The X Factor Australia judges, from left, Ronan Keating, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Dannii Minogue and Redfoo.
The X Factor Australia judges, from left, Ronan Keating, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Dannii Minogue and Redfoo. Channel 7

Dannii Minogue amps up the fun in new X Factor season

DANNII Minogue is ready to have some fun on The X Factor.

The petite singer and fashion designer says the pressure is off after winning last year's series with Brisbane powerhouse Dami Im.

"There's less pressure, more fun," she told The Guide.

"Because I was starting the show in a new country (last year) I definitely wanted to show what I could do. It's nice to now have that win alongside my name because then, when I start working with my category, then the main thing will be that trust. When the contestants know they're with a winning judge, it helps you to gain that trust really fast."

Also returning to the judging panel this year are Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Ronan Keating and colourful singer Redfoo.

"We loved Foo on the panel last year but, because he had never done the format before, the other judges and I really needed to guide him through," Minogue said.

"The first year is just a spin out; your emotions are all over the place. This year he knows what he's doing and he's extremely competitive, so watch out."

The 2014 show features the new wildcard twist, where viewers will be able to vote one more singer through to each team once the judges are assigned their categories.

Minogue believes her protégé Im proved last year just how valuable a second chance can be.

"Dami's been an inspiration, especially for the fact that she wasn't even in the Top 12 initially," she said.

"If you think about what happened last year, that one act could be the one like Dami who goes on to win it."

With the auditions already filmed, Minogue says one particular singer from Gympie caught her ear.

"There's a little country singer who is super cute and a really good singer," she said.

"We definitely want someone from Queensland representing a bit of country and pop.

"Ronan had been saying for a while he really wants to see a country pop artist in the charts and it would be amazing if we could find an artist who had all that backing from the country music scene but was able to cross over to the ARIA pop charts."

Minogue has enjoyed having her sister Kylie back in the country for a while filming The Voice, even if they do appear on rival networks.

"The only thing that's made my life somewhat hellish with her being on The Voice is every friend of mine, man or woman, is like 'okay your sister is on The Voice - I need to meet Ricky (Martin)'," she laughed.

"It's been fantastic to watch her on it, and for Australia to get to see her again as I know Kylie. She's just full of sunshine and happiness and you can see she's loving life and in a really good place. I'm really proud of her."

But while her sister has been spinning in a big red chair, Minogue has been putting the finishing touches on her petite women's clothing range for Target. , which hits stores on August 7.

She says she plans to wear some of her designs on The X Factor.

The X Factor debuts tomorrow at 6.30pm on Channel 7.