Stargazing

‘X Factor’ judges in New Zealand fired for being nasty bullies

Singer-songwriter Natalia Kills and her musician husband, Willy Moon, were fired from “X Factor New Zealand” on Monday after bullying a contestant.
Singer-songwriter Natalia Kills and her musician husband, Willy Moon, were fired from “X Factor New Zealand” on Monday after bullying a contestant. X Factor New Zealand

There is constructive criticism – and then there is just plain nasty. Two judges on “X Factor New Zealand” have been fired after ripping into a contestant on Sunday.

Singer-songwriter Natalia Kills and her musician husband, Willy Moon, went off on a contestant named Joe Irvine when Kills visciously accused him of trying to copy her husband’s personal style.

She called Irvine’s look “cheesy” and “disgusting.”

We here at Stargazing watch a lot of talent competitions but we have never seen a judge, not even Simon Cowell, go off the rails like this.

Truly, it’s difficult to watch. But bravo to Irvine, who fought to hold back the tears, for handling the tirade with class.

At the beginning of Monday night’s show, “X Factor” host Dominic Bowden acknowledged the negative feedback the show received after the outburst.

More than 50,000 comments were posted on social media and an online petition calling for Kills to be fired attracted more than 70,000 supporters in less than 24 hours.

Bowden said two new judges would be named before next weekend’s show.

On Monday, Mark Weldon, chief executive of MediaWorks, which owns TV3 – the channel that broadcasts the show – explained in a statement reported by The Edge in New Zealand why the two were canned.

“Last night on X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable,” Weldon said. “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.

“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.”

The decision was met with high praise all around. Even the country’s Human Rights Commission sounded off on the decision.

“Many people across the country spoke out to support the young man who was publicly ridiculed on the show last night,” said commissioner Susan Devoy in a press release.

“I'd like to congratulate the thousands of everyday New Zealanders who took to social media to condemn this bullying behavior, to stand up for someone else who was being bullied.

“Don't be a bystander, stand up to bullies.”

Even the show’s two other judges tweeted their support and condemned their former colleagues’ actions. Here’s what judge Stan Walker had to say.

  Comments