Dicko slams reality TV judges for being "too soft."

Em. Post Idol.


I’d like to nominate my own headline for this post if that’s ok with you?!

“Bitter ex Idol reject Slams Ian “Dicko” Dickson!”

Remember the time when I was on Australian Idol in 2004, I’d just sung my heart out on disco night and some English dude with a nasty-arse grey mullet said to me: “You look like Pauline Hanson on a night out at the bingo.” And then I got rejected by the nation and voted off the very next night?

You don’t? Nah, me neither, I’ve repressed that memory along with the time I got my period for the first time at school. I stood up (in front of the entire class) to find the Japanese flag on the back on my white-and-green striped dress.

*Left eye twitches

Em, on Idol.

The aforementioned English dude with the questionable hair situation was none other than Ian “Dicko” Dickson.

Yesterday Dicko came out and said that he feels the reality TV judges of today are a bunch of soft cocks. He says that the likes of Will-i-am, Ricky Martin, Delta Goodrem, Ronan Keating, Redfoo, Dannii Minogue and Natalie Bassingthwaite are going waaaaaay to easy on the wannabes because they are concerned with how the public perceives them. He feels that contestants aren’t going onto long-term careers when these shows end because they’re getting too much arse-licking and not enough arse-kicking.

Dicko was quoted as saying: “I was watching The X Factor the other night, and it’s a far cry from when Idol was launched. The

Ian Dicko Dickson (via Wikipedia)

body count in Idol seasons one and two was huge and it made me realise how sanitised these shows have become.”

Dicko said Idol boasted a “roll of honour” that included Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Shannon Noll, Rob Mills, Damien Leith, Anthony Callea, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Matt Corby and Lisa Mitchell, who are all still enjoying success years after the show was axed.


He probably meant singers right? I only do writing, TV presenting, radio, MC-ing, stand-up and cabaret. WHATEVER.

*Sits in corner, eats sad bacon.

Dicko has a fair point about the judges, but I just don’t feel you can compare two shows, 10 years apart.

I don’t need to tell you that we’re in a vastly different landscape from the heady days of Idol.

A landscape that involves social media, where the judges  are held accountable for every single thing they say and do in the public eye. I don’t know if Dicko would have been quite so savage if Twitter were around back then.  I’m sure if #tuckshopladyarms were to have trended nationally and he copped the tsunami of public abuse that would have inevitably come afterwards, he would have pulled his head in after that.

Here’s one of Dicko’s most talked about moments on idol. Play at 3.39 to see him in action:


He also went on to say :“These shows are really good spectacles, they do that job fantastically well, but you do need someone who’s going to take that contestant by the hand and make them a star. If all you are seeking to do is put on great TV then X Factor does that brilliantly, but I think if you’re promising to find the best unsigned talent, you need to deliver. I don’t want to sound smug, but we did.”

Baby Jesus WEPT! I need to tell you he is overplaying 2 things BIG TIME:

1. The developmental role the judges had with the contestants. We saw them once a week, on show night. That is it. No mentoring, no conversations, no one-on-ones. Very little eye contact permitted.

2. The success of these reality/talent shows in producing true musical stars. These shows are and have always been about TV ratings and ad buys, not encouraging and supporting legitimate artists – the crushing “sign this once in a lifetime, golden opportunity or someone else will” contracts see to that. Guy and Shannon were tied to TEN YEAR contracts y’all! Ever wonder why they never do “where are they now?” follow up shows? Only a few have made it to credible, sustainable careers but not many.

The Voice and X Factor judges…Possibly too soft.

Are the current crew of judges too soft? Maybe.

Have the shows become more about showcasing the judges than the contestants? Definitely, that’s what makes good TV. These people are already loved by the public, it’s a cheap, easy win for the producers to focus on them.

Now there is so much more competition for the public’s love and affection, just winning these competitions isn’t enough. Being a really great singer isn’t enough.  Shows like The X-Factor and The Voice are no longer the end game, they are the contestants’ jumping off point. The judges are there to assist and add colour, what happens after that is completely up to the contestant.

So it kind of irks me that he’s taking credit for creating stars from Idol when it really had very little to do with him.

By the by, Ian and I had a most excellent relationship. I hold no malice towards him for ripping my heart and soul out on national TV by comparing me to one of Australia’s most disliked and controversial politicians at the time… Lucky I had an outstanding quip to parry him with, if I do say so myself. What? you don’t remember?! I responded to the Pauline Hanson comparison with: “Please explain.”

Up top! Yeah!

Touch down Em!

Touch f*cking down.


I never got one of those either..


Take a look through some of our favourite pictures from Australian Idol – including some classic’s of Em and Andrew G – Osher…


To find out more about Em, follow her offical Facebook page here. And if you’re in Sydney – see her musical Divorce: The Musical here (it’s pretty bloody funny)