After over a decade away, Australian Idol is returning in 2023 with a star-studded panel of judges. Not everyone, though, has been impressed by the lineup announcement.

The iconic singing competition ran on Network Ten between 2003 and 2009, and was picked up again 13 years later by Seven Network.

An impressive lineup of judges has been recruited for the new season, led by Amy Shark, one of Australia’s most acclaimed singer-songwriters of recent years.

She’s joined by international pop star Meghan Trainor, most famous for her mammoth hit single ‘All About That Bass’, iconic jazz crooner Harry Connick Jr., and radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands.

However, several Australian music figures have already called out the all-white judging panel for its notable lack of diversity. “LoVe tHiS rEpReSenTatiOn oF oUr MuLtiCuLtuRaL cOunTrY,” wrote Taiwanese-Australian singer-songwriter Jaguar Jonze on Twitter. Accompanying her caption were the skeleton, coffin, and knife emojis.

Triple j presenter Bridget Hustwaite also called out the diversity, while questioning the inclusion of the extremely outspoken Sandilands.

“Love the diversity, love the age limit on talent, love that one judge they originally fired who continues to say and do horrible things on radio and made fun of Australian talent performing at the AFL GF love it all,” she wrote, the latter part referring to Sandilands mocking G Flip and The Temper Trap following their performance at the MCG on Saturday.

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“Why Kyle continues to be put in the public domain and given a voice is shameful,” Melbourne punk outfit Between You & Me replied to Hustwaite’s tweet.

Expect plenty further reaction from the Australian music community. More to come.

“This star-studded, multiple Grammy & ARIA Award winning panel will be on your screens in 2023,” Australian Idol confirmed today, although no official premiere date has been set yet. It will air on Channel 7 and 7Plus sometime next year.

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