Hit reality show The Masked Singer is just what we need right now, Dannii Minogue tells Cameron Adams
DANNII Minogue’s curiosity got the better of her on the set of The Masked Singer last year. The star decided to try on at least one of the costumes the show’s celebrities are disguised in. She figured the diminutive performer Nikki Webster’s alien suit would be the best fit. She was wrong.
“I’m really, really claustrophobic,” Minogue said.
“I got the alien head on and took it straight off. People have asked if I’d do the show as one of the singers in another country, and there’s no way. The costume Deni Hines wore last year was so heavy. I don’t know how they even walk out on stage, let alone sing and do a dance routine.”
The Australian debut of the hit global franchise ( based on a South Korean concept) was a ratings smash for Channel 10 last year, culminating in 1.4 million people watching singer Cody Simpson unmasked and crowned the winner.
US movie star Lindsay Lohan was the show’s surprise packet, joining Minogue, radio host Jackie O and comedian Dave Hughes on the guessing panel.
But COVID-19 restrictions have seen Lohan stuck in lockdown in Dubai; with comedian Urzila Carlson answering the call to help from New Zealand this season.
Minogue says she’s become
“obsessed” with her new co- star’s posts on social media.
“We let Lindsay know we’re gutted she’s not there,” Minogue explains.
“We really bonded and have all kept in touch with her the entire time since the show. But we didn’t want Urzila to feel that she wasn’t part of the team. So there’s been phone calls and messages, we want to build up a friendship and trust.”
Minogue says of Carlson: “She was born with that ability to see the funny side in things. We’re so lucky to have Hughesy and now Urzila on set. Jackie and I are like bookworms, head down, studying, completely nerdy. They help bring out the fun side in us.”
Minogue’s return to the set wasn’t without its own dramas.
While The Masked Singer has moved from filming in Sydney to Melbourne this year, the singer and TV star was in Los Angeles when her home town went back into lockdown.
It required Minogue and her son Ethan to fly into the Gold Coast, and they were given a government exemption to self- quarantine in a private residence rather than the usual 14- day hotel stay enforced on most travellers.
The news was seized upon by a Channel 7 crew, who accused the star – who worked on the network’s reality shows Australia’s Got Talent and The
X Factor before joining Channel 10 – of getting special treatment.
While her self-funded private quarantine was approved by the Queensland Government, which grants exemptions to industries including fi lm, TV, sporting groups, consular officials, maritime workers and fl ight crew, the usual suspects on social media were typically outraged.
Minogue, who was granted the exemption mainly for health reasons, was having none of it.
“I’m the same person, I haven’t changed, I wouldn’t ask for ‘celebrity’ treatment or to have anything special granted to me. I went by the book,
I’ve added extra things into (the COVID-19 safe plan) so I know that I can sleep at night.”
Still, the reaction was disappointing for Minogue, who has grown up on our small screen.
“I thought people knew me a bit better by now, but there’s more behind that news story. I felt like that wasn’t about me, it was more a network piece that was really unfairly skewed,” she says.
And just like Nicole Kidman’s filming in New South Wales, Minogue is thrilled The Masked Singer will employ people in the TV industry who have been hard hit by the pandemic.
“I’m super pumped to get back to work and I’m super happy all of our cast and crew can get back to work. I’m happy that people are talking about all of the procedures in workplaces … and until we have a vaccine, that’s our reality,” she says.
“It is so good for any industry to try to get back on its feet. So many people in the arts have suffered who really need to be back on set.
“I’ve grown up in this industry, it’s not the people you see on the screens, it’s the people behind the scenes, they really need to get back to work.”
THE MASKED SINGER 7.30PM, MONDAY, AUGUST 10, ON 10