It may be the judges’ responsibilities to give constructive criticisms during a singing competition, but when done badly, these criticisms will destroy a person’s self-esteem.
Case in point, Natalie Kills and her husband Willy Moon. They recently drew outrage from the public after leaving vicious remarks on Joe Irvine, one of the contestants for “The X Factor” New Zealand.
Created by Simon Cowell, “The X Factor” NZ is a reality TV music competition, originating from the original UK series and based on the Australian “The X Factor” production format. The show aims to find new singing talent, contested by aspiring singers drawn from public auditions.
Kills and her husband were the judges on “The X Factor” New Zealand, but the married judges were fired from the show almost immediately after the destructive criticisms they made on a contestant on stage. The 2 have since fled the country as they were photographed at Auckland International Airport before boarding a flight to Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
Natalia Kills (real name: Natalia Noemi Cappuccini-Sinclair) is an English singer and actress who is best known for her song “Problem”. She studied at the Bradford Girls’ Grammar School before briefly attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. However, she withdrew from LAMDA to focus on her musical career.
In 2008, she signed on to become a singer under the will.i.am Music Group, an imprint of Interscope Records. She has since released 2 studio albums, 2011’s “Perfectionist” and 2013’s “Trouble”.
In May 2014, Kills married her boyfriend Willy Moon, who is a New Zealand-born singer-songwriter. He’s best known for his 2012 single “Yeah Yeah”, which appeared on the 2012 Apple iPod commercial. The song, which was included in his debut album, “Here’s Willy Moon”, in 2013, was sampled from Wu-Tang Clan’s “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F*** Wit”.
Kills and Moon signed on to judge the 2nd season of “The X Factor” NZ. The anticipation was high, but during the 1st live show on 15th March (Sunday), Kills accused contestant Joe Irvine of copying her husband’s style and humiliated him in front of the audience. She said she was “disgusted” by his lack of originality and found it “absolutely artistically atrocious”.
Moon also said:
To me, it just feels a little bit cheap and absurd. It’s like Norman Bates (the killer from “Psycho”) 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 everyone in the audience.
Though Irvine remained remarkably composed and gracious, the judges’ comments shocked the audience, resulting in a massive public backlash on Twitter and a Change.org petition urging TV3 to “Take Natalia Kills Off ‘X Factor.”
As a result, they were fired “effectively immediately” due to their “destructive tirades” and “intolerable behaviour” that were deemed unacceptable by broadcaster TV3.
MediaWorks CEO Mark Weldon, who runs “The X Factor” NZ 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.
Kills, who remains unapologetic, took to Twitter to thank the fans who supported her and understood her “passionate opinions”:
On the positive side, Irvine received support and encouragement from multiple musicians including Ed Sheeran, who encouraged him with the following tweet:
@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
— Ed Sheeran (@edsheeran) March 16, 2015
Lorde also sent him a box of cupcakes and a handwritten note, urging him to stay true to himself:
— joe irvine (@jooe63_joe) March 16, 2015
Ellie Goulding had a say on the controversy as well:
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
— Ellie Goulding (@elliegoulding) March 16, 2015
Bastille‘s Dan Smith, who might replace Moon on the TV talent show, said:
@Popjustice good point. Didn't realise he invented the skinny suit & slick back. But then what do I know? At least he had gaga to defend him
— BASTILLE (@bastilledan) March 15, 2015
And finally, Irvine took to Twitter and thanked everyone for their support:
Thank you all so much I'm so exhausted I've tried to read every1s messages you are all amazing pic.twitter.com/vCqoSN3fPJ
— joe irvine (@jooe63_joe) March 16, 2015
On 15th March, Kills and Moon were also accused of verbally abusing a mother named Tracey Neal-Gailer at a local bakery in New Zealand.
Gailer wrote an open letter via New Zealand Herald, detailing her unpleasant encounter with the couple in the bakery carpark. The mother said that Moons and his wife called her “a c***” in front of the bakery staff and customers because the singer thought she had taken his parking space. TV3 issued an apology on behalf of Moon, but the singer and his wife were unapologetic about the incident and further accused the woman of lying.
What do you think of the whole controversy? Do you think the judges were being way too harsh on the contestant? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.