Kelly Osbourne has a laugh during Australia’s Got Talent.The audition stage of a reality series is where the viewing gold is found, but Kelly Osbourne is the first to admit it takes a toll when you’re the judge watching act after act. After act.
“We all went cuckoo,” she says. “We get no sense of time when you’re in the theatre all day long. It was Soph [Sophie Monk] who figured out that after every fourth act we need to go stand outside for two seconds to get fresh air and see light.”
In this latest incarnation of Australia’s Got Talent, the series where woodchoppers, dog acts and leaf-blowers stand alongside the usual singers and dancers, Osbourne is a judge alongside Monk, Eddie Perfect and Ian “Dicko” Dickson, with Dave Hughes steering proceedings as host.
It’s almost as an eclectic bunch on the judging panel as it in on stage, but like the series itself somehow it all works, Osbourne said.
“I’m sorry, I love every single person on that show,” she says. “I know that people are used to having shows like this where the girls hate each other, but it’s not that way at all. We are all really protective of each other. We really get along really well and we just fit right in, it just happened.”
Osbourne is a huge fan of working in Australia – she was out here in late 2014 for a guest appearance on Australia’s Next Top Model. However, she says she did hesitate about taking the AGT gig as “I have a big mouth”.
“I go about everything with the best of intentions and I get misunderstood a lot and I understand that’s because the way I go about it as well. And to go to a country you’re not from, I would never want to be disrespectful to Australia either.”
She said she got advice from her mum, Sharon, a veteran of The Voice and America’s Got Talent, who told her just to be herself. In terms of seeking out the talent, however, she says they’re not necessarily looking for the best, it’s more about who is the most entertaining.
“For me, it’s people who make people smile. People who want to really change the world and make it a better place through what their act is.
“A lot of them were very selfless for the reasons why they wanted to win as well, which I thought was a beautiful thing.
“It wasn’t just about the money, [it was about] sharing their talent and stories.”
Hughes says what was most surprising to him was the dedication of the talent. “What you love about is how every single act was like, ‘Yep, I’m going to make it big, this is the moment’, and just so full-on passionate and nervous.
“It was like bloody everyone’s grand final and I’m backstage like I’m in the changing rooms and the team’s about to run out for the grand final and that would happen about 40 times a session. I loved it.”
He says his job is to be the “friendly port of call” barracking for the talent backstage.
“I’d like to think that I was a friend to everyone pretty much, so I wasn’t too mocky,” he says. “I’m pretty conscious of not trying to make people feel bad, but you can still use a lot of humour even though you’re not outright slagging someone off, there’s still a lot of humour to be had.
“The judges didn’t pull any punches on a number of occasions and I’m like, ‘Oh Jesus, that’s a bit harsh’, but I was basically treating all the contestants like they were my children. I was protective of them.”
He says the worst outcomes for contestants tended to be when animals were involved. “There were people whose animals just wouldn’t perform under the spotlight. The animals had done really well in their loungerooms but put 600 people in front of them and spotlights and cameras, they weren’t happy to perform.”
Animals with stage fright aside, Osbourne says it’s been a hugely enriching experience for her. “Seeing that there’s still people out there that want to make people happy and work really hard at something and don’t expect things to just be given to them.
“And there’s a sense of humour and beauty in what we’re doing. It’s not just [puts on a dramatic voice] finding the next big thing in Hollywood, we’re finding people to make people entertained and smile. We live in a world that’s so depressing right now, we need shows like this.”
What: Australia’s Got Talent
When: Nine, Monday, 7.30pm
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.