Natalia Kills (also known as Natalia Cappuccini) was a struggling bit part actor in British soap operas, before making it in a small way as an "alleged" pop star with her second album Trouble and its single "Problem." When Kills was hired along with husband Willy Moon to judge the X-factor New Zealand show, she thought her problems were over and her career stitched up. But things came apart for Natalia Kills and Willy Moon, after they made abusive and inappropriate remarks to contestant Joe Irvine.
"As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property, I am disgusted at how much you have copied my husband," she said. "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." said Kills.
Natalia's husband agreed, and compared the singer to a horror show character.
"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," added Moon to Natalia's diatribe.
Joe Irvine, though visibly upset, responded with wit and more professionalism than Natalia and Willy could muster.
"Don't you copy Cleopatra?" said Irvine to Natalia. "I think I look really good."
Joe Irvine is the man. Not to mention he has an amazing voice! #WhenTheHatersHateAndYouKeepOnSmiling #xfactornz pic.twitter.com/S3M4L1AlU0Judge Melanie Blatt intervened, telling Irvine that he was dressed better than Natalia's husband.
— U R BEAUTIFUL (@Cashtons_Hoodie) March 17, 2015
Many other celebrities have weighed in to support Joe and comment on Willy and Natalia's behavior, which New Zealand model Rachel Hunter called "disgusting." Ed Sheehan told him not to worry about what others think, Ellie Goulding tweeted that she "can't stop thinking about how mean it was", and Kelly Osborne pointed out that Kills stole her look and is "one to talk about originality"
Both Natalia Kills and Willy Moon have been fired from the show, said MediaWorks Chief Executive Mark Weldon in a March 16 statement.
"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."As for Joe Irvine, when freelance journalist Duncan Greive wanted to know what came before, what brought him to X-factor, Joe told him.
"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."
"I was told that I couldn't do anything like this," he said. "A lot of people. People that I really, really looked up to. Who I wanted to be like. A lot of people after that told me I could, but I'd been damaged so much. It took me a long time to really believe in myself."
What doesn't Kill you makes you stronger. Joe Irvine will keep on believing in himself however many problems the likes of Natalia Kills want to throw his way
I survived the Kills! #xfactornz pic.twitter.com/4wxnvjhqGw[Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images]
— joe irvine (@jooe63_joe) March 15, 2015