Australia’s hot talent
Can Jack Vidgen pass the grand final test?
Ever since 14-year-old Jack Vidgen brought the Australia’s Got Talent audience to its feet – and a judge to tears – with his incredible voice, the predictions have been he’s a kid with the world at his feet.
Vidgen became a YouTube sensation with his rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing – ironic, really, since the teenager from Sydney’s northern beaches clearly has something. It’s called talent. In bucket loads. And on Tuesday night, when the winner of this season of AGT is announced, Vidgen may just be $ 250,000 richer. But that’s something he hasn’t dared dream about.
“I’d love to win, but there is an insane amount of talent around this show so we’ll have to see,” Vidgen tells TV Guide a week out from D-Day.
His AGT experience has only reinforced his conviction that he wants to make singing a career.
“This is what I love doing more than anything else, so I am going to stick to my goal,” Vidgen says. “Just the feeling of being on that stage. It feels like a second home to me now because I’ve been there so much.”
Vidgen is one of 10 finalists who have a shot at the $ 250,000, which will go to
There’s an energy in the audience when they see something quite new and different
the AGT winner by popular vote, and judge Dannii Minogue says she and fellow judges Kyle Sandilands and Brian McFadden wouldn’t have it any other way. “We’ve critiqued the performances all season and, in the end, it’s kind of a relief that we won’t have to vote anyone else off,” says Minogue.
Minogue says although Vidgen is outrageously talented, he’s no laydown-misere to take the big prize, the competition is that tight.
“Jack has a great chance, but the beauty of this season, and the reason people have tuned in and voted, is that there have been so many mindblowingly talented people,” she says.
“Cosentino (the illusionist) is world class and I think Ben Price (the comedian) is a good chance.”
Minogue says judges have been spoiled for choice this season with the array of talent on display.
“When you’re at this end of the season and people are saying, ‘I can’t believe that person didn’t make it’, that’s where you want to be,” she says. “There’s an energy in the audience when they see something quite new and different. That’s where people like Chooka ( Parker, self-taught piano wizard) had everyone gripped from the outset. We still can’t work out how he does what he does.”
Win or lose on Tuesday night, Minogue predicts big things for Vidgen who, since his first appearance on the show, has met gossip guru Perez Hilton, sung at a function for Mick Gatto, and is rumoured to have international recording studios already knocking on his door.
“The challenge once people like him have the profile is that they are able to harness that and turn it into a career,” Minogue says. “Because you can have that massive burst of publicity and then nothing.” She says Vidgen has handled the attention well.
“It must be tough in a way when nobody knows you and suddenly you’re in the papers and on the radio, and that’s a huge turnaround, especially for someone his age,” Minogue says. “But he’s really chilled and quite normal. He’s a really nice kid.”
Vidgen himself knows the show has changed him massively. “I have gained so much in such a little amount of time,” he says. “This whole experience has been a lot to get my head around. My life has changed dramatically in a really short space of time.”
He hopes to release an album and go back to school, where he says his mates have been hugely supportive of his newfound fame. “They love it when a camera crew comes to school because they get out of work and can be on TV,” he says. “But I would like to finish my schooling. I think it will help a lot in the industry.”