Written in 2012, edited in 2021.
Ten years ago this month, a little known show called Evolution filmed it’s pilot episode hoping to become the YTT of the current generation, little has been known about it and so this story puts many of the scattered bits of information across the internet together to tell the story, some parts of the story are still out of reach but it is hoped we have put together a great report for you the reader.
In 2001, the talent show craze was barely existent, sure there was Popstars and American Idol but nothing like the flood of shows we’ve got now and suddenly a new player was coming into town led by two guys who had great experience in the world of Talent Shows.
Vince Del Tito and Tim Nelson were former members of Young Talent Time and sensing opportunity the two best friends banded together to create ‘Evolution’ a show like Young Talent Time but made to suit the modern day audience and on paper it seemed like the perfect time for the idea to make an impact on TV.
Pre-Production for ‘Evolution’ started with a bang as a thousand singers and dancers from across Australia auditioned to be part of this new and exciting show that was going to have two hosts while the team was made up of 8 kids, there was also a discovery section and guest performers and after the auditions the team was selected and they were Dion, Michelle, David, Angelique, Peter, Rebecca, Todd and Stephanie with the hosts being Chloe Lattanzi and Jaime-Robbie Reyne with Chloe being the daughter of Olivia Newton-John and Jaime being the son of Australian Crawl member James Reyne.
According to Vince in an article about the show, the eight would of signed record contracts as the group Evolution and perform original songs, which would of been quite different to the original run of YTT who recorded only cover songs on their dozen records.
But things turned south in the media for Tim, Vince and the Evolution gang not long after as the media discovered that Evolution and YTT were vying for the right to be made as a series, stories made it into the newspapers in Victoria and also on the TV program Today Tonight with Johnny Young insisting he owned the concept and Tim and Vince insisting there was room for both.
After this drama unfolded and passed, Tim, Vince and the Evolution team continued work on the show and finished the pilot episode in March 2002 and soon after they shopped the pilot episode around to the networks with Channel Ten being the most interested network.
After some deliberation, Evolution was passed over in favor of bringing the Idol juggernaut to Australia and that is how Australian Idol came onto Australian television screens from 2003 due to Channel Ten having a working relationship with Fremantle Media whilst Tim and Vince, two 30-somethings would have been seen as a greater risk than choosing the safer option in Fremantle Media, a group Channel Ten knew very well.
After the decision to pass on Evolution in favour of Australian Idol, Evolution slowly sank into oblivion, so much so that in some people including this writer who remembered hearing about the show thought that ‘Evolution’ was just a figment of their imagination, this changed when fans made the discovery of a mention of Evolution in Tim and Vince’s biographies on the YTT Documentary DVD and years later a show reel of the pilot episode emerged online and soon people remembered a show that was coming but never made it into being a series.
Evolution not making it onto TV screens around Australia is not to say Tim and Vince failed as their efforts helped shape the current Australian music scene for two sisters appeared in the talent segment and their names were Jessica and Lisa Origliasso and they in just a few short years were known to the entire country and the world as ‘The Veronicas’.
Evolution members Angelique and Stephanie have stayed in the music business with Angelique becoming Havana Brown and she is considered one of the best DJ’s in the country, scoring a Top 10 hit in 2011 and is expected sometime this year to make the charts yet again while Stephanie recorded an EP called ‘Can’t Keep a Lid on It’
Not bad for for the show that at the height of the media led Evolution vs. Johnny Young battle was to be considered ‘nowhere near the road’ of having a shot being on TV while YTT was, the sad reality for YTT was that the road called returning to TV was another nine years long and the destination was only one year long.
Would Evolution been successful had it got it’s chance in 2002? Quite possibly for it would of been a fresh new show in the minds of the people, as mentioned earlier it is true that Tim and Vince were on YTT but Evolutions use of stage, video and green screen is something that YTT just hasn’t matched in it’s present form, it wouldn’t of had the original run of YTT casting a giant shadow over it but we’ll never know as ‘Evolution’ was never allowed to fly but maybe one day somebody will revisit ‘Evolution’ and give it another try with new hosts and a new team and given a shot on TV.
You can see what ‘Evolution’ was going to be all about just by watching the video above or below to see a sampling and the making of the pilot episode.