X Factor New Zealand Fires Married Judges Natalia Kills and Willy Moon For Extreme, Bullying Comments

These two make Simon Cowell look like Mr. Rogers! Married X Factor New Zealand judges Natalia Kills and Willy Moon didn’t hold back on Sunday, March 15, during a live episode of the music competition show. 

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After contestant Joe Irvine performed “Cry Me a River,” British pop star Kills, 28, went on a tirade about how she felt Irvine completely copied her husband’s entire performance persona.

Willy Moon and Natalia Kills X Factor New Zealand
Willy Moon and Natalia Kills lashed out at contestant Joe Irvine on X Factor New Zealand on March 15.

“As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property, I am disgusted by how much you’ve copied my husband,” she spat. “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. I am embarrassed to be sitting here in your presence having to even dignify you with an answer of my opinion.”

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As the crowd loudly boo’d and her fellow judges shouted, “Enough!,” Irvine replied, “Thank you, Natalia, you’re beautiful.”

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But the attack wasn’t over yet. Next it was Moon’s turn to address the singer, and if anything, his comments were even more critical.

Joe Irvine X Factor New Zealand
Contestant Joe Irvine was attacked by married judges Natalia Kills and Willy Moon on X Factor New Zealand on March 15.

“To me, it just feels a little bit cheap and absurd,” he began. “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 going to stitch someone’s skin to your face and then kill everybody. But…do you.”

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Though Kills and Moon, 25, might not be household names yet, they are certainly up-and-coming artists. Kills’ single “Problem” was featured on the March 15 premiere of The Royals, and Moon’s 2012 single “Yeah Yeah” has been featured in several Apple commercials. They belong to the same record label, Interscope Records, and were married in 2014. 

Shortly after the controversial comments, MediaWorks, the owner and operator of TV3 (The X Factor New Zealand’s network) fired the pair for what the company described as a “destructive tirade.” This comes after an online petition was created and received more than 75,000 signatures to get Kills fired from the show. 

Willy Moon and Natalia Kills
Willy Moon and Natalia Kills got married in 2014.

Following his performance, Irvine took to Twitter to thank his many supporters. 

“In the words of Lili last night why you gotta be so rude don’t you know I’m human too,” he wrote, adding, “I love you all thank you all so much for your support its a big thing to me I really appreciate all the kindness and support.”

After the news of her sacking, Kills tweeted, “I love you guys, thanks for your support & understanding my passionate opinions! You know what they say about me…” with a link to her “Problem” music video.

Several British celebs came out in support of Irvine after the comments. Ellie Goulding tweeted, “Can’t stop myself from commenting on NZ X factor situation because I can’t stop thinking about how mean it was. Thank goodness they’re gone,” and Ed Sheeran reached out to Irvine, writing, “@jooe63_joe don’t worry about what anyone else says man. Enjoy yourself with it, that’s what singing is about, not what other people think.”

Watch the clip of Irvine’s performance below and tell Us, do you think Kills and Moon deserved to be fired for their comments? 

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