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Australian Idol is consistently coming last in reality TV race

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Australian Idol will finish its eight-week run in the coming days with a vicious culling of half its contestants before the final, according to The Daily Telegraph.

There are six aspiring recording artists remaining but three will go before the grand finale, a move that may add some necessary drama in a bid for elusive viewers.

The Channel 7 reality competition series is in desperate need of a ratings boost after consistently running third behind timeslot rivals Married At First Sight and Australian Survivor.

Its four most recent episodes have seen it finish last by a decent margin in each showdown.

On Monday, March 13, Idol attracted 409,000 average metro views to MAFS’s 835,000 and Survivor’s 536,000. On Sunday, March 12, Idol had 417,000 to MAFS’s 867,000 and Survivor’s 498,000.

On Monday March 6, Idol was watched by 455,000 metro viewers versus MAFS’s 854,000 and Survivor’s 540,000. On Sunday March 5, 453,000 tuned in to Idol while 993,000 did to MAFS and 534,000 did to Survivor.

The pattern is clear. And the numbers are not encouraging for the expensive reboot of a reality format that used to dominate TV in the 2000s, albeit at a time before masses of audiences moved away from broadcast channels to streaming.

Australian Idol ran on Channel 10 for seven seasons from 2003 until 2009 when it was cancelled due to lagging ratings.

In its original run, Australian Idol reliably minted a generation of new music stars, including Guy Sebastian, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Matt Corby, Jessica Mauboy, Stan Walker and Rob Mills.

In 2020, Channel 7 made a big deal about bringing it back to TV, but it didn’t premiere until 2023.

The current season features as hosts Coulter and Scott Tweedie with judges Harry Connick Jr, Meghan Trainor, Amy Shark and Kyle Sandilands. Original judge Marcia Hines makes guest appearances.

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