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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 3°C
# New Zealand
"You make me sick": These comments got X Factor judges fired for 'bullying' a contestant
Natalia Kills and Willy Moon have been given the boot.

Legacy Media / YouTube

Skip to 28 seconds in the video above for the controversial comments

IF YOU THOUGHT Simon Cowell’s comments to X Factor contestants could be cutting, spare a thought for the participants in the show’s New Zealand offshoot.

Two judges on X Factor NZ, singers Natalia Kills and her husband Willy Moon, have been fired amid claims they bullied contestant Joe Irvine over the suggestion he looked like Moon.

Where it all began

Following Irvine’s performance on the show, Kills said to him:

“As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property, I am disgusted at how much you’ve copied my husband. From the hair to the suit, do you not have any value or respect for originality? You’re a laughing stock. It’s cheesy, it’s disgusting. I personally found it absolutely artistically atrocious.

In response, Irvine asked her: “But don’t you copy Cleopatra?”

“I am embarrassed to be sitting here in your presence having to even dignify you with an answer of my opinion,” she replied.

natalia kills gif

“Thank you Natalia, you’re beautiful,” said Irvine.

Later, Kills told him:

You make me sick, It’s absolutely disgusting. You have no identity. I can’t stand it. I’m ashamed to be here.

joe moon gif

Her husband Will Moon told Irvine:

To me it just feels a bit cheap and absurd to me. It’s like Norman Bates dressing up in his mother’s clothing, it’s just a little bit creepy and I feel that you’re going to stitch someone’s skin to your face and then kill everybody in the audience.

irvine x factor Legacy Media Legacy Media

A baffled-looking Irvine told him: ”I think I look really good.”

Former All Saints member Melanie Blatt is one of the judges, and told Irvine not to listen to Kills and Moon’s comments.

In the wake of the duo’s controversial critique, social media sites have been ablaze with reaction – much of it directed at Kills. A Boycott the X-Factor New Zealand Facebook site has been set up.

New Zealand on Air, which funded the country’s X Factor series, encouraged upset viewers to complain to Mediaworks:

on air nz

Goodbye to you

The morning after the show, Mediaworks announced that both Kills and Moon were being given the chop, describing them as “no longer suitable to judge the X Factor”.

FB mediaworks The X Factor NZ The X Factor NZ

Mediaworks CEO, Mark Weldon, described the couple’s comments as “completely unacceptable”.

While the judges on X Factor are expected to provide critiques of performances, we will not tolerate such destructive tirades from any of the judges.
We no longer have confidence that Kills and Moon are the right people to perform the role of The X Factor judges, and they will leave the show, effective immediately.

FremantleMedia Australia’s Director of Programming, Jonathon Summerhayes, said they are “appalled at the very poor judgement and intention shown by Natalia Kills and Willy Moon”.

We 100% support TV3 and MediaWorks in their decision to remove them. The X Factor does not tolerate the behavior they displayed last night.

Two new judges will be announced before next week’s show.

What did Kills and Moon have to say for themselves?

Kills, a Bradford, England-born musician whose most recent album was called Trouble, tweeted:

Her husband only had this to say (McLaren was the former Sex Pistols manager and always good for a controversial quote):

Moon is a New Zealander best-known for having his song ‘Yeah Yeah’ featured on a 2012 Apple iPod commercial.

Their fellow judges commented:

And as for Irvine?

Light relief

Amid the insults, the furore also lead to these reactions:

buzzfeed will moon Buzzfeed Buzzfeed

What do you make of what the judges said? Tell us in the comments below.

Read: Harry Styles grinding on Ronnie Wood was the most Irish-wedding moment of the X Factor final>