X Fac­tor

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

Mel B and Nat Bass share one goal – to beat the boys, writes

THEY haven’t agreed on much this sea­son but as the X fi­nal looms large, judges Mel B and Natalie Bass­ingth­waighte see eye- to­eye on one thing: It’s time to knock Ronan Keat­ing and Guy Se­bas­tian off their win­ning perches.

In 2010 Keat­ing men­tored Altiyan Childs through to win while last year, Guy Se­bas­tian didn’t put a foot wrong as he steered Reece Mastin to a win.

This year, the ladies want a fe­male judge to take the ti­tle.

‘‘ Mel and I have clashed on- screen this sea­son, but if one of the boys wins again we are go­ing to be so an­noyed,’’ Bass­ingth­waighte said ahead of this week’s fi­nal shows.

‘‘ To­tally, we will be bonded by beat­ing the boys.’’

Much has been made of the pair’s on- air ex­changes, with ru­mours they can’t stand each other when the cam­eras aren’t rolling build­ing steam as the com­pe­ti­tion heated up.

Mel B was vo­cal in her criticism of Bass­ingth­waighte’s song choices for her charges, but Bass­ingth­waighte was ready to hit back and have her say, which led to tense ex­changes.

Ru­mours sur­faced the bit­ter­ness had spilled over back­stage but Bass­ingth­waighte de­nies it.

‘‘ Look, at times it’s been tense, dur­ing the shows on stage we all get feisty with each other,’’ she says.

‘‘ You don’t re­alise how pas­sion­ate you get about it. If some­one has a go at a de­ci­sion you have made, that does feel aw­ful, but you have to fight for your­self and the rea­sons why you have done some­thing, which I have done all sea­son.

‘‘ On screen I’d de­scribe our re­la­tion­ship as pas­sion­ate and feisty. Off- cam­era it’s looser and more fun.’’

Mel B, unapolo­getic as al­ways, says the spats come about be­cause ‘‘ I am very hon­est. I say what I think and feel, and what you see is what you get’’.

‘‘ When you are live you can’t plan what you are go­ing to say,’’ she says.

‘‘ I mean you go to work, do your job. You are be­ing paid to have a judg­ment and opin­ion. We are all pro­fes­sional at the end of the day, some­times we agree, some­times we don’t.

‘‘ Off- screen, all the judges are great. We all have kids, they’re all com­ing over with their part­ners to ours for din­ner next week, we’re pro­fes­sion­als.’’ An­other thing the pair agrees is that

has been a slicker pro­duc­tion this sea­son.

‘‘ Stylis­ti­cally, pro­duc­tion- wise, it’s slicker, and the tal­ent has been in­cred­i­ble,’’ Mel B says, nam­ing Top 12

Deb­bie Schipp con­tes­tant An­gel Tu­pai as the tal­ent she would most have wanted to men­tor had she been able to steal a fel­low judge’s charge at the start of the live shows.

But she was happy to make it to the top four with her coun­try boy Ja­son Owen.

‘‘ To make the top four, and with Ja­son, made me so ex­cited,’’ she says.‘‘ He is the hum­blest, most gor­geous, unas­sum­ing bloke. He came out of his shell.’’

Bass­ingth­waighte is equally proud of her young charges, es­pe­cially of the way Bella Fer­raro, 18, and Shi­ane Hawke, 14, dealt with criticism and on­line bul­ly­ing dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion.

And with just two nights left of the show it is now up to the pub­lic to de­cide.

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