Singer-songwriter Dannii Minogue splits her time between being a judge on Australia’s The X Factor, her duties as an ambassador for ModelCo and being a mum of her three-year-old son, Ethan. I caught up with Minogue to talk about being in the public eye, working with her sister Kylie again and her secret love of cross stitching.
Are you enjoying living back in Australia?
I love being back in my home town with my son. It’s just magic being streets away from family. Ethan loves playing with his cousins – they are both boys, so there is a lot of playtime outside with footballs and scooters.
Being in the public eye, do you feel the pressure to always look your best?
I love the balance of life: slopping about in no make-up and a tracksuit, and then getting uber glam and made up for an event. Motherhood keeps my feet firmly on the ground, without a five-inch stiletto in between! It is a mixture of flats and heels these days. Growing up in the public eye, I guess I am well aware when lenses are following me, but I don’t feel pressured to look a certain way. The best thing you can wear is a smile.
You must be asked to be an ambassador for so many brands and products. Why did you align yourself with ModelCo?
Because I am a fan. Fibre Lash is one of my favourite products. If I am a fan of something, all my friends know about it. Being an ambassador just means I get to do it on a bigger scale.
Are you excited to be part of The X Factor Australia?
Yes! It is so great to be able to do this show on home soil. I spent four years judging on the British version and loved all the mentoring with my acts. It brings out the nurturer in me – but I am all about ”tough love”.
You shot an episode with your sister recently. What was it like to be on air with Kylie again?
Kylie and I are blissfully unaware of what a big deal it is for other people to see us together. For us it is normal. There was a buzz in the air on the filming day, as being on screen together is rare. It has been likened to a Loch Ness monster sighting – it just never happens.
Did you know other judges Nat, Ronan and Redfoo before the show?
I had met Ronan many times in Britain at various TV studios, but I never knew him. I had met Natalie a few times and I love her music. The three of us love to laugh and love a party, so there is always a festive mood. Redfoo – there is only one Redfoo! Ronan, Nat and I are speechless when Redfoo tells a story; the guy is so heartfelt and has had a life growing up that we could never imagine, full of music history in the making.
If you were starting out in the industry now, do you think you would audition for a reality competition?
I would say yes. I’m not sure I would win a show like this, but I would give it a red-hot go, as it is a major platform for music success these days. I remember being in a talent competition on Young Talent Time a few years before I joined the show. I never won the competition, but in the end I felt as though I had, after spending six amazing years being a Talent Team member on live TV. It has become the basis of everything I do now. Similarly, with shows like this, even the runners-up are making huge success stories. For instance, One Direction.
Do you think Ethan will follow in your footsteps?
We are starting to sing songs together for fun. One week I started with Baa Baa Black Sheep, and a few days later Kylie had taught him the chorus to Thrift Shop. However, I do think that sport is his thing. He has a great swing at anything with a bat and ball.
What do you do for fun in your spare time?
I love cooking with friends. There are lots of cook-offs in my kitchen. I love interior design, so I jump at the letterbox when my copy of Vogue Living arrives each month. I love to wander around the local markets – Ethan always stops to watch the buskers and I hide in case I have sent any of them home on Australia’s Got Talent!
Do you have a secret talent?
I can cross stitch! I have done it since I was a kid. I find it really relaxing.
WE WENT TO Hayman Island Resort, Queensland.
WE ATE Crispy skin kingfish, roast pepper puree, lobster ravioli and baby bok choy; raspberry and cream implosion.
WE DRANK Laurent-Perrier rosé.
I WORE Alex Perry
DANNII WORE A Lisa Ho gown
Photography: Caroline McCredie