Jack Vidgen on teen reality TV win: 'It can really f**k you up'

Gillian Wolski
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Over the past few years, Jack Vidgen has gradually opened up about the dark aftermath of his Australia’s Got Talent win at the tender age of 14 that saw him skyrocket to fame before retreating from the public eye altogether.

And now, fresh from his stint on another reality TV show, I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, the 24-year-old singer is doling out some rather brutal advice to youngers dreaming of making it big on the small screen.

Jack Vidgen singing on Australia's Got Talent as a teenager
Jack Vidgen says winning Australia's Got Talent as a 14-year-old 'f**ked him up'. Photo: Channel 7.

“I think going on a [singing competition] show really young can really f**k you up,” he said on the podcast TV Reload hosted by Benjamin Norris.

“But it can make you grow up quite quickly and learn about life quite quickly,” he added.

Taking out the top spot on AGT in 2011 certainly forced a teenaged Jack to grow up very quickly. He became a household name almost overnight and the pressure to succeed from the public and also his mum was too much to bear.

At age 16, Jack dipped into his $250,000 AGT prizemoney in order to relocate to LA in hopes of establishing an international music career. Sadly, things didn’t work out and he ended up burning through all his cash before long.

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Jack Vidgen says winning Australia's Got Talent as a teenager 'f**ked him up'. Photo: Getty Images, Channel Nine.
Jack (left) as a teen after his Australia's Got Talent win and (right) his comeback on The Voice. Photo: Getty Images, Channel Nine.

‘Didn’t cope’

“To be honest, I didn't cope for a while. I really didn’t cope,” the Yes I Am hitmaker responded to Benjamin’s enquiry about the period after his win.

Jack went on to provide more details on what he got up to after he abruptly disappeared from the spotlight just a few years later.

“I stopped singing. I didn't do any work-related singing for five years. I backpacked in Europe. I got really involved in church life. I worked in aged care, I worked in my uncle’s deli,” he said.

“I got overwhelmed because I was so young and I didn't know how to navigate that world and the best thing I could have done was step back,” he added.

Jack Vidgen says winning Australia's Got Talent as a teenager 'f**ked him up'. Photo: Instagram/jack.vidgen.
Jack has experimented with his look in recent years. Photo: Instagram/jack.vidgen.

Eight years after his TV debut, Jack made a triumphant return to form on The Voice — but it was his near-unrecognisable appearance that left viewers stunned.

He later revealed that his newly plumped lips and smooth visage were the results of ‘experimenting with fillers’ however he denied ever going under the knife.

“That’s the thing with me, over the years I’ve been looking for my identity,” he told Who magazine in 2019.

Another part of his identity that Jack was grappling with was his sexuality. He publicly came out as gay at around the same time he unveiled his new look, saying that he told friends and family ‘a couple of years ago’.

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