Natalia Kills and her husband, Willy Moon, have been fired from their judging positions on The X Factor New Zealand after bullying Joe Irvine, one of the contestants. News of the decision came from MediaWorks, the owner of the network that airs the X Factor in New Zealand.
Mark Weldon, MediaWorks’ chief executive, denounced Kills and Moon’s comments as “completely unacceptable” before going on to state that “we no longer have confidence that Kills and Moon are the right people to perform the role of ‘X Factor’ judges, and they will leave the show effective immediately.” There is no news regarding who will be replacing Kills and Moon at this time; however, their chairs were empty during last night’s results show where Irvine made it through to the next week.
The bullying in question took place during X Factor New Zealand’s first live show. After Irvine performed a rendition of Michael Bublé’s “Cry Me a River,” the camera cut to the judges for their reactions, and Kills took charge immediately. The only issue was that she didn’t have anything to say about the music. Instead, she took issue with Irvine’s suit and hair, claiming that he had jacked the look from her husband, the underappreciated inventor of the suit and pompadour. “I personally found it absolutely artistically atrocious. I am embarrassed to be sitting here in your presence having to even dignify you with an answer of my opinion.” Willy Moon, Kills’ husband and fellow judge, immediately jumped in, absurdly comparing Irving to Norman Bates in a skin suit.
While there may be some nice alliteration (absolutely artistically atrocious anyone), the remarks were poorly received by the masses. After Kills’ lambasting of Irvine went viral, the hasgtag #NataliaKillsHerCareer winged its way across social media sites while a collection of petitions sprang up, calling for Kills and Moon to leave the show. One petition on Change.org amassed more than 77,000 supporters in less than 48 hours. Fellow judge Melanie Blatt referred to Kills as a “twat” on her social media accounts.
Neither Kills nor Moon have released a comment since the news of their dismissal from the show, though they were very active on social media immediately after the event. Amidst the backlash, Kills stood behind her cutting remarks, hopping on her various social media accounts to thank her fans for their support. She referred to her tirade as evidence of her “passionate opinions” before linking fans to the official music video for “Problem,” implying that the backlash hasn’t bothered her.
Joe Irvine has also taken to social media, and he is handling the bullying with a lighthearted sense of humor. The musician has displayed a sense of modesty while thanking all of his supporters, a list that includes the likes of Ed Sheeran.
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