The Goss: Australia's dumped talent?

Judged ... Brian McFadden, left, may face the axe.
Judged ... Brian McFadden, left, may face the axe.

The format is safe but the guillotine blade is likely to fall on Brian McFadden's head.

Top Australia's Got Talent insiders have told S the soon-to-be-wed Irish crooner will not be re-signed in the line up for next year's judging panel, but the talent quest will survive.

With Jason Derulo, Kelly Rowland, Seal and Joel Madden spicing up the talent show genre recently and whipping up audience interest, it is likely they will look for a big international star to sit alongside Kyle Sandilands and Dannii Minogue.

And while Freemantle is committed to the tired format, it is looking at reworking the panel to give it an injection of new life.

Last Wednesday night's AGT final was a devastating ratings disaster for Seven when it was gazumped by Ten's MasterChef final. This followed a lacklustre season when the show never found its audience - the thunderbolt ratings triumph of The Voice, which was launched the same week, had a massive impact.

''The talent just wasn't there this year,'' one AGT insider told S. ''There were no standouts, definitely no Jack Vidgens, and while everyone still believes in the show, we definitely have to shake the judging panel up.''

Everyone agrees Minogue is as ''safe as houses'' and the tamed Sandilands ''will be all right'' but McFadden's head is definitely on the chopping block. His temper, which has become legendary in the industry, could be to blame.

''Dannii is so well loved and professional and so easy to work with - she has that Minogue work ethic - but when that temper [of Brian's] goes off, he's very hard to work with, even though he apologises and has this Irish Catholic guilt to him,'' the insider said.

McFadden was reported to have lost his temper with a network executive at the Dancing with the Stars final in Melbourne last month. And his tongue lashings have caused him grief in Twitterverse with the singer's jibes at exes Kerry Katona and Delta Goodrem creating more headlines than his singing career.

Fortunately the singer has his coming Italian nuptials in a castle in Florence with Vogue Williams to look forward to, as well as an album out for Christmas. ''None of them have negotiated for next season,'' his surprised spokeswoman said.

Whitney gets into our style

S can reveal fashion plate Whitney Port is the guest star at IMG's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Sydney, or, as we call it, the punters' fashion week.

Even though she was here only a month ago for the more serious Fashion Week, launching her label Whitney Eve, Port says she's excited to have a chance to relax a little this time. ''I'm always so busy when I am in Australia with work commitments, so I'm hoping this trip I will have a little downtime to see more of the sights in Sydney and Melbourne,'' she told S from LA.

''I love the people, Sydney Harbour, Bondi Beach, Taronga Zoo and the overall general laid-back vibe, and I love reconnecting with all my new friends that I have made there.''

Port will be showing her line as well as walking the catwalk for Sportsgirl.

She says the chain store offers guilt-free shopping: ''I love Sportsgirl! My sister and I came home with brand-new wardrobes from there. The best thing about shopping there is that you don't feel like you are breaking the bank.''

Hands off the ladies

There will be one pretty obvious ground rule when Mix FM's drive show host Ant Simpson piggybacks onto his radio co-host Sami Lukis's tour of New York with a batch of single women: don't pick anyone up.

Lukis is hosting her third troop of 30-plus single ladies to the Big Apple, a side business the passionate traveller started when she identified a gap in the travel market for female travellers who have time and money but don't want to travel alone.

''I know this isn't a co-ed tour, I'm just crashing it … I've been warned she's not my pimp,'' says a cheeky Ant, who celebrated his 30th birthday bash last night.

''What could possibly go wrong? I'm going dressed as Mr Big.''

Ant says he was given the week off from Mix, as Sami wouldn't be there, and decided he would like to head back to New York - a place he visited three times last year.

''I'll be respectful, I promise,'' he says. ''I don't want to ruin it for Sami.'' Famous last words.

The kids' playtime

Jeeesh. Those Kidman genes sure are strong. Looking every bit her mother Antonia's daughter, Lucia Hawley, 13, splashed and played with her little sister, Sybella, five, on Wednesday at Nielsen Park in Sydney's east.

Also there for the fun day out were dad Angus Hawley and siblings Hamish, 11, and James, nine, who enjoyed fish and chips on the beach, a play in the park, a game of long-jump on the sand and a freezing-cold dip in the water - their delight etched on their grinning faces. As she spun and carried her sister into the ocean, it was evident Lucia has inherited aunty Nicole's height and long limbs and been blessed with her mum's features and brunette hair.

The Hawley kids have been in Sydney for five weeks during the northern-hemisphere summer holiday, enjoying time with their dad and stepmum Prue Fisher. S hears they will return to their mum, stepdad Craig Marran and baby brother Nicholas, 19 months, in Singapore next week when school returns.

''They looked like they were having a ball with their dad and he with them,'' an onlooker said. ''It was very sweet.''

Kidman recently said of her eldest daughter: ''I'm glad my eldest Lucia hasn't inherited my self-consciousness. I see her confidence and think how lucky she is - it makes life so much easier because people warm to that kind of personality.''

This story The Goss: Australia's dumped talent? first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.