Two now infamous judges have been cut from the New Zealand version of popular talent show X Factor after an uproar on social media after the husband and wife duo made scathing remarks about a contestant on the show this week.
In a statement this afternoon, Mediaworks chief executive Mark Weldon says the decision had been made that Natalia Kills and Willy Moon were no longer suitable to judge X Factor.
“Last night on X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. While the judges on X Factor are expected to provide critiques of the performances, we will not tolerate such destructive tirades from any of the judges,” Weldon says.
Kills, real name Natalia Noemi Cappuccini-Sinclair, ripped into contestant Joe Irvine following his performance. "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?” she said to Irvine.
Kills continued, “You’re a laughing stock. It’s cheesy, it’s disgusting.”
She added that she found Irvine’s performance artistically atrocious, and that she was ‘embarrassed’ to be sitting in Irvine’s presence.
Her husband, Willy Moon, continued the attack on the contestant, saying his performance was cheap and absurd, then likening him to Norman Bates. “It's just a little bit creepy, and I feel like you're going to stitch someone's skin to your face and then kill everybody in the audience,” he said.
Viewers of the show leapt to Irvine’s defence, hitting social media slamming the bullying remarks.
The other two judges, New Zealander Stan Walker and former All Saints singer Melanie Blatt blasted the behaviour on Twitter. “@NataliaKills U think its alright 2 champion urself in ur disgusting actions with no remorse 4 being a bully. Wake up man & humble urself,” Walker said.
Former contestant Benny Tipene wrote on Twitter, “oh man gutted I went back on the show now eh. Especially with someone so heartless…"
If the pair was looking for some instant publicity, they got it. Both Kills and Moon are trending on Twitter.