X Factor's man behind the wiggle

In just under a week LMFAO's Redfoo will be party rocking on to our screens in all his wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggling glory as one of the new judges and mentors on The X Factor.

The pop star - real name Stefan Gordy - has parted ways with his bandmate and nephew Sky Blu (Skyler Austen Gordy) temporarily and his loss was Australia's gain.

"X Factor came over here to my house, my studio, and they basically explained the show because I didn't know if I wanted to just be a judge," Redfoo drawls over the phone from Manhattan Beach, California,

"And they said 'Wait a second, wait a second, no it's not just judging, that's just to pick your team. Then you're really a mentor, you're going to be mentoring a category.' Then they said 'You can be a winner too'.

"I'm very competitive and then I said 'Well, can I be me?' And they said 'Look, we came all the way over here to say that we want Redfoo. We want the crazy, silly person. We want the afro, we want the man behind the wiggle.'"

Redfoo, 37, is the son of music Motown founder Berry Gordy. He started writing and producing his first songs in 1997 and then formed LMFAO in 2006. Their first single was I'm in Miami B….

They released their second studio album Sorry for Party Rocking in 2010, which spawned worldwide hits Party Rock Anthem, Champagne Showers, and Sexy and I Know It. He's made partying an art, as well as a bankrolling operation, and he is adamant it took more than a flick of his afro.

"I think people have a misconception about comedians and performers," he says. "All that stuff is serious business. We like to party but to be the best partiers in the world you've gotta be serious, you've gotta plan that stuff out. You've gotta wake up the next day and catch that plane to the next show and perform a great show."

When the show returns later this month Redfoo will replace Guy Sebastian and join judges Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Ronan Keating, while Dannii Minogue fills the shoes of Scary Spice Mel B. In Australia on and off over the past few months for filming commitments, Redfoo - who tried out as a wildcard entrant for the US Open earlier this year and is dating former world No.1 tennis player Victoria Azarenka - says he's looking forward to settling down in Sydney for the live shows.

"I've got my place in Bondi for the beach culture and the laid-back vibe. Everybody is so nice," Redfoo says. "I want to check out some more Australian Rules football. I want to do some surfing. I just bought a short board so I might just have to come across. I've got time to take a plane over to Perth. I want to play some tennis and hopefully my album will be finished but, if not, I'll be finishing my album. I'm looking forward to just having the time of my life."

Western Australia has a strong history with the competition which is now in its fifth season (fourth on Seven). Last year the popular talent show was won by Perth's Samantha Jade. More than two million people tuned in to see the Morley starlet receive the crown and a record deal with Sony.

And in 2011 Balcatta-raised tradie-turned-singing-sensation, Johnny Ruffo, may have come third but he's gone on to release a single and win the latest season of Seven's Dancing with the Stars. Even back in the first season, Narrogin singer Russell Gooley came second. A number of WA contestants are expected to feature on the show this year and further details are sure to be released soon, with filming up until the live performance rounds completed.

The format will remain the same as last year with the main difference being that Bassingthwaighte will only appear at the Melbourne auditions due to her being heavily pregnant with son Hendrix, who is now two months old.

The competition is once again open to all singers aged 14 and over and contestants will be classified in categories - boys under 25, girls under 25, the over 25s, and groups. A recording contract with Sony Music Australia will remain up for grabs. Auditions, bootcamp, and home visits will see the contestants whittled down to the top 12 for the live shows.

Guest judges include Jon Bon Jovi, Will I Am, Kylie Minogue, who will be working with sister Dannii, Sebastian and Kelly Osbourne, who stepped in at the last minute to help out a sick Miley Cyrus.

While he doesn't have a whole lot of experience as a talent show judge and mentor, Redfoo didn't have to dig deep to discover what exactly The X Factor is.

"The X Factor is something that's real. Once you find that X Factor, it's undeniable," he explains.

"No matter what the critics say about our band, we obviously have the X Factor. Redfoo has got the X Factor. The X Factor is people you don't even know why . . . but they're just so good. So far, what I've seen is some of the best talent I've seen anywhere. I've seen a few people who I would buy their albums. There are some incredible singers and some people who sing good enough but it's their personality that's incredible. I had no idea about the humour of the Australian culture."

Redfoo is hoping that replacing Sebastian could mean he will inherit his winning streak, with the former Australian Idol star having mentored 2011 winner Reece Mastin and Jade last year. And he's taking his mentoring role pretty seriously.

"I am a bit of a stickler on this whole nerves thing because it's a shame to see someone who is really talented paralysed by their own nervous system," he says.

"I feel like it's all self-created by negative thoughts you have in your head. I felt a lot of the time if I can just prepare people to get rid of all the nervous stuff and focus on what they can do, they'll perform better. I'm big on a performer's attitude and state of mind and making sure that you're very comfortable and confident. Even the night before, when you're thinking about it and practising to keep this fun, happy attitude, as well as working hard."

However having to criticise contestants wasn't something that came as easily to the upbeat star.

"That was tough," he says. "And then I realised that it was just me being real. I always do it to try to help them. Sometimes you get a performer who goes on there just to muck around and be silly. Sometimes I'll just be silly back. But with the younger kids, or the people who are really passionate, or maybe they're close or they can sing but they're not polished yet.

"I explain that and say 'Look, you gotta work a little harder on this and that. I understand you're nervous. But in the big leagues you've got to conquer your nerves - this is survival of the fittest. Not only is this your dream, this is a lot of people's dreams and there is only one winner.'"

The X Factor starts on Monday at 7.30pm on Seven/GWN.