You are looking smoking hot right now. How have you managed to avoid the COVID-kilo creep?
Exercise is so important for my mindset. I run six days a week and I’ve got a small gym set up at home. I’ve also been posting #HealthyAtHome videos on Facebook because I get asked about my routine all the time. When the gyms closed, it was daunting.
So, are you someone who really loves to work out?
I mean, I’m not going to lie, I love exercise because I love eating. If I don’t exercise, it’s all going to go pear-shaped, physically and mentally. But I’ve gone through phases with it. I went through a phase a few years ago where I wanted to be super fit because I’d never been super fit – but I went too far.
In what way?
I was working out crazy hard and I’d see all these changes and it was amazing but I wasn’t hanging out with friends, I wasn’t drinking, I wasn’t going out for dinners. If I did, I’d have the tiniest bit of steak and a few green beans. For a long time I was all or nothing but now I’ve found a balance where I love eating and having a drink – but I have to exercise if I want to do those things. Going too far is boring. No-one likes that.
Are you gearing up to return to work on Australia’s Got Talent later this year?
Yes, I hope so but it’s not really a show you can do without a live audience so we’re waiting until we can have people there during filming. I had lunch with [new judge] Sonia [Kruger] recently. I hadn’t ever hung out with her socially before now but it turns out we’re like two peas in a pod. Manu [Feildel] came for dinner at my place recently too.
You cooked for a chef? How terrifying?
No, he cooked! Actually his wife Clarissa cooked the most amazing Malaysian food and then we all woke up a little the worse for wear after a few bottles of Champagne the next day, so Manu cooked us the most amazing steak lunch. He’s a great guest. We’re all really excited to get back to work together.
It’s more than 15 years since you made your TV debut on Australian Idol. What would you tell that Ricki-Lee now?
I’d tell 18-year-old me to not be so trusting. There were times when I trusted people too much and things were done that I disagreed with but I didn’t feel like I had enough of a voice to speak up. I took the wrong advice from the wrong people who had taken the driver’s seat in my life and my career and I was like “Oh, OK.” I felt uneasy and uncomfortable for a long time.
How did you get out of that situation?
I learned so much from that time. Now I’m the first person to say if I hate something. Plus I’ve got the best people around me. I’m loving life now.
Ricki-Lee’s single ‘Last Night’ is out now.