Australia’s Got Talent neglected to clarify Jack Vidgen co-wrote ‘Yes I Am’

“Doing a song he has actually written himself called ‘Yes I Am’, and proving why he deserves to be here tonight, is Jack Vidgen,” Grant Denyer told Australia’s Got Talent viewers when he introduced the 14 year old singer last night.

Today a Seven spokesperson confirmed to TV Tonight that Vidgen in fact co-wrote the song with Erana Clarke, former vocal coach on Australian Idol and The X Factor, and A2, as part of a Sony Music composition. It was arranged by the show’s musical director Dorian West.

“Yes I Am” was a big crowd-pleaser last night, drawing a standing ovation from the audience and judges and amply demonstrating his vocal skills.

Judge Kyle Sandilands said, “The kid can sing better than nearly anyone I know, he’s a charming, good, well-natured likeable kid, he’s now a songwriter.”

Brian McFadden added, “I heard you were singing your own song tonight and I was ‘Maybe…. I was getting really annoyed as to how perfect you’d been up ’til now. This kid’s a freak, and it was getting on my nerves because he was too good. Oh he’s writing his own song? There’s no way he can write a song as good as the other songs he’s covered.’ And he did.

“It’s just blatantly obvious you are a superstar.”

Today it isn’t clear how much of the song the young singer wrote himself, whether it was music, lyric or both.

The spokesperson said the song was constructed to reflect the journey Vidgen has had with the show, thrust in the spotlight with over a million hits on YouTube. They denied the song already existed and merely tweaked with a lyric in order to give Vidgen a composer credit.

Indeed, in the music industry many pop stars have been known for adding a handful of lyrics in order to land a credit and the subsequent royalties.

But it isn’t the first time a TV talent show has neglected to outline a song’s origins.

In 2004 Australian Idol told its viewers Dianne Warren had written “Listen To Your Heart” especially for series winner Casey Donovan -but the song had actually been recorded in 1998 by gospel singer CeCe Winans.

Others who performed their own songs on AGT didn’t fare as well as Vidgen. Singer-musicians Dan Conway and Adam Hynes failed to make the Grand Final, with judges commenting that performing their own material was a risk with the voting audience.

It remains to be seen if showcasing the song as a composition by the young singer will increase his voting chances at the expense of the 9 other acts.

His popularity has emerged from his performance ability rather than his songwriting, with many viewers commenting on the strength of his vocals at such a young age.

The majority of voting for talent shows also takes place straight after the show has aired.

This year’s series has been a runaway hit for Seven, despite -or possibly, due in part to- negative stories, including a plagiarism claim levelled at comedian Jordan Paris, and a ‘backstage tantrum’ detailed by host Grant Denyer but subsequently denied by pianist ‘Chooka’ Parker.

The announcement of the winner will air next Tuesday night, and is expected to top the 2 million viewer mark once again.

Seven says Sony is expected to release “Yes I Am” next Wednesday regardless of who wins the show.

UPDATE: Seven has since advised Jack wrote the lyrics and collaborated on music.


  1. Jack was extremely good but I didnt find his performances interesting or inspiring the way i did with Adam Hynes. I really thought Adam Hynes was an incredible talent and he has a unique voice. His whole look and sound is really gorgeous and the song which he totally wrote is definitely hit potential as the judges said.

    I’m wondering now what has happened to Adam – he didnt win but honestly I thought a record company would have snapped him up by now and that he would have a contract. I find it hard to believe that he would just be left to return to Cairns and play in pubs. If I had seen that performance by Adam and was told the song was a current hit i would have believed it, it is just amazingly good. I am hoping that I’ll hear some good news on his future soon – surely!

  2. Week after week, this show of Australia got talent has declined into a competition between the judges and not about the Australian artists, young Reece’s look on his face stated more than words can illustrate in the disappointment in the so called professionals that he is trying to admire.
    To embarrass as a viewer to sit through the judges competing! To the entire vocalist, good luck & I hope the experience doesn’t destroy your want to express through song.

  3. I think Jack is probably a nice little boy but really the songs he sings are not for kids. I think if they want a talent show for kids then they should have one without adults. Personally I am not interested in talented kids. I appreciate their talent but feel that they should not sing grown up songs with haunting lyrics that they cannot possibly understand. I do not get all the attention that is on Jack. Think about Dan and Adam now there are two talented musicians and they are grown ups too.

  4. For all these TV channels to survive, it is all about “ratings” and do whatever it takes to make a show that will get viewers in front of screens watching their show. Whether it be good publicity or bad publicity, it it gets higher ratings for them that is what it is all about!

  5. If the audience didn’t give Jack a standing ovation or clap. Jack probably wouldn’t of have made it this far and he wouldn’t be the favourite to win.The audience choose him when they applaud him. If you didn’t wat him or wat him to win you should have booed him.Your’s choose him, deal with him.

  6. If i was sony, i would of signed Erana Clarke seeing she wrote the song, it would have been the better choice.To write a song for somebody and be given know credit for it ,that is low.If the TV talent show isn’t going to give Erana the credit for writing the song she deserves.I’m pretty sure the Australian people will,Congratulations Erana such a beautiful song you have wrote ,well done.

  7. @Robyn: Just Stop, Read the original article again, take a deep breath and relax unless you commenting on a particular comment (and if your are you should say as such),you will see that David is reporting on what seems to be less than appropriate behaviour by people other than this very talented but not nesseccarily what should at this stage be declared the winner.

  8. @True Listener,you have missed the entire point(maybe deliberately) congratulations to the young fellow and I am sure if he does’nt get screwed over by a big music label he will have some success.
    The problem is with the misrepresentation by another large commercial network,voting should have been reset and started again after the falsification was discovered.

  9. Woah Jessie.. that is Very interesting. Hows about this one though. Jack Vidgen belongs to a group called the “Talent Development Project” or “TDP”.

    Of which surprise surprise they are pushing people to vote for Jack Vidgen.

    Today I tried to call 2GB in regards to this issue and my call did not get accepted. *strange*, but perhaps more pressing issues were on the plate. Hardly as it now makes sense…

    Sponsors of TDP:
    Sony Music

    It’s about time someone at Ch7 started talking, because it just gets more and more dodgy.

  10. I agree with Creepy, why didn’t Today Tonight interview Erana Clark. She talks about writing for a “certain young superstar in the making” on her facebook page, I’m assuming she means Jack (Jack and his mum both Like the status).

  11. Think all you knockers….I’ve co-written songs and know how it works. Jack plays guitar and piano. He possibly did come up with the basic tune/melody as well as the lyrics. As he is a musician I’d be surprised if he didn’t. After taking the song to his vocal coach I would imagine they both worked on it and I’m sure Jack had plenty of input. As for the arrangement of the song…..If the show’s Musical Director did an arrangment so what…that’s their job. Dan Conway had violins playing during one of his original song performances. Was that his idea or the Musical Director’s? I’m sure if Dan had performed his song with just a guitar it would have sounded very different. Not to take it away from Dan as I think he’s brilliant. Just trying to make a point. I feel sorry for Jack. To much media coverage in Australia is a recipe for “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. Jack’s been training and working on his talent for a long time. Surely he deserves a break just like anyone else.

  12. True Listener

    How many famous singers do actually write their own song? He is only 14 years old. Just let the kid find his dream. He is definitely gifted in his singing and in no time he can even write his own song 100% his own. Stop being so negative and judgemental about others. If you still have negative things to say about the boy, try doing what he did and then you can talk.

  13. Agree with We Just Want The Truth’s coment, We all want to know the truth of Jack overexposed and got more publicity over other contestants, its clearly not fair at all this show is rigged completely

  14. I hope that Jack doesn’t actually win. I mean this in the nicest possible way. He’s set for the next few years (if not, life) already. He doesn’t need to win; he can easily come second and his future not be harmed (except for the immediacy of the prize money). That would make way for another fantastic talent to get a leg-up.

    I’m not a fan of Jack’s particular style but am happy to admit he’s got bucket-loads of talent. He’s a polite, pleasant kid going on the ride of his life and I top my hat to him. I just fear that 7 is going to manipulate him. They’re milking him/AGT like crazy and it seems all for very, very short term commercial gain.

    It’s one thing for a network (or this industry) to manipulate an adult, but to manipulate a kid who arguably has less resilience and a greater susceptibility to being exploited, is just abominable. For Jack’s sake I desperately hope my (and others’) fears are not realised. But, if it looks like a duck…

  15. You people all need to get a life!!!! Appreciate the talent but don’t vote. I couldn’t choose even if I was going to vote. They all blow me away but I watch and admire and wish them all well.

  16. One more example of manipulation of the voting perhaps? Australia’s Got Talent website left off the voting details for the other young 17 year old Jazz singer, Liam Burrows. I went to vote for him early this morning and there were no numbers for him, voting details for all other contestants were there.This can hardly be a level playing playing field.

  17. We Just Want The Truth

    Hi David,

    After the drilling you got over your comments on here on Today Tonight, I thought you may be interested to read the following.

    It clearly shows that Ch7 and Today Tonight have blatantly lied to cover their own backsides, and it would be great if you and other contacts you have can push this question into the media enough that it requires answers from Ch7.

    I’d love to see them explain this one.

    First of all the transcript from Matthew Woods Today Tonight article is here:

    You’ll notice it mentions “Because of the rules of the show, Jack is in lockdown and can’t defend himself.”

    However this isn’t truthful at all.

    Reported today:

    The clearest indication Sony Music chief Denis Handlin has already locked in a deal is that Vidgen will perform at a Sony Foundation charity cocktail at Kirribilli House tonight – where the deal is expected to be announced.

    Now if Jack is in lockdown and unable to speak regarding “his song” on Wednesday, how is he able to perform tonight (Friday)?

    Not only this but who was able to organise the gig if he was in lockdown?

    I suggest everyone contact ACA and other avenues to force Ch7 to explain themselves. There is definitely some long truths (at the very least) being told, and this incident may well call into question the legitimacy of any Ch7 program that benefits from home voters.

  18. Well I’m glad he didn’t actually write it because it was a Horrible song. But this is all sounding terribly dodgy. Personally I think the kid has some singing talent but I find his voice irritating. I think I’d like him more if he just sang something a kid of 14 would sing and stopped with all the big glory notes. But whatever. He deserves to win as much as anyone – I’d just prefer someone else did, especially after seeing all the over-exposure of him and learning how much manipulation is going on to get him to win it.

  19. and the dodgyness continues.

    This morning the article surfaced Again on Sunrise. Some clown (John or Peter) they were speaking to about it was asked “will this affect Jacks chances” and his reply was “I doubt so, Jack is ahead enough for this not to affect him”.

    To which Mel replied about Jack being a great talent and deserving of a win.

    David, don’t stop looking into this one. Maybe you can’t speak too much, but I suspect Ch7 have laywered up and bullied you into posting a retraction on your comments.

    ACA need to get involved in this and get to the bottom of the truth.

  20. Can’t believe that TT completely twisted your story, when it clearly states “a Seven spokesperson confirmed to TV Tonight that Vidgen in fact co-wrote the song”

    I assume there was no follow up story or apology on TT the following night?
    Sounds like TT are creating their own smear campaign.

  21. Jack Vidgen has greatest voice in Australia. Australians be proud to have him and should surport him? If you mosk him you are mosking Australia
    God you got to love Jack? “Go Jack” We want Jack! We want Jack!

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