After a three-year hiatus caused by Covid-related production delays, Australia’s Got Talent is returning in 2022 with Kate Ritchie, Shane Jacobson, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon on the judging panel and Ricki-Lee in the hosting spot.
Chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle about filming the new season, which is set to air later this year, the beloved pop star says it’s been “an amazing experience”.
“It's crazy, for two years we've been a week out from filming and we’ve had to pull the pin because of Covid, so third time’s the charm,” she remarks.
“We’ve just finished all of the auditions and it was incredible. One minute you're bawling your eyes out over something beautiful and heartwarming and then you're almost vomiting watching something that’s just terrifying or gross and then screaming for someone's life and then laughing at a comedian and then just mind blown about something else someone is doing on stage.
“So it's a rollercoaster of emotions and it's well worth the wait. Australia definitely does have talent.”
Ricki-Lee adds that it’s been especially fun getting to work alongside the new panel of judges, including David and Alesha who have appeared on Britain’s Got Talent since 2012.
“They’re both pros and they know exactly what they're doing and they’re so great at what they do,” she shares.
“But most importantly - and this is what we love in Australia - they’re just good people and they're funny and they're lovely and they’re down to earth and it's been really nice getting to know them and hanging out.”
“And Kate's also been great and Shane is obviously the biggest Aussie bloke out there, so it's a great panel. It’s a great group of people and I'm really happy.”
While she’s busy working on one show at the moment, it’s also been highly rumoured for the past couple of years that Ricki-Lee will be joining the upcoming revival of Australian Idol on Channel Seven.
The Raining Diamonds hitmaker shot to stardom on the second season of the singing competition in 2004 where she came seventh, and is believed to be in talks to return to the show as a judge for next year’s reboot.
“Look, I am up to my eyeballs in Australia's Got Talent right now,” she says when asked if she would want to be a part of the new season.
“And whenever I do anything, I am totally up to my eyeballs. Whenever I do anything, I'm fully immersed in it and that is just my full focus right now.”
‘I've been covertly on a mission’
One very important task that the singer has been focused on is encouraging Australians to book a holiday in New Zealand.
Ricki-Lee, who was born in Auckland and moved to the Gold Coast when she was a baby, was recently announced as part of Tourism New Zealand’s new campaign of secret (travel) agents alongside Richard Wilkins, Stan Walker, Kita Mean and Melanie Bracewell.
“I love New Zealand,” she tells us. “I've been bragging about how amazing New Zealand is and posting beautiful pictures on social media for years, so it only makes sense that I've been covertly on a mission to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.”
She explains that her whole life has been influenced by her Maori culture, with “music, food and family” being the three biggest elements, and there are plenty of things that Aussies don’t know about their neighbours.
“I think Australians think that their fish and chips are really good, but if you haven't had New Zealand fish and chips wrapped in newspaper on the side of a road with the ocean on one side and a farm on the other side, you've got something coming,” she laughs.
“I think Australians think that New Zealand is like a really tiny little country, but even though it is small, there's so much to do and so much to. see. Everyone loves going skiing in Queenstown, but there are also all the exhilarating adrenaline extreme activities to do and beautiful wineries and beautiful beaches and little islands you can visit.
“I think the thing with this campaign is to just remind Australians and the world of what is so unique and unmissable about New Zealand.”
If you want to become a Secret (Travel) Agent for New Zealand, sign up here to access your first mission.
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