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Jack Vidgen was 14 when he won Australia’s Got Talent. Now he's tried the American version.

When a blonde haired 22-year-old named Jack walked onto the America’s Got Talent stage, American audiences may not have known who he was.

But to Australians, he was instantly recognisable.

Jack Vidgen, the winner of 2011’s Australia’s Got Talent, appeared on The Champions edition of the American franchise, competing against other winners and finalists from Got Talent editions around the world.

Jack Vidgen on America’s Got Talent: The Champions. Post continues below video.

His performance of Lauren Daigle’s You Say, which just aired in the US, earned him a standing ovation from judge Heidi Klum, and praise of other judges Howie Mandal and Alesha Dixon.

The toughest critic – Simon Cowell, of course – told Vidgen he had an incredible voice “but that was way too safe”.

“I think you are way, way better than that, so I’m hoping the super-fans vote you through to the next round because there’s way more to come from you. Way more.”

Unfortunately Cowell’s words may have come back to bite him, as Vidgen didn’t receive the fan vote, leaving the judging panel to pick between he and two other acts to advance.

Only Cowell chose the Aussie, eliminating him from the show.

In 2011, a then-14-year-old boy stood on the stage of Australia’s Got Talent and began to sing Whitney Houston’s ‘I Have Nothing’.

It was a performance that stood out well beyond the others, and the reality television show’s judges Dannii Minogue, Kyle Sandilands and Brian McFadden dubbed the performance “mind blowing”.

Vidgen ended up winning Australia’s Got Talentwalking away with $250,000 and a record deal with Sony Music. His fame quickly transformed from a stint on a singing competition to full-time fame. Within two years, the high schooler had released two albums, Yes I Am (2011) and Inspire (2012).

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In 2013, two years after his television debut, the then 16-year-old boy left his family and friends behind in Manly to pursue a music career in Los Angeles, California.

In an interview with news.com.au the musician explained how he pushed away his family and friends in order to chase his dream.

“I went over to Los Angeles and I went by myself,” he told the publication.

“I was 16, I left everyone behind me and I isolated myself in a way, I kind of cut people out of my life. I blocked out my family, I blocked out my friends,” he added.

But during his time in LA, he fell out of love with music. He completely stopped singing.

“I missed that joy that music’s meant to bring you, I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore,” he said.

Vidgen soon realised it was time to step out of the spotlight and return home and live a normal teenage life.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph he said that after a year alone in Los Angeles, he was no longer in a “healthy place”.

“I needed to come back to the beaches to friends and family,” he told the publication.

He began working in an aged care home, a part-time job that the musician said helped heal him.

“That connection with people has been so therapeutic,” he said.

When the teenager returned home to Australia in 2014, he had a health scare and had to have a tumour removed from behind his eye.

“First off I had to have an MRI on Monday after being referred by a specialist the Wednesday before, it showed there was a mass lesion (tumor) behind my eye,” he wrote on his Facebook page at the time.

“I saw an ocular plastic surgeon who said it had to come out urgently,” he added.

“If it is not [completely removed] then the possibility of what’s left inside turning nasty is high.”

The musician has since made a full recovery.

During the past six years back in Australia, one element of Vidgen’s journey included coming out as gay to his family and friends.

“I came out a couple of years ago. I got to that point where I was happy and accepting who I am and wanted to be able to share that,” the musician told Kyle and Jackie O.

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Just off to dinner #mardigras2019

A post shared by jack vidgen (@jack.vidgen) on

The musician has also talked openly about using lip fillers and how it’s been a key part of establishing his identity.

“That’s the thing with me over the years I’ve been looking for my identity,” he told Who Magazine.

“I’ve been trying to find myself again and I’ve definitely experimented with filler… there’s no denying that.”

“To me, lip filler is like makeup, it’s like doing your hair… it’s not permanent,” he added.

He elaborated on his exploration with cosmetic surgery in an interview with news.com.au.

“Obviously I’ve had my lips done, but to me, I can’t believe that is what people are talking about. I mean it’s obvious. Then there are these articles saying I’m denying it, I’m like, I’m not denying it. I couldn’t care less.”

“I think whatever makes you happy and whatever makes you most comfortable in your skin, then I think that’s what you’ve got to do.”

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In 2019 the now 22-year-old was ready to sing again, gracing our screens once more on The Voice Australia 2019. 

 

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Oh hey ???? | @thevoiceau | starts May 19th

A post shared by jack vidgen (@jack.vidgen) on

According to the Daily Telegraph, Vidgen has trained with Margi Coen, the same vocal coach who mentored the young man through his 2011 reality television stardom.

“I’ve got the love back for performing. I’ve got to a place personally that is right,” he told the publication.

“I have self love and self worth… I have my life together personally.”

Vidgen is also set to compete for a chance to represent Australia in 2020’s Eurovision Song Contest on SBS’s Eurovision: Australia Decides on February 8.

He will be one of 10 singers battling it out in a live TV show for the public’s vote on which artist and song they want to fly to Aussie flag for Australia in Rotterdam in May.

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Feature images: Australia’s Got Talent and Instagram/@jack.vidgen.

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