INSIDE: Seven days of TV viewing
ON the eve of the 2012 Australia’s Got Talent final, Dannii Minogue looks, and feels, great.
It’s a stark contrast to a year ago, when the importance of maintaining her health hit forcefully.
She was rushed to hospital in Britain for emergency surgery to remove her appendix, later saying the pain eclipsed the 20 hours of labour she endured giving birth.
In the midst of the appendix trauma, she called her doctor and said, ‘‘ If I don’t get to hospital right now I will be dead.’’
It also emerged Minogue ( pictured) had a thyroid problem.
‘‘ There’s a small percentage of people who have an underactive thyroid who lose weight,’’ Minogue says.
‘‘ If you look at footage from last year, I was skin and bone. I was wasting away and I didn’t know why. I was like, ‘ Oh my God, what is wrong with me?’
‘‘ And now it’s [ attitude to life] about allowing the time to be well and not jumping into a full- on schedule the minute you are well.
‘‘ I’m eating a lot [ to stay healthy]. And I eat well, except for last week, which was a blowout because it was [ son] Ethan’s birthday.’’ No matter the subject matter, Minogue comes across as pragmatic.
She speaks calmly about her immediate work prospects, saying she’s comfortable with the fact negotiations for another season of AGT will probably not begin until the end of the year.
‘‘ In the beginning, people didn’t really understand what the show was and maybe were scared to come on.
‘‘ Having worked on shows around the world, I think it’s the fact you need your first big winner.
‘‘ Justice Crew changed everything in the same way Leona Lewis did in The X Factor. It brings a different calibre of people to the show.
‘‘ The boys [ co- judges Kyle Sandilands and Bryan McFadden] would like to think they are the most important element in the show,’’ Minogue adds with a laugh.
‘‘ But it’s about the contestants. If we get great contestants, everyone is buzzing. If we don’t get good contestants, the show is going to flop. It’s not about us [ judges], though I don’t say that when I’m renegotiating!’’
Tucked into a corner in a South Yarra cafe, Minogue is relaxed and introspective.
Days after celebrations for Ethan’s second birthday, she offers insight into what it is about being a mum that makes her ‘‘ heart melt’’ and what type of family structure she thinks will ensure Ethan grows up to be a welladjusted young man. She tells of the ritual of tucking him into bed and leaning in for a goodnight kiss.
‘‘ We have this thing where I put him down to sleep and I say, ‘ I love you’ and he says, ‘ I love you more’. There cannot be anything better than that.
‘‘ The things he says . . . he’s a really sensitive soul and very bright.’’
This doesn’t sound like a mum whose private life has supposedly suffered because she puts work ahead of family.
Minogue is immersed deeply in the role of mum following her split from partner Kris Smith. The pair, who had begun dating in 2008, made the separation official in April.
Minogue is resolutely tight- lipped about Kris and his role as a dad.
‘‘ I’m not going to go into that . . . our privacy and our relationship. We need to protect that,’’ she says.
What is certain is that Minogue, who lived in the UK for 20 years until coaxed back to Australia for AGT, wants to spend as much time as possible in her home town, Melbourne, because of her son.
She has enjoyed huge success in Britain as a singer, TV presenter ( judge on The X Factor ) and as a fashion designer with her Project D range, but Minogue’s loath to be away for long.
‘‘ Ethan is settled and it would have to be something incredible to take me back there [ UK] .
‘‘ I can’t do full time there, we live here now,’’ she says. AUSTRALIA’S GOT TALENT Final, Southern Cross, Wednesday, 7.30pm