Natalia Kills and Willy Moon have been fired from “X Factor: New Zealand” after the two ganged up on contestant Joe Irvine, according to E! News. During a live taping of the show, Kills told Irvine his lack of originality made her “ashamed” to be in the same room as him. The 28-year-old claimed he had blatantly stolen her husband’s look, from his hair to his outfit choice; Kills is married to Willy Moon who also serves as a judge on the show.
Kills called the 25-year-old and his wardrobe choice, “disgusting,” asking, “do you not have any value or respect for originality?” And her tirade didn’t stop there. She then went on to call him “a laughing stock,” adding that she was “ashamed to be sitting here in your presence.”
Her husband-turned-co-host, Moon, then jumped in. He likened Irvine’s alleged copying to Norman Bates, a fictional character who famously took on his mother’s identity after killing her.
“It’s a little bit creepy and I feel like you’re going to stitch someone’s skin to your face and then kill everyone in the audience. But…do you,” he quipped.
While the audience booed the couple, Melanie Blatt, who is also a judge on the show, jumped to Irvine’s defense. Blatt plead with him to ignore Kills and Moon’s rude commentary saying, “please don’t listen.” She said she believed in Irvine’s ability to perform and be successful, despite what they had to say. She later addressed the incident on Twitter.
“I quite obvs am not cool with what went down last night but remember 2 wrongs do not make a right. Whatever the reason or outlet you use,” she wrote.
After seeing a tweet from Kills thanking her fans for supporting her opinions and making light of the situation, Blatt could no longer maintain her composure, sending another, much angrier tweet:
“Ive tried to keep my cool and stay professional but really @nataliakills ? Sorry love, you’re a t--t,” she said.
After the episode aired, social media was abuzz with the controversy. Many fans were blown away by how harsh both Kills and Moon had been and demanded that they be dealt with immediately. A petition calling for Kills and Moon to be fired began circulating, garnering more than 70,000 signatures. It wasn’t long before executives working for the show responded, revealing that they had, in fact, taken action.
Mark Weldon, MediaWorks’ chief executive released a statement saying critiques are welcome on the show, but the rude comments made at Irvine’s expense “were completely unacceptable.” Weldon’s statement claimed their actions had caused him and others in positions of power to lose faith in their abilities to host the show.
“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 said. “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.”
Andrew Szusterman, the show’s executive producer, also released a statement regarding the incident. Szusterman said it was time to “move on,” revealing that two new judges would be filling Kills and Moon’s positions by next week’s episode.
“We now need to move on, and give the contestants and the public the competition that they deserve,” he added.
In the meantime, current hosts Blatt and Stan Walker are overseeing their former co-hosts teams. The two confirmed that information when they appeared on stage last night.
It has not yet been announced who will take over Kills and Moon’s hosting duties.