Improv Idol

Who is Australia’s next king or queen of improvised music?



Photos from Improv Idol 2016

Viva Aviva Endean! Our new Improv Idol.


After a cracking night of amazing improvised music, Aviva Endean came from the back of the field to take the Improv Idol crown right on the finish line.

Derek McCormack was the early bolter, taking out the honours in Ensemble 1 against some big names, but the drug tests came back negative so it was all above board.

Adam Simmons won a controversial Ensemble 2 that involved note-passing, breaking of both saxaphones and fourth walls, and a charged judges intervention.

Joining Adam and Derek in the final was Judges’ Choice, Aviva Endean, who took the honours in a fascinating final trio, before being crowned in an emotional handover from last year’s winner, Gemma Horbury.

Our judges with the victor: (l-r) Sean Baxter, Carolyn Connors, Aviva Endean & Gemma Horbury (photo: Rick Evertsz)

The judges remarked several times on the high quality of the music improvised throughout. Improv was the winner on the night, and a big thanks to all our contestants, but there can only be one Improv Idol…VIVA AVIVA!

Your Improv Idol Day primer

Yes, it’s finally that One Day In September – Improv Idol is tonight at the Wesley Anne. Here’s everything you need to know:
8pm – Doors open ($15 entry)
8:25pm – Welcome, rules, judges, how-to-vote
8:30pm – Ensemble 1 with Aviva Endean, Rod Gregory, Carey Knight & Derek McCormack.
9:15pm – Ensemble 2 with Roger Alsop, Michael McNab, Roni Shewan & Adam Simmons. 
10pm – The Final.

Tweet/Instagram/Facebook your voting thoughts and Improv Idol selfies throughout the night and tag @improvidol, #ImprovIdol #MusicHatesEverybody, but you gotta be in the house to vote.


Gemma’s advice to contestants

Here’s some advice for contestants from our inaugural Improv Idol, and judge for this year, Gemma Horbury. Our contestants for 2016 may want to take notes, BECAUSE IT ALL GOES DOWN TOMORROW NIGHT!!!

Catching up with Gemma

We recently we caught up with our inaugural Improv Idol Gemma Horbury to see how winning has changed her life. She will be joining Carolyn Connors and Sean Baxter at the judges panel this year.

Improv Idol 2016

Who will be the king/queen of Australian Improvised Music in 2016? Come along and make your vote count!

Thursday 29 September, 2016 – 8pm

Wesley Anne, 250 High Street, Northcote.

Admission: $15.

Facebook event

Contestants for 2016

Here they are, like lambs to the slaughter…errr, I mean vying for the glory of being crowned Improv Idol 2016:

Roger Alsop
Aviva Endean
Rod Gregory
Carey Knight
Derek McCormack
Michael McNab
Roni Shewan
Adam Simmons

Check out their Improv Idol journeys so far . Come and vote for your favourite at the Wesley Anne as they fight to the musical death on 29 September.

The Controversies of Improv Idol 2015

Last year’s Improv Idol had some controversy – we admit it! Due to several ongoing legal actions, there’s little we can say about it beyond this video. Suffice to say, steps have been taken to ensure such chaos doesn’t reoccur at Improv Idol 2016. The rules have been changed, auditors have been put in place, former judge Ian Parsons has fled the country, and the joint Carolyn Connors/Sean Baxter court action is starting to look like Jarndyce v Jarndyce.

The poll results are in

Thanks to everyone who took part in the Improv Idol Opinion Poll last week, the results will no doubt change the extemporary landscape in this country.

In lieu of expert analysis from Antony Green (who’s more into hair metal than improv), we’ve run the numbers through the Improv Idol computer and come up with these results:

Q1 What issues matter to you and your family most in music improvisation?


Growth (lots of improv gigs/improvisors) along with Diversity (of gender and cultural backgrounds) were the key issues for ordinary Australian improv fans. Security (bouncers, bar/door staff) did not rate a mention, which will be a blow for door staff across the city.

Q2 What will you look for in choosing who to vote for in Improv Idol?


Displays of empathy and listening were the big winner here with 80% of respondents, followed by interaction with other ensemble members. Zero respondents for “the best looking improvisor” will be a blow for all the pretty boy/girl contestants. Pleasingly, one fan responded “I look for things I hate”.

Q3 The Improv Idol judging panel will…

Shockingly, zero respondents expect our illustrious judges to guide their vote, and most look to these luminaries for mere entertainment. One fan said the panel “will either talk more or less about Stockhausen”.

Q4 On average, I listen to improvised live music…


45% of respondents go to improv gigs several times a week. It’s either addictive, or very hard to get right.

Q5 Does music hate you?





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