us have a PVR.
    And if anyone is going to Idol to search for integrity in our Industry, then that person is just as nutz as the singer who rocks up thinking that Idol will help them in anyway.

    And as for getting 15secs of life back because of a remote control button….. alarm bells are ringing…

  23. I just watched the verdict show on my PVR. 75 minutes of dross dispensed with in less than 20 minutes. Gotta love the 15-second-skip button :)

    What got me annoyed was that the cash-grab “extra vote” was actually pretty pointless – as Monkeyboy.. err I mean James… said at the start, the votes from last night’s show still count and these extra 10 minutes’ worth of votes are just added on – not a chance of there being a sizeable enough number of votes to make any difference. The singers perform the same song, and are just as loathsome as last time. Why bother?

    Sophie deserved to go, as she is rubbish. But Jonny, making noises about “being forced to sing covers” and “being naked without my guitar” was doomed from the start.

    Anyone notice Monkeyboy said at the start “no more after-this-break stuff” only to read out the name of the first safe contestant… after this break. And the eliminated contestant… after this break.

    Trust me people. Buy a PVR. You get lots of your life back.

    Dan, Stevie G: group performance? NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! HELL NO! The one thing I was relieved about was the dropping of the weekly Young Talent Time / School Revue number. Nauseating, embarrassing tripe. Idol producers, pay no attention to them! :)

  24. Idol and Ten are only trying to please their bank accounts. Its a s**t idea, and they’ll realise it. Verdict shows like Idol would most likely get more rating with reducing the time of their show, not expanding it. They are doubling the amount of voting you have to do each week and creating a group of viewers who will most likely dismiss the show and deem it as a waste of time. If we wanted to know about their lives, we’d have asked them to be on Big Brother. But no, they are on a singing show, we just want to hear them sing.

  25. Ohh tonight’s episode was soo boring! i prefer the old format, as tedious as that was!! If it weren’t for Jordin Sparks (who is fabulous), I would have switched over!

  26. I didn’t like the new format, it really is pointless. If they have to sing for their lives, they should be singing a different song to the one that put them there in the first place. I mean they could just show the footage from the previous night if we have to here those terrible songs again.

    I use to like the group performance as well.

  27. Ugh.. The verdict show made me want to rip my hair out!!

    Personally I would do it like this: Start the show and announce the bottom three, reopen voting lines, have a group performance or something, interview the bottom 3, close voting lines, have the guest performer and then do the verdict.

    Could easilly be done in ~30 mins.

  28. And they still insist on the farewell song at the end to the person voted out? If Australia didn’t want to hear them sing again, we surely don’t want to hear them sing for a THIRD time in 2 nights, especially singing along to John Foreman and his Casio Keyboard….

    Just say, “You’ve been voted out, goodnight Australia!”

  29. I thought it was great, much better than previous years. If people don’t like the format i’d advise them to tune in at 8.25pm for the verdit… I wish people would stop criticising everything, TEN and Idol can’t please everyone! Just get on with life.

  30. What a joke – If you say you are going to do things different, then do things different. call me cynical but as soon as I heard that you would now have to vote again for the bottom three, i just thought of the money that Ten would be making from it. So basically, there will be three contestants each week who will be voted for twice !!!

    The verdict show could go for 30 minutes and close off the lines as the show starts- surely by now they have the technology to work out who has gone in 20 minutes.

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