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Guy Sebastian's 'multi-million dollar' pay day to return to Australian Idol

EXCLUSIVE: The season one winner is returning to the show that launched his career.

Guy Sebastian is set to appear on the upcoming season of Australian Idol, 21 years after he won the reality show’s inaugural season.

An insider tells Yahoo Lifestyle that Channel Seven organised the Choir hitmaker to appear in Monday night’s premiere episode to add a “nostalgic feel” to the show.

Guy Sebastian.
Guy Sebastian is set to appear on the upcoming season of Australian Idol. Photo: Channel Seven

“Guy’s appearance is finally correcting a huge oversight from last year, which saw Seven drop plans to include some of the biggest names made from the first run of the iconic early ‘00s series,” our source shares.

“There were rumours that Rob Mills, Shannon Noll, Courtney Act and Paulini would all have a part in the reboot last year but none of them struck a deal that felt right for them.”

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The insider went on to say that while producers splashed a lot of cash on having international names like Meghan Trainor and Harry Connick Jr. on the judging panel last season, they’ve since realised this was a “mistake” and the money is better spent highlighting the nostalgia factor of the series.

“This couldn’t have been more clear when Guy stood in front of the cameras when filming started late last year,” they add.

“He talked about his win and shared his story with the much-loved music-based reality show which fans will see on Monday night. It was exactly what was needed: an endorsement from the most successful Idol ever.”

Guy Sebastian singing after Australian Idol in 2003.
Guy won the inaugural season of Australian Idol in 2003. Photo: Getty

How much is Guy Sebastian being paid to return to Australian Idol?

It’s believed Guy’s appearance fee for Australian Idol was “buried in his multi-million dollar deal” that is connected to his contract for The Voice, which he has been a part of since 2019 and will return for later this year.

“Was Guy Sebastian's time cheap? Absolutely not. Did he get the right offer? Absolutely,” our source remarks.

Australian Idol faced a huge restructuring in many ways after last year's reboot failed to attract the numbers expected by Channel Seven. The budget was drastically cut but the money was spent wisely.

“Channel Seven are extremely proud of the launch episode and can’t wait for Australian audiences to see it.”

Marcia Hines.
Marcia Hines will be returning to the judging panel in 2024 alongside Kyle Sandilands and Amy Shark. Photo: Channel Nine

Marcia Hines' return to the show

This year’s season of Australian Idol will also see Australian music legend Marcia Hines make a permanent return to the judging panel alongside Kyle Sandilands and Amy Shark.

The singer and TV personality served as a judge during the reality show’s original run from 2003 to 2009 and briefly appeared as a guest judge last season.

Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle about returning to the franchise in 2024, Marcia said she was “stoked” when she received the offer to come back.

“I really loved doing it all the years that I was doing it for seven years in the beginning, and I feel really privileged that they have asked me to come back,” she shared.

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