Following months of speculation, new mum Natalie Bassingthwaighte has confirmed she will join Guy Sebastian, Ronan Keating and former Spice Girl Mel B on the revamped judging panel when the second series of The X Factor launches on the Seven Network later this year.
Bassingthwaighte, 35, who along with Mel B will replace 2010 judges Natalie Imbruglia and Kyle Sandilands, says she will focus on bringing an honest critique to the show rather than a feisty attitude. “I think the whole nasty judge thing is a potentially tired concept,” she tells WHO. “It’s just about being truthful — I’m not afraid of saying I don’t like something if it’s not good.”
While the former Neighbours actress is yet to meet Keating and Mel B, she was quick to praise the inclusion of the one time Spice Girl on the popular talent quest, calling it “a real coup for the show.” And while Sebastian is a friend, he won’t be spared from Bassingthwaighte’s fierce competitive streak. “The best part for me will be guiding the artists through the competition — I don’t like to lose! I’ve told Guy I might need to arm wrestle him to the ground.”
The next few months will be hectic for Bassingthwaighte—who in addition to balancing her TV role with looking after her nine month old daughter Harper Rain—is also planning her wedding to her long time partner, musician Cameron McGlinchey, 39. “Eleven is my lucky number, and I just had this thing that 2011 would be a fantastic year,” she says. “It’s so exciting to get to that place and not be fearful of life not working out like you want it to.”To read the full story get your copy of WHO magazine, on sale Friday, May 6.