X Factor New Zealand judges Natalia Kills and Willy Moon, who were sacked for making abusive comments to contestant Joe Irvine, have apologized.
Natalia Kills and husband Willy Moon were fired by broadcaster TV3 after the pair laid into singer Joe Irvine.
Joe Irvine had performed his version of Michael Buble’s Cry Me A River.
“A lot goes on behind-the-scenes of a reality show and what you see isn’t always the whole story,” said Natalia Kills in a statement on her Twitter account.
“The show brought me on to bring my passion, dramatic expression and perspective. I was encouraged to be outspoken and things got out of hand.
During the show Natalia Kills criticized Joe Irvine saying: “As an artist who respects artists’ integrity and intellectual property I am disgusted at how much you have copied my husband.
“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, even having to dignify you with an answer of my opinion.”
Willy Moon joined in the tirade, saying it felt cheap and absurd and “like Norman Bates dressing up in his mother’s clothing”.
The audience mostly booed the judges’ commentary and Joe Irvine said he thought “he looked good”.
Willy Moon also released a statement on his Twitter account saying: “The reality of <<reality>> TV is that there’s a lot the viewer doesn’t see.
“The show encourages judges to be forthright and highly opinionated. It went too far and I never intended to single anyone out.
“I wish the contestants, crew, and particularly Joe, all the best. With love, Willy Moon.”
Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Shelton Woolright have been announced as the new X Factor NZ judges joining Mel Blatt and Stan Walker.
Natalie Bassingthwaighte, 39, used to play Izzy in Neighbors and fronted Australian electro-pop band, Rogue Traders, until 2008 when she went solo.
Shelton Woolright is the drummer in I Am Giant and has previously played in Blindspott.
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