It’s been another triumphant year for Dannii Minogue.
She’s become a mother, her autobiography flew off the shelves and fashion editors are welcoming her fashion label Project D with open arms.
Dannii’s also managed to be the success story of this year’s X Factor too.
But not everything has kept the judge smiling – she can’t understand how Wagner made it on the show. In the past two weeks the star has been left speechless as she’s lost two of her boys, Aiden Grimshaw and Paije Richardson, ahead of the tuneless Brazillian. His painful renditions of songs including Spice Up Your Life, She Bangs and I’m Still Standing have had the world reeling in horror.
Outspoken Dannii, 39, says: “I thought Wagner would have gone in the last couple of weeks. But he hasn’t, which is frustrating. He has issues, we’ll say that.
“I don’t think Wagner can sing in tune at all. But if people vote for him then so be it. It’s the X Factor it’s not the Best Voice Factor.
“Is he more Britain’s Got Talent? I don’t think he’s anything got talent. I would never put Wagner and talent together.
“Saying that the more outraged people get, the bigger our ratings go.”
And in a blow to Wagner – who left the show last night – the Australian star says he’ll never be able to replicate the success of last year’s novelty act Jedward that have gone on to forge a successful career. Dannii laughs: “Jedward are genuinely entertaining and they can really work a crowd. Could Wagner do the same? No. He’s not the next Jedward. I don’t feel that connection with him. I don’t feel anything towards him. I just want to see a wind machine in his stringy hair one night. That would be brilliant.”
Dannii is also struggling with another contestant – she doesn’t rate Katie Waissel after watching her week in week out trying to avoid the chop. She sighs: “She’s hit or miss with her performances. I like the raspiness to her voice but I don’t seem to feel any connection. The whole drama queen thing doesn’t float my boat at all.
“Its funny because when I got back from Australia I really liked her first auditions and I thought she was good. I love the fact she wanted it so badly. But the further she goes the less I’m into her. What has annoyed me is she keeps saying we are seeing the real her over and over again. At least just admit things didn’t work last week and say you’re trying something new.
“It doesn’t come across genuine. Maybe chopping her hair off was her final attempt to save herself. I found chopping my hair off very cathartic indeed.”
Dannii is also unsure about Cheryl Cole’s other contestant Cher Lloyd and says she’s scared of her at times. “She’s had a few really good performances but she’s not consistent,” says the star. “I like her attitude and I like her comments and she seems to take it on board. But I was really afraid of her in some of her performances. I was afraid to tell her what I thought. I don’t think she’s trying to be scary. It’s a front because she’s probably more fragile than anybody else on that stage.”
Dannii, 39, is thrilled she’s managed to stay out of the bickering on the judging panel this year.
Simon Cowell branded Cheryl as being “lazy” with her song choice options for contestant Cher Lloyd last week and Irish judge Louis Walsh has continually henpecked her throughout the current series.
“I’m not interested in getting involved in dramas or the judges scandals,” she says rolling her eyes. “My time is limited. I’m a mother now. I’m mentoring my boys and I need to be there for them. I need to devote the time I have to the contestants and I have my fashion and everything else. I really stay out of it.”
Last month on ITV2’s The Xtra Factor presenter Konnie Huq read out a viewer’s question asking Louis: “Do you get jealous because Cheryl gets all the attention?”
Walsh replied: “Oh she always gets the attention, she’s the nation’s sweetheart.”
Days later in an interview he threw a hissy fit when asked about Cheryl and fumed: “I’m fed up listening to her! It’s not her show.”
But Dannii thinks Cheryl’s more than tough enough to take abuse from Louis on the chin. He said: “I think she’s getting a bit more of a tough time but I think we’re all pretty feisty this year. And we all know each other better. It’s really stepped up because there’s more familiarity between us. It’s hard to see if Cheryl’s having a really tough time when you’re alongside her.
“My advice to her is pick yourself up and get on with it. Look, she’s got three people in the competition. She’s doing well and she’s a tough old dog. She’s not worried about those silly little boys.”
Dannii’s only hope for X Factor success is painter/decorator Matt Cardle who is currently the bookies favourite. But she doesn’t want to tempt fate by saying he’s going to win. “There’s three shows and then the final so right now thinking beyond one week is insane,” she says. “Simon shouldn’t be saying anybody is going to win on the live shows. It’s not right and sways opinion. It’s an open competition and he needs to stop that.”
The star, who has been dating model Kris Smith, 32, since the summer of 2008, is totally smitten with five-month-old son Ethan and in between every ad break in the live finals sprints in her Louboutin heels to make sure he’s OK with Kris’ mother in her dressing room.
Motherhood could have sent her into a spin but instead she seems content, chilled out and far more maternal. She even spots a button on my jacket hanging by a thread and whips out a needle and thread to fix it.
“Last year I would put more hours in,” she explains. “I was the only judge doing that. But I’ve had to scale back. Something had to give and I want to do everything I can to the best of my ability rather than spread myself too thinly and do a bad job. I’m always on the phone, I’m at home on the computer and I’d prefer to be there with them but I can’t. I’ll have a few nights where I’m up all night and that really takes it out of you. More than I ever thought it would.
“But I’m thrilled I came back. I really didn’t know if it would fit in with the show and I didn’t know if It would work. I really didn’t want to come back if I could only do it half heartedly. That wouldn’t have been fair. As it turned out I was actually glad to put the heels back on and get some make up. But I hold my hands up, there was doubt in my mind.”
For Dannii the future looks incredibly bright. She’s off to Australia for a month of rest in her brand new home after the show ends, has just signed off the second collection of Project D and resumes her judging duties on Australia’s Got Talent.
And it sounds like adding to her brood could be on the cards once again soon. “We just bought a seven-seater car and I said I wanted to fill it with babies,” she beams. “I liked being pregnant. I really did. I could definitely see myself having another one at some point soon. I’m not sure about filling the car though. They can just bring their friends!
“And I do see marriage. I wouldn’t say no to Kris. Of course not.”
The brunette definitely wants to return to X Factor next year too. She smiles optimistically: “I was thinking earlier in the series how could I not be here again next year? I don’t know what I’d do with myself. I think I’ve had a great year on the show. But it’s never up to me though – so we can only but hope.”
It’s been another triumphant year for Dannii Minogue.