“This particular season, I’m in the room for the evictions,” she explains to WHO. “And Big Brother confiscates the contestants’ clothes before an eviction, so I don’t know who was more freaked out about that – them or me!”
Donning “very small” swimsuits and speedos, the TV host insists the result was “just disturbing”. “The boys, because they’re self-conscious, they’re sitting there with cushions on their lap so they actually look like they are naked,” Kruger jokes. “It’s hard to concentrate on the questions that I’m trying to get out when I feel like I’m overdressed for the occasion.”
With a slew of hosting gigs to her name and the coveted Gold Logie Award – which she took out in July – sitting pretty in her Sydney home, the star says she’s very content with her career. “I’ve just been really lucky to be given the opportunity to host some great programs that are big, global formats,” she says. “I feel like I have everything I ever wished for and for that I’ll be forever grateful.”
It’s been a very busy year for you! Have you come up for air at all?
I have, yes. Most of what I shoot seems to happen in the first part of the year now, which is good. And then we had the Logies, which was kind of end of July. So post-that, I’m not shooting anything at the moment. It’s actually been quite cruisy … don’t tell on me!
Are you excited about the new season of Big Brother hitting screens soon?
I really am. And it’s so funny because what I love about the evolution of Big Brother is, I was sort of right there from day dot.
When the show first started in London, I happened to be in London and I saw the very first episode there with [UK host] Davina McCall and it was like, “Wow, this show is amazing!” And then when it started in Australia, they actually did ask me to go and audition for it. But I was at Seven and it was happening on [Channel] Ten, so I just thought, ‘No, I can’t do that’.
But I was a huge, huge fan of Gretel [Killeen]’s and I just loved the whole concept. And then, it’s been brought back a couple of times and each time it’s evolved a little bit.
It started to become much more of a strategic game, but this time around it’s Big Brother’s House of Love. So it’s like these singles that are all in the house, they’re all young, hot and gorgeous – but they don’t have a lot of strategic gameplay [laughs] … these guys have a lot of game, it’s just not strategic. But it’s very juicy!
There are a lot of romance reality shows on the market. What’s setting this version of Big Brother apart from all of them?
Yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it? Because there’s obviously an appetite for it – I guess we like seeing people fall in love!
In this case, it’s a random selection [of contestants]. They’re all thrown into a house together, so you’re being forced to live with people straight away and I think that changes the dynamic. And then you’ve got the element of trying to make it to the very end, so at some point you’re going to be pitted against your partner.
If you happen to fall in love or find somebody in the house that you relate to, in the back of your mind, you’d have to know that at some point you will have to betray them in a sense. So I guess to me, that’s what makes it a little bit different from other dating shows out there.
Then you’ve got Big Brother and he throws a lot of mischief into it too … he likes to play mind games, all that sort of stuff. So that keeps things very surprising.
You’ve hosted a number of the shows that you do for many years. What keeps you going back?
I think it’s just different every single time. The people always change, whether they’re artists on The Voice or celebrities on Dancing with the Stars or these young singles who are coming into Big Brother – the people and the dynamics are always different because the groups keep changing. I feel like I always learn something along the way.
Speaking of your other shows, it was recently announced that Dr Chris Brown would be joining you on the dance floor next year. That must be exciting to have a new partner in crime?
I’m really looking forward to it. I think he’s one of those great collaborators, like me, I like to work with other people.
I like to be able to bounce off people, whether it’s Big Brother or the judges on Dancing with the Stars or the coaches on The Voice – it’s great to be part of an ensemble. And I just think he’s a brilliant addition and he’s going to bring a really fresh vibe to the show.
Has receiving the Gold Logie Award changed anything for you?
There’s no denying it’s such a great feeling. You just feel this enormous amount of gratitude and I feel like I’ve been recognised … it’s like a participation award [laughs]. Everyone else that was nominated, I actually see them as being really talented, but for me it was like a participation award.
No, it just made me feel so grateful to all the people who voted … it’s really one of the best things that has happened in my career.
Why do you think you’ve been able to survive in the industry for as long as you have? What’s your secret?
Probably turning up [laughs] … I’m fairly dependable. I’m that reliable employee who shows up on time. No look, if they see you as being a safe pair of hands, it’s easier to kind of go, “Well, we’ll take risks in other departments, but we know at least our host is going to be able to get us to a commercial break and back out of it and direct traffic.” A lot of the time you feel like you’re a little bit of a traffic cop.
And speaking of surviving, doing as many shows as you do, you would have to be – and clearly are – camera-ready and fit all year round. How do you keep yourself looking and feeling good?
I actually find it much easier to stay in shape when I’m working because I’m out of the house and away from the refrigerator!
But really, I just try to do as much exercise as I possibly can. I’ll squeeze in a dance class, do my dance workouts at home, tennis, walking the dog – just trying to stay as active as possible … I’m just at my happiest place when I am doing a lot of physical activity.
Big Brother: House of Love premieres Mon., Nov. 6 at 7.30pm on Channel 7 and 7plus.