The countdown is on to tomorrow night’s Australian Idol Grand Final. But it won’t just be Hayley and Stan who are excitedly waiting their turn to hit the stage for the annual event at the Sydney Opera House. Ricki-Lee Coulter will also strut her stuff on stage with a ‘massive’ performance of her new single ‘Hear No, See No, Speak No’. We caught up with her to chat about the new single and asked her if she can pick who’ll win tomorrow night’s final.
“I actually can’t. And usually I do. Every year, I’ve thought ‘it’s going to be this person’, but this year I actually don’t know – I can’t pick it. The crowd reaction is 50/50. The people I speak to on the street and in media and my friends and family – everyone I talk to, it’s 50/50. And I think this will be one of the closest finals we’ve ever had because there isn’t a favourite – there isn’t someone who stands out above the other.
“People are talking about how amazing Stan’s voice is. But people then will compare Hayley’s performances and her charisma and her energy and how engaging she is. I actually have no idea this year. I would be happy either way because these two have been my favourites from the very beginning.”
We’ve not been shy in saying here on the site that we believe this year’s Idol competition is the most lacklustre in the show’s seven years on air, but Ricki-Lee disagrees.
“I think it’s been just as strong as every other year. I think we had an incredibly strong year last year with the amazing talent that we had, and I think this year definitely steps up to that and challenges that. I think the final two definitely speak for themselves. I mean, I think Stan’s one of the most amazing voices I’ve heard in a long time. Hayley is an incredible performer and she’s going to be an amazing artist,” she says.
But tomorrow night’s Idol finale won’t just be about the battle between Stan and Hayley – it’ll also mark the first time Ricki-Lee has performed at the event as a solo artist – and she’s ready to prove what she’s made of.
“I am! I’m so pumped – we’ve been in rehearsals all day today and all week this week. The dancers and my choreographer and all the creative guys all getting the performance sorted out. It’s going to be amazing, I can’t wait.
“I think for me it’s a massive achievement five or six years on to be standing there on the steps of the Opera House performing with the Harbour Bridge in the background, and proving to these contestants that if you get out and work hard and you want it enough, it’s doable. I think it’s kinda cool that I’ve spent the whole year mentoring these guys and helping them with their performances and their nerves. But then stepping up on stage in front of them is a little nerve-wracking for me. But they’re really excited as well. They’re going ‘We’ll finally get to see you perform!’ It’s going to be incredible.”
Ricki is set to sing ‘Hear No, See No, Speak No’ – the second single to be lifted from her forthcoming album of the same name. In the video clip for the song, revealed last month, she dons a dominatrix outfit and sets herself upon hunky rugby league player Daniel Conn. We ask her if she was tempted to cut off a slice…
“Oh, you know – who wouldn’t!? He was amazing. He was amazing, but because I had to be in the zone, because I had to go to that place where I was angry and have to act all that stuff going on in my head, I had to not be excited about jumping on top of him. I had to be in the zone and to be angry at him and to be looking at him as if I was going to hit him.
“It’s my favourite video I’ve ever done. Just an amazing concept, an amazing idea, the video just looks so incredible. And you know, I got to walk around with a whip and be a dominatrix for a day – it was so much fun.”
‘Hear No, See No, Speak No’ the single is in the shops now. It’s a song Ricki-Lee describes as “strong and fierce and intense and sexy” and explores more of the direction of taking back control – something the singer’s become expert at over the last 12 months.
“It’s a killer song. It’s my favourite song off the album, that’s why it’s the title track. It’s the first song I actually wrote when I was overseas. It set up the whole sound and feel and concept and direction of the album. It’s all about taking back control of your life and being at a point where you don’t want to hear it anymore and you don’t want to talk about the same things over and over again. It’s about moving forward and taking back control.”
As for the album, it’s release has been delayed from the original date of November 06. But she assures us we won’t have to wait much longer to see it in the shops.
“It’ll be early next year – probably around February. You know what it’s like being on an indie label, it’s a lot more difficult and I want to make this to be perfect – the best I’ve ever done. The best lyrics, the best everything. I really want it to be perfect and to make sure that when I do put it out there, it’s 100%.”
Ricki-Lee’s single ‘Hear No, See No, Speak No’ is out now.
The album ‘Hear No, See No, Speak No’ is due in February.
The Australian Idol Grand Final screens on Network 10 tomorrow night from 7:30pm AEDT.