Reality TV

EXCLUSIVE: The Masked Singer’s Nikki Webster on her iconic career and returning to music

''Strawberry Kisses will probably be played at my funeral.''
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Much to the surprise of… absolutely no one… Nikki Webster became the third celebrity unmasked in Monday night’s fun-filled episode of The Masked Singer Australia.

Though Dannii Minogue was the only panellist to correctly pick Nikki, viewers playing along at home have called it from day one.

“I was flattered that people still thought I was distinct and could remember me,” Nikki tells TV WEEK of the reaction to her performances.

“For me, that was better than staying under wraps or being incognito. People still remember what I sound like and that’s awesome.”

The 32-year-old singer shot to fame after performing Under the Southern Skies at the 2000 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Sydney. Then, of course, came her song Strawberry Kisses, an absolute bop that is still a favourite among those who grew up listening to it.

“It seems to live on, it’ll probably live on past my life and be played at my funeral,” Nikki jokes of the song. “It’ll just go on and on. It’s crazy to think it keeps living, but I think the main reason for that is it’s just bubblegum pop. I’ve never taken myself too seriously, and it’s just a chance for people to have a sing and have some fun.”

Strawberry Kisses was the iconic pop song that launched Nikki’s career.

Nikki admits it was a rather different experience performing on The Masked Singer, with the costume adding an element of difficulty to the performances.

“I definitely think it gave you confidence, [but] everything had to be bigger behind the mask,” she says. “We’re singing live, but we’re also showing facial expressions and our masks are showing nothing. It’s a challenge but it’s a fun kind of thing.”

The star also found the show’s intense security measures “really interesting,” adding she was glad her daughter Skylah wasn’t aware she was taking part.

“Thank god she didn’t know anything, because people kept asking her,” Nikki reveals. “She was a great little publicist, saying ‘no mum was with me’ so that was good. People were more awkward around me, especially people I knew. That was weird, because I couldn’t talk about it with any of my friends.”

Nikki Webster – Unmasked! The singer shares a selfie in her alien costume.

Nikki’s debut album Follow Your Heart, released in 2001, was nominated for an ARIA Award for Best Selling album, and the young singer went on to star in theatre productions, host TV shows and she even competed on Dancing With The Stars. She currently runs three performing arts studios with her brother, and has the “greatest job” as mum to Skylah and Malachi.

“My main thing, I’m still working on other projects as well and performing is still my passion, but I run three performing arts studios with my brother,” she says. “We have three locations and we’ve been running for 11 years.

“It’s been fantastic to work with the young talent of today, being able to mentor them, it’s been really rewarding. And of course being a mum is the best job in the world.”

Nikki reveals she’s “just happy being me” and enjoys jumping on opportunities, like The Masked Singer, when timing and passion permits. As for fans wondering if she’d ever return to our radios, Nikki says “absolutely.”

“I’d love to, I love music and performing. I’ve written some great tracks that I love and I think it’s just about being in the right time and right place to release it.”

Nikki performs on The Masked Singer Australia.

The Masked Singer airs Monday and Tuesday, 7.30pm, on 10.

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