Original Australian Idol judge set to return alongside Kyle Sandilands

Almost one month after the superstar judges for next year’s highly-anticipated reboot of Australian Idol were announced, Channel Seven has revealed that one of the judges from the original iteration of the reality series will also be making an appearance.

Marcia Hines, who was the only person to appear on every season of Idol from 2003 to 2009, will return for the new season in 2023 as a guest judge.

Marcia Hines will return to Australian Idol as a guest judge. Photo: Getty

“I feel honoured to have been asked to come back,” she said in a statement on Monday. “Australian Idol is a great vehicle for uncovering some fantastic Australian talent. What a ride!

“I know it’s not an easy task singing in front of strangers, but I hope that contestants show us their heart and the gift that is their voice.”


The ARIA Hall of Fame inductee is considered to be one of Australia’s most-loved musicians, releasing 22 albums and selling 2.6 million copies across her illustrious career.

Throughout her time on Idol, she helped launch the careers of a number of Aussie stars including Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Matt Corby, Ricki-Lee, Anthony Callea, Stan Walker, Casey Donovan and Courtney Act.

Marcia Hines.
‘I feel honoured to have been asked to come back.’ Photo: Channel Seven

‘It’s going to be pretty special’

Marcia will be reunited on the show with fellow ex-Idol judge Kyle Sandilands, who returns to the judging panel after appearing in seasons three to seven of the original series.

In a statement, Kyle said: “I’ve done all the shows over the years, pretty much all of them, but Australian Idol is the big one. We all know the stars that came out of Idol. We actually found someone to idolise in the music industry in Australia every year with Idol.”

Also making up the panel are American Idol judge and Grammy award-winning musician Harry Connick Jr, Grammy award-winning pop star Meghan Trainor, and eight-time ARIA award-winning singer-songwriter Amy Shark.

“I’m excited about the auditions,” Amy said. “It’s going to be pretty special to find that diamond in the rough and then see how they progress through the show. Idol has changed the lives of so many artists in the past, so I’m excited to be part of that.”

Australian Idol 2023 judges.
Harry Connick Jr, Amy Shark, Meghan Trainor and Kyle Sandilands will serve as judges on the new series. Photo: Channel Seven

Meghan, who hasn’t been to Australia since 2015, said she’s “really excited to get to see the whole country” and spend a large amount of time living here.

Idol is an iconic show,” she added. “I grew up watching it and I am honoured to be involved. I can’t wait to sit front row and meet new talent.”

“I’m looking forward to hearing all the new talent!” Harry also shared. “I love the camaraderie with the judges, the excitement of the crowd and the fun of it all. I love the idea of musical competition; it forces performers to focus on a bunch of things that contribute to their development as artists.”

Hosting the show is 2004 Australian Idol star Ricki-Lee and former E! host Scott Tweedie, who wrote on Instagram: “I can’t wait to be a part of unearthing the next Aussie Idol with our judges.”

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