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Australian Idol judging panel set for shake-up as A-list star asked to join

Season nine is expected to have a number of changes when the show returns next year.

After being rebooted by Channel Seven earlier this year, Australian Idol is set to return in 2024 with auditions expected to take place across the country in October.

However, it’s believed there will be at least one change to the judging panel for the singing competition’s ninth season.

Australian Idol judges Kyle Sandilands, Meghan Trainor, Amy Shark and Harry Connick Jr.
Kyle, Amy and Harry are the only judges believed to be returning at this stage. Photo: Channel Seven

After Kyle Sandilands, Harry Connick Jr, Meghan Trainor and Amy Shark fronted the show last season, Yahoo Lifestyle understands that at least one of the judges is “unlikely” to be returning.

A source tells us: “Although nothing is final yet, it’s unlikely Meghan will return as she’s just given birth and will have a newborn baby when the auditions start.

“Producers are willing to do anything to sign her back up and be as accommodating to her family as possible, but logistically it’d be difficult as the days are so long on set.”

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Kyle Sandilands even hinted at a big change to the panel during a recent radio interview with Kylie Minogue when he invited the pop star to join him as a judge.

As Kylie laughed that she could do a potential cameo, Kyle responded: “I think you’d be great, even if you did just one day. But I’d take you around the country if I could.”

Meanwhile, the source adds that Kyle and Amy will “definitely” be returning for season nine while Harry, who has an Australian tour planned for later this year, is “likely” to come back after some “re-negotiating”.

Ricki-Lee Coulter and Scott Tweedie are also confirmed to return as co-hosts for the new season.

Australian Idol judges Kyle Sandilands, Meghan Trainor, Amy Shark and Harry Connick Jr.
Kyle, Amy and Harry are the only judges believed to be returning at this stage. Photo: Channel Seven

Casting change

In addition to a potential change in the judging panel, Daily Mail reports that the reality show has implemented a major change in the casting process.

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While the show received criticism last season for only allowing people aged between 15 and 28 years old to audition, Channel Seven has since increased the age limit to make the series more inclusive.

The application form now says hopeful contestants must be between 15 and 30 years old to try out for the show, as of October 1, 2023.

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