Per­fect har­mony


The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

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 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, fill­ing 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 and be who was there be­fore. We are just us.’’

Red­foo, 37, born Ste­fan Ken­dal Gordy, has sold mil­lions of al­bums as the front man 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 Aus­tralian 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.’’

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,’’ Keat­ing says.

‘‘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 now-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,’’ Minogue says. ‘‘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 the UK ver­sion of the show 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 on the panel be­cause ev­ery time you have a dif­fer­ent panel of four judges, the dy­nam­ics change. And I feel more force­ful than what 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 turns his hand to.

He re­cently re­vealed he was con­sid­er­ing a pro­fes­sional ca­reer in ten­nis af­ter try­ing out as a wild­card 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 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.’’

ON SONG: Joelle is one of the new con­tes­tants.

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