Spice for life
Scary Spice, aka Mel B, speaks plainly about jealousy, loyalty and a possible move back to the UK, writes Holly Byrnes
SCARY Spice is doing the school run, rushing between The X Factor Australia rehearsals and lamenting the grey skies that have washed out her plans to fit in a few sunny hours on Sydney Harbour in her flashy new cruise boat.
In short, life is ‘‘ pretty bloody good’’ for Melanie Brown, aka Mel B, right now.
As if starring at the London Olympics closing ceremony wasn’t enough of a buzz ( in a bedazzled unitard, no less), rumour has it she is set to make a stunning return to the British spotlight as a new judge on the UK version of The X Factor.
It follows her headline- grabbing appearance during the audition phase of the latest season, which has since been beset by sliding ratings.
The format’s impresario, Simon Cowell, is said to be considering signing Brown to replace Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, who replaced Dannii Minogue this year. She’d be welcomed by resident judge Gary Barlow, who had high praise for her tell- it-like- it- is style.
He told The Sun: ‘‘ Mel was brilliant. It actually gave me a bit of a holiday the day she was there. I’m normally the one who delivers the bad news but she was doing it all so I could just sit there going, ‘ Oh, that’s awful what she said’ but secretly loving it.’’
The in- demand diva is as blunt as always about any UK move, saying ‘‘ I haven’t heard that but anybody who gets to be on The X Factor is really lucky and in for a great time. I loved doing the auditions and being a part of it. It’s a great show, anywhere in the world.’’
But first cab off the rank, Brown is hyped about the challenge in front of her – mentoring the under- 25 males, Josh Brookes, Jason Owen and Adil Memon – through the live phase of the competition.
Looking to redeem herself, after her all- girl hopefuls fell out of favour last year, she is confident she has a better shot at the title this year.
‘‘ I am all about my girl power, but I’ve been really enjoying being so hands- on with my boys, giving them pointers on how to exercise their diaphragm to get the most out of their voices; helping with song selection.’’
While her on- screen rivalry with judge Natalie Bassingthwaighte continues to fuel talk of an ongoing feud, the fearless performer is unfazed.
‘‘ Even in the Spice Girls, they were always writing, ‘ Oh, they hate each other’. But at the end of
the day, I’m opinionated and so is Nat Bass and it is what it is.’’
The depth of talent on the series explains the show’s record ratings, which have kept it at the top of the most watched lists, averaging about 1.5 million viewers nationally.
Sharing the TV experience with her young children is a necessary part of
I am all about my girl power, but I’ve been really enjoying being so hands- on with my boys
balancing her parenting duties and a fun way to bond with her daughters.
‘‘ It’s so lovely to be able to take them with me. I had them at rehearsals over the weekend and they have a ball. I’m fortunate enough when I do my work or I go on tour I can bring my kids along.’’
Not surprisingly, the four girls – Madison, 1, Angel, 5, stepdaughter Giselle, 7, and Phoenix, 13 – are all quite ‘‘ outspoken’’, their mother says.
‘‘ Maddie will either cry or laugh, and the others, especially Angel and Giselle, will tell me they like that, they don’t like the other.
‘‘ It’s great to have them with me and it’s a wonderful working situation.’’
Not content with juggling her boisterous family and a highprofile TV role, Brown revealed she’s working on music for a new solo project.
Then there’s fitting in some play time with her famous pal, Kim Kardashian, who is visiting Australia for the E! Channel and QuikTrim this week.
‘‘ We met years ago, but it’s always great to catch up with her,’’ she says.
Brown is quick to claim honorary Aussie status, declaring herself a firm believer in our ‘‘ work hard, play hard’’ philosophy.
‘‘ The Aussie lifestyle is right up my street, you work hard, play hard; you’re all about family and that’s definitely who I am.
‘‘ I love it here.’’