Australia’s Got Talent neglected to clarify Jack Vidgen co-wrote ‘Yes I Am’

“Doing a song he has actually written himself called ‘Yes I Am’, and proving why he deserves to be here tonight, is Jack Vidgen,” Grant Denyer told Australia’s Got Talent viewers when he introduced the 14 year old singer last night.

Today a Seven spokesperson confirmed to TV Tonight that Vidgen in fact co-wrote the song with Erana Clarke, former vocal coach on Australian Idol and The X Factor, and A2, as part of a Sony Music composition. It was arranged by the show’s musical director Dorian West.

“Yes I Am” was a big crowd-pleaser last night, drawing a standing ovation from the audience and judges and amply demonstrating his vocal skills.

Judge Kyle Sandilands said, “The kid can sing better than nearly anyone I know, he’s a charming, good, well-natured likeable kid, he’s now a songwriter.”

Brian McFadden added, “I heard you were singing your own song tonight and I was ‘Maybe…. I was getting really annoyed as to how perfect you’d been up ’til now. This kid’s a freak, and it was getting on my nerves because he was too good. Oh he’s writing his own song? There’s no way he can write a song as good as the other songs he’s covered.’ And he did.

“It’s just blatantly obvious you are a superstar.”

Today it isn’t clear how much of the song the young singer wrote himself, whether it was music, lyric or both.

The spokesperson said the song was constructed to reflect the journey Vidgen has had with the show, thrust in the spotlight with over a million hits on YouTube. They denied the song already existed and merely tweaked with a lyric in order to give Vidgen a composer credit.

Indeed, in the music industry many pop stars have been known for adding a handful of lyrics in order to land a credit and the subsequent royalties.

But it isn’t the first time a TV talent show has neglected to outline a song’s origins.

In 2004 Australian Idol told its viewers Dianne Warren had written “Listen To Your Heart” especially for series winner Casey Donovan -but the song had actually been recorded in 1998 by gospel singer CeCe Winans.

Others who performed their own songs on AGT didn’t fare as well as Vidgen. Singer-musicians Dan Conway and Adam Hynes failed to make the Grand Final, with judges commenting that performing their own material was a risk with the voting audience.

It remains to be seen if showcasing the song as a composition by the young singer will increase his voting chances at the expense of the 9 other acts.

His popularity has emerged from his performance ability rather than his songwriting, with many viewers commenting on the strength of his vocals at such a young age.

The majority of voting for talent shows also takes place straight after the show has aired.

This year’s series has been a runaway hit for Seven, despite -or possibly, due in part to- negative stories, including a plagiarism claim levelled at comedian Jordan Paris, and a ‘backstage tantrum’ detailed by host Grant Denyer but subsequently denied by pianist ‘Chooka’ Parker.

The announcement of the winner will air next Tuesday night, and is expected to top the 2 million viewer mark once again.

Seven says Sony is expected to release “Yes I Am” next Wednesday regardless of who wins the show.

UPDATE: Seven has since advised Jack wrote the lyrics and collaborated on music.


  1. Problem with this young fellow is he has a very unique voice for a young man and much in the ilk of a young Jamie Redfern; it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years.
    Before I get grilled over this, simple biological developments mean the voice we have at 14 is not necessarily anything like we will have at 16 but all this is redundant as he is obviously a moral to win.
    How 7 handles the build up will be interesting their whole BS machine will be chaffing at the bit pretending to give other competitors a chance, honestly I have lost interest and am sitting here wondering why I have even bothered to write this.
    Proof of the pudding will be remaining body of his writing work as one just does not just write one very professionally penned song without having produced others unless 7 wants us to believe this is his first attempt?
    Now all I need is to get Annie/7’s rebuttal to prove any theories I may have.

  2. Oh! by the way all you sinners that posted nasty comments can repent by voting for Jack. the number is 1900 55 333 9 Three each please.

  3. David, I do apologise for attacking you in my earlier comments, by your reply and the fact you published my comments makes me believe you to be quite genuine and was not personally attacking Jack. The Goonies are right; my head will explode if he doesn’t win.

  4. jack is good he go all the way in his music he talent he amazeing to australia jack is much better than justin b jack will be famous in his music leave jack alone you all negitive he win you all just jelous he will be famous in his music go jack you be makeing cd even music dvd ur friend patrick hills a van of yours jack thank you for the good coments for jack jack 14 he going amaze all of us australians go jack you best

  5. Today Tonight effectively confirmed the story here: that the song was co-written, but didn’t address why they didn’t advise the audience. When there are 9 other acts on the show you do have to wonder at the level of fairness. That’s not a criticism of Jack, but the show. I gave Seven all of Wednesday to clarify his contribution but they were unable. When they finally did I added it into the story too.

    TT and ACA love to have a story with the words “AGT. Jack Vidgen. Controversy” to drive up ratings. It even led both shows. To suggest I have attacked a 14yo misrepresents me, and completely overlooks the praise I have lauded on his talent across the blog. I get that TT likes to have a hero / villain in their pieces which is why I declined to participate in their story (and I was sick as a dog today anyway). Lastly, Seven publicity weren’t fazed by me doing the story because 90% of the voting had been done, as is the habit with these shows.

  6. I’m sorry, but the fact that he only had a part in writing the song is pure misrepresentation, and will probably have a lot to do with him winning, although I admit he probably would’ve won anyway. I personally wish singers wouldn’t win AGT, we’ve seen plenty of singers (and dancers) on other shows, would rather an more original talent get it.
    Yes, hes 14, but he’s up there in public, he will have the deal with the haters as well as the lovers, he deserves the same scrutiny placed on any other contestant.

  7. Susie Clarke

    I am really shocked to read all the vicious and petty attacks on an extremely talented 14 year old boy whose main ambition in this competition is to give his father who is suffering MS,a few years of more comfortable life! Shame on you!

    It is actually Grant Denyer who claimed publicly that Jack actually wrote the song himself .Why don’t those people who criticised Jack attack Grant Denyer who made this mistake? Could it be because those critics has other motives? Grant could come forward admitting his mistake or Channel 7 authorities could apologise to Jack and the public. But this does not excuse those who deliberately try to discourage the general public from voting for Jack Vidgen.
    I believe the voting is not finished until Friday 29th July.

    So please give Jack a fair go! For those who think Jack Vidgen should win, please lets show those critics they are not going to succeed by giving extra votes to Jack !

    By the way I am not related to the Vidgens nor a regular channel 7 viewer but this young lad certainly blows me away1.

  8. Jack is only 14 stop all the nasty comments. He is a child for goodness sake, most of you would be overjoyed if it was your child. Wish him and all the other good luck, not negativity.

  9. Okay, I accept that.

    However if he wrote the song, and recorded and mixed the single Before he went into lockdown, then it says:

    1. He was already signed to Sony.
    2. If he wins, has vote rigging been involved. It would be Very suspect for him to win with a single already recorded and ready for sale.

    Oh and another thing. Erina Clarke has a voice doesn’t she? Wouldn’t she be the logical person to ask if she wrote it or not? Of course you wouldn’t do that Ch7, it’d give the game away!

    With my tin foil hat on I question if this scenario is in play:

    Sony pay 7 for promotion of Jack, Jack wins AGT, Sony reap rewards with “large” album sales for a day or two before it ends up in JB’s $5 bin.

  10. David, be honest, was the voice actor they used for you on TT anything like yourself?

    Annie as if his parents paid for the dental work that would’ve been courtesy of Channel 7.

  11. Well considering he is being pushed on the barrow by the funny church up in the hills district I am not suprised. Manufactured singers to promote further the funds of this church which incidentally has been well reported on television as being questionable.

  12. This is why this public-voting idea is a crock. It’s a matter of who’s most popular, not necessarily who’s most talented. At the same time, the judges have to have some credibility.

  13. @Moanique – as against the rules as Reggie’s cookies were back in 2003 (Big Brother), I guess – i.e. not at all!

    As for Britney Spears writing her own music, she doesn’t, and the credits on her albums show this – she’s received very little songwriting credit throughout her career, so she can’t be accused of claiming something that isn’t true.

  14. Mr. chandler

    @justin spot on the mark. no one is doubting this kid is talented. but the producers and the network do anything to get publicity for him and themselves especially

  15. Moanique in Brisbane

    David DeVitos’s family restaurant is offering free coffee, free focaccias, and mate’s rate’s tax returns for anyone that votes for David. This has got to be against the rules, and shows just how desperate they are.

  16. As soon as Jack opened his mouth I knew he hadn’t written that song ,way to over his head. He has a talent but I think has lost a lot of fans over all the publicity he has been given.. doesn’t get my vote at all.
    The furore over the comedian not writing his own material and now Jack, bet we don’t see the same publicity about this. It should have been clarified from the start.

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