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!

  22. Problem with this young fellow is he has a very unique voice for a young man and much in the ilk of a young Jamie Redfern; it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years.
    Before I get grilled over this, simple biological developments mean the voice we have at 14 is not necessarily anything like we will have at 16 but all this is redundant as he is obviously a moral to win.
    How 7 handles the build up will be interesting their whole BS machine will be chaffing at the bit pretending to give other competitors a chance, honestly I have lost interest and am sitting here wondering why I have even bothered to write this.
    Proof of the pudding will be remaining body of his writing work as one just does not just write one very professionally penned song without having produced others unless 7 wants us to believe this is his first attempt?
    Now all I need is to get Annie/7’s rebuttal to prove any theories I may have.

  23. Oh! by the way all you sinners that posted nasty comments can repent by voting for Jack. the number is 1900 55 333 9 Three each please.

  24. David, I do apologise for attacking you in my earlier comments, by your reply and the fact you published my comments makes me believe you to be quite genuine and was not personally attacking Jack. The Goonies are right; my head will explode if he doesn’t win.

  25. jack is good he go all the way in his music he talent he amazeing to australia jack is much better than justin b jack will be famous in his music leave jack alone you all negitive he win you all just jelous he will be famous in his music go jack you be makeing cd even music dvd ur friend patrick hills a van of yours jack thank you for the good coments for jack jack 14 he going amaze all of us australians go jack you best

  26. Today Tonight effectively confirmed the story here: that the song was co-written, but didn’t address why they didn’t advise the audience. When there are 9 other acts on the show you do have to wonder at the level of fairness. That’s not a criticism of Jack, but the show. I gave Seven all of Wednesday to clarify his contribution but they were unable. When they finally did I added it into the story too.

    TT and ACA love to have a story with the words “AGT. Jack Vidgen. Controversy” to drive up ratings. It even led both shows. To suggest I have attacked a 14yo misrepresents me, and completely overlooks the praise I have lauded on his talent across the blog. I get that TT likes to have a hero / villain in their pieces which is why I declined to participate in their story (and I was sick as a dog today anyway). Lastly, Seven publicity weren’t fazed by me doing the story because 90% of the voting had been done, as is the habit with these shows.

  27. I’m sorry, but the fact that he only had a part in writing the song is pure misrepresentation, and will probably have a lot to do with him winning, although I admit he probably would’ve won anyway. I personally wish singers wouldn’t win AGT, we’ve seen plenty of singers (and dancers) on other shows, would rather an more original talent get it.
    Yes, hes 14, but he’s up there in public, he will have the deal with the haters as well as the lovers, he deserves the same scrutiny placed on any other contestant.

  28. Susie Clarke

    I am really shocked to read all the vicious and petty attacks on an extremely talented 14 year old boy whose main ambition in this competition is to give his father who is suffering MS,a few years of more comfortable life! Shame on you!

    It is actually Grant Denyer who claimed publicly that Jack actually wrote the song himself .Why don’t those people who criticised Jack attack Grant Denyer who made this mistake? Could it be because those critics has other motives? Grant could come forward admitting his mistake or Channel 7 authorities could apologise to Jack and the public. But this does not excuse those who deliberately try to discourage the general public from voting for Jack Vidgen.
    I believe the voting is not finished until Friday 29th July.

    So please give Jack a fair go! For those who think Jack Vidgen should win, please lets show those critics they are not going to succeed by giving extra votes to Jack !

    By the way I am not related to the Vidgens nor a regular channel 7 viewer but this young lad certainly blows me away1.

  29. Jack is only 14 stop all the nasty comments. He is a child for goodness sake, most of you would be overjoyed if it was your child. Wish him and all the other good luck, not negativity.

  30. Okay, I accept that.

    However if he wrote the song, and recorded and mixed the single Before he went into lockdown, then it says:

    1. He was already signed to Sony.
    2. If he wins, has vote rigging been involved. It would be Very suspect for him to win with a single already recorded and ready for sale.

    Oh and another thing. Erina Clarke has a voice doesn’t she? Wouldn’t she be the logical person to ask if she wrote it or not? Of course you wouldn’t do that Ch7, it’d give the game away!

    With my tin foil hat on I question if this scenario is in play:

    Sony pay 7 for promotion of Jack, Jack wins AGT, Sony reap rewards with “large” album sales for a day or two before it ends up in JB’s $5 bin.

  31. David, be honest, was the voice actor they used for you on TT anything like yourself?

    Annie as if his parents paid for the dental work that would’ve been courtesy of Channel 7.

  32. Well considering he is being pushed on the barrow by the funny church up in the hills district I am not suprised. Manufactured singers to promote further the funds of this church which incidentally has been well reported on television as being questionable.

  33. This is why this public-voting idea is a crock. It’s a matter of who’s most popular, not necessarily who’s most talented. At the same time, the judges have to have some credibility.

  34. @Moanique – as against the rules as Reggie’s cookies were back in 2003 (Big Brother), I guess – i.e. not at all!

    As for Britney Spears writing her own music, she doesn’t, and the credits on her albums show this – she’s received very little songwriting credit throughout her career, so she can’t be accused of claiming something that isn’t true.

  35. Mr. chandler

    @justin spot on the mark. no one is doubting this kid is talented. but the producers and the network do anything to get publicity for him and themselves especially

  36. Moanique in Brisbane

    David DeVitos’s family restaurant is offering free coffee, free focaccias, and mate’s rate’s tax returns for anyone that votes for David. This has got to be against the rules, and shows just how desperate they are.

  37. As soon as Jack opened his mouth I knew he hadn’t written that song ,way to over his head. He has a talent but I think has lost a lot of fans over all the publicity he has been given.. doesn’t get my vote at all.
    The furore over the comedian not writing his own material and now Jack, bet we don’t see the same publicity about this. It should have been clarified from the start.

  38. Anyway just because channel 7 say he wrote the lyrics, that does not mean it is true. Seven will do whatever it takes to make him famous to help themselves. I mean do people believe the britney spears’ of this world actually write their music? Oh and also, no i don’t think many struggling aussie families would spend what little money they have to make their children’s normal teeth into a mouth full of giant tic-tacs

  39. @annie I do believe he is good at his singing and stage presence, I just believe Channel 7 has over exposed him… its just my 2cents. each for their own.

  40. Well David Knox, you fessing up now that Jack did actually write the lyrics.
    Too late the damage is done. You could at least bold the font on your Update so we can all easily see how wrong you got it.

    • Annie: The show still should have said he co-wrote the song and other print and radio have made the same point today. Especially in a contest where other acts expect a degree of fairness. Chooka Parker claims that the show beat up his tantrum is another example of misrepresentation. Nothing I have written is factually “wrong” and in fact Seven told me all the voting was effectively done on the night, so no damage done as you say. Far from me criticizing Jack (everything I have written on him has been highly complimentary of his talents across the blog) I have criticized the show. As Idol did in 2004 sometimes talent shows get a little carried away with the hyperbole.

  41. Pull your head in Matthew, His parents who are not that well off probably spent their last dollar to get his teeth done just like any other parent would. You’re very spiteful and petty. I wish you what you wish him. You should be ashamed of yourself being jealous of a kid.

  42. graham woolley

    leave the lad alone,give him the fame now before his voise breaks,it takes a lot for a 14 year old to get up in front of 2.2 million veiwers,i couldnt do it could you?

  43. I still stand by my comments about him being over exposed and pushed by seven to have additional screentime than anyone else on various shows. Truthfully, I hope he doesn’t win.. And also leaves me to wonder .. Who actually paid for his new teeth?

  44. Who cares?
    Who the hell believes something written by a reporter who obviously does not possess the talent to find something decent to write about; resorting to slander and sensationalism is a sure sign that it’s time to get out of the business.

  45. The judges gave standing ovations to everyone except for David Da Vito, who was (unfortunately) the weakest performer last night (he should have done something like “The Prayer” for the final, after his show stopping semi performance of “Nessun Dorma”).

    I’d say that people like Guy Sebastian, Shannon Noll and Jessica Mauboy would argue that it’s possible to have a sustained career as a result of appearing on a talent show. Bardot certainly had a huge amount of success from 2000 to 2002. Mark Vincent did well for a couple of albums, although interest really waned after his last release. Rikki Lee Coulter also enjoyed a fair amount of success, as did Anthony Callea, but both would struggle to have an impact now.

  46. Well of course he had help. He is 14 for gods sake. When they announced he had written it last night I assumed he had someone that did assist and go over the lyrics. No big deal.

    I think Liam is better anyway

  47. The machine behind Seven and AGT is putting too much pressure on this kid. Just be honest and fair about the credits as well as the criticism because Jack has got alot of maturing and growing up still to do. It would be nice for him to have a well balanced career filled with longevity.

    Instead I think possibly ratings of a Network seems more important and therefore interested in getting a quick sale at the expense of true talent like in the case of Nikki Webster.

  48. Channel 7 so want this kid , they even lie about the authorship of the song..disgraceful..too late now..most of the votes will be casrt last night

  49. @wei ting
    I have to wonder how someone could come to the conclusion that being part of a televised talent show, is more than most australians will accomplish in their lives. If someone has the ambition to be a teacher or a parent, that is also an achievement, being part of the entertainment business is not better or more important just because you are in the public eye. I mean in this day and age of celebrity worship, you have to question if any of these young people have a real passion for singing, acting etc. It seems more likely that they just want to be rich and famous, its just about the easy lifestyle not the art.

  50. Douglas Hancock

    Jack’s performance last night was brilliant.. Channel 7’s performance was shocking..
    Public should have been notified that he only co-wrote the song. I thought this was the only show that didn’t have a set-up winner but now I can see that I am wrong about this also…

  51. An interesting 2 minute arrangement, going from B flat for 16 bars to C, but I must have missed the standing ovation as the judges did it for all the acts, except for kyle. I tipped the pidgeon to win from week 1. and still do. who gives a rats about what he does next week, FFS he is 14 ! already he has achieved more than most australians will in their entire life !
    And: Anything with the name sandilands associated with it is fraudulent anyway, as demonstrated by the key bashing chooka. How can a ‘talent quest’ have a judge that has no peer or talent himself ? Someone pls enlighten me as to what Sandilands has actually done that is worthy of being on TV or Radio?
    Sony will stage manage this every step of the way.

  52. Moanique in Brisbane

    I don’t care who wrote it, it was a brilliant performance. Jack is destined for a very successful career, winner or not. I think even the industry will respect him because he is so young and brilliant. I admit though, if he didn’t have much input in the song, they should have said ” written for him “, but at least it will stop all the haters saying he only sings girls songs.

  53. No big surprises there, im sure the kid had about 5% input towards the song, if that. Although let’s be honest, he may a brief time in the spotlight, but he will never be a big time recording artist. No reality show singer or band has really hit the same levels of true performers and bands. You feel that the industry does not quite respect them because as such they simply hit the musical lottery.

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