Win­ning for­mula shaken up

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TV - JONATHON MO­RAN

IT is a new take on a pop­u­lar, es­tab­lished for­mat, aimed squarely at keep­ing the Aus­tralian ver­sion of the fran­chise on song. Judg­ing re­cruits Dan­nii Minogue and LMFAO front­man Red­foo are set to in­ject new life into The X Fac­tor.

The re­al­ity singing show’s fourth sea­son will see the singers join Ro­nan Keat­ing and Natalie Bass­ingth­waighte on the judg­ing panel, re­plac­ing seats for­merly oc­cu­pied by Mel B and Guy Se­bas­tian.

“The judges that have left are go­ing to be missed,” Minogue says.

“But it is look­ing fresh and it is go­ing to be com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

“We are all just such strong per­son­al­i­ties, you don’t come in and try to be who was there be­fore. We are just us.”

Red­foo, 37, born Ste­fan Ken­dal Gordy, has sold mil­lions of al­bums as the front­man of Amer­i­can pop out­fit LMFAO.

He will set up home in Syd­ney’s Bondi Beach when the live shows kick off in com­ing weeks, and says al­ready The X Fac­tor Aus­tralia ex­pe­ri­ence has ex­ceeded his ex­pec­ta­tions.

“It is re­ally fun. It’s been a lot of im­prov and Ro­nan and Dan­nii and Nat have just been so wel­com­ing to me and it is ac­tu­ally more fun than I ex­pected. I’m hav­ing a blast,” he said.

Like­able Ir­ish­man Keat­ing didn’t know what to ex­pect ahead of meet­ing the colour­ful Red­foo.

“Un­til you sit on the panel with the other judges, you don’t re­ally know what role you are go­ing to take or what gaps you need to fill so it is quite an in­ter­est­ing thing,” he said.

“It’s quite ex­cit­ing. I’m look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Dan­nii and Red­foo.”

A suc­cess­ful X Fac­tor con­tes­tant al­ways has to be on song, but this year, where there has pre­vi­ously been ten­sion among the judges ( es­pe­cially be­tween Bass­ingth­waighte and judge Mel B) there is now har­mony.

Minogue and Bass­ingth­waighte have bonded over their chil­dren.

Bass­ingth­waighte missed the early au­di­tion phases of the com­pe­ti­tion be­cause she couldn’t travel when she was preg­nant with her son, Hen­drix.

She is also mum to daugh­ter Harper, who turns three in Au­gust.

Minogue is mum to three- year- old son, Ethan.

“Nat and I are do­ing our baby plan­ning to­gether,” says Minogue.

“I know peo­ple don’t want to hear that, but we are all re­ally friendly and we’ve got a good vibe from the whole crew. They are the A- team.”

Minogue, 41, is not new to the X Fac­tor for­mat. She ap­peared on sev­eral se­ries of X Fac­tor in the UK along­side Si­mon Cow­ell, Louis Walsh and Cheryl Cole.

“I’m loving it, I just can’t wait to get started,” she says.

“I think that I’ve stepped into a more force­ful role in the panel be­cause ev­ery time you have a dif­fer­ent panel of four judges, the dy­nam­ics change. And I feel more force­ful than I was in Lon­don.”

Minogue’s older sis­ter, Kylie, will make an ap­pear­ance dur­ing the se­ries, join­ing con­tes­tants for an al­ready- recorded men­tor­ing ses­sion in New York.

It will of­fer a rare chance for the pub­lic to see the Minogue sis­ters work­ing to­gether.

“We sort of like to keep our work sep­a­rate,” says Minogue of team­ing up with her sis­ter. “We for­get that it is a big deal for peo­ple. “Just see­ing the con­tes­tants’ faces when she [ Kylie] walked out – it was so cool.”

Red­foo, son of Mo­town founder Berry Gordy, is ex­tremely and un­apolo­get­i­cally com­pet­i­tive in most things he turned his hand to.

He re­cently said he was con­sid­er­ing a pro­fes­sional ca­reer in ten­nis af­ter try­ing out as a wild card en­trant for the US Open.

“I’ve al­ways just wanted to do my best at what­ever I do,” he says.

So it’s un­sur­pris­ing that de­spite be­ing new to the show, Red­foo is con­fi­dent of win­ning the se­ries with one of his charges. “That is the goal,” he says. “We are go­ing to work re­ally hard and dream re­ally big and hope­fully some­body on my team will take the ti­tle.”

To that, Minogue says: “It’s all the ten­nis he [ Red­foo] does and all of that. He might turn into a night­mare”.

“Red­foo might go from Mr Nice to Mr Diva. We’ll have to wait and see.”

THE X FAC­TOR

South­ern Cross, to­mor­row, 7.30pm

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