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X-Factor’ New Zealand sacks judges for bullying

By | Published on Monday 16 March 2015

Willy Moon & Natalia Kills

Two judges on New Zealand’s version of ‘X-Factor’, married couple Natalia Kills and Willy Moon, have been sacked for bullying a contestant live on the show on Saturday night. Even though that was basically their job.

Joe Irvine was berated by Kills for ‘copying’ Moon’s look by wearing a suit and having a similar haircut. Even though Irvine presumably didn’t actually style himself, she launched into a tirade against the ‘X’ contender, saying: “We have a doppelganger in out midst. I – as an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property – I am disgusted at how much you have copied my husband”.

She continued: “From the hair to the suit – do you not have any value or respect for originality? You’re a laughing stock. It’s cheesy, disgusting [and] 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”.

And before anyone could point out that ‘X-Factor’ is really no place to be talking about artistic integrity, Moon chipped in, saying: “To me it just feels a little bit cheap and absurd. It’s like Norman Bates dressing up in his mother’s clothing. It’s just a little bit creepy and I feel like you’re gonna stitch someone’s skin to your face and then kill everybody in the audience”.

So to conclude, if you see Willy Moon or Natalia Kills around the place, probably best to flatten your hair and take off your suit jacket.

Following the show, its broadcaster TV3’s parent company MediaWorks confirmed that Moon and Kills had been fired following the outburst, leaving only two judges – Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt – on the panel for last night’s edition.

In a statement, MediaWorks CEO Mark Weldon said: “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”.

He continued: “Contestants put their all into this competition and they should expect to receive feedback and criticism that is professional and constructive. 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”.

A spokesperson for FremantleMedia, which manages the ‘X-Factor’ franchise with Syco, said: “We 100% support TV3 and MediaWorks in their decision to remove them. ‘The X-Factor’ does not tolerate the behaviour they displayed last night”.

Watch the incident unfold here:



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