Fans of X Factor NZ contestant Joe Irvine are rushing to his defence this morning, following a blistering attack on his appearance by judges Willy Moon and Natalia Kills last night.
The husband-and-wife duo ignored his performance entirely, instead focusing on his slick new look – which Kills said was ripped off Moon.
"As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property, I am disgusted at how much you've copied my husband," she began. "From the hair to the suit, do you not have any value or respect for originality?"
And it only got worse from there.
"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."
Her husband continued the attack, saying it was "cheap and absurd".
"It's like [Psycho character] 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 in the audience."
"It's disgusting," added Kills. "You make me sick. It's absolutely disgusting. You have no identity, I can't stand it. I'm ashamed to be here."
Irvine smiled through the grilling, later tweeting a photo giving the thumbs-up and writing, "I survived the Kills!"
But viewers haven't been so gracious, taking to YouTube and social media to let Moon and Kills know what they think.
"Natalia and his husband sound like rich f***s who step all over people for fun," LegitYT wrote on YouTube.
"I just checked Wikipedia and found that her husband did, indeed, invent 'The Suit'. Surprisingly, he was also the first man to ever put product in his hair," added Dan Hildreth.
Former contestant Benny Tipene wrote on Twitter he was "gutted" about going back on the show that kickstarted his career, "especially with someone so heartless. F**k that feedback."
On Reddit, the response was much the same, with one contributor suggesting Moon stole his look off '90s cartoon character Butthead.
"I know the guy, he's an absolute sweet heart. You the man Joe, she's a heartless wanna be bitch," said Redditor Magictonay.
"Who the hell does she think she is?" asked Princess3ply. "What she said wasn't constructive, it was downright vile."
"For me, it's absolute hilarious that two people I have never heard of are ripping apart a man in a suit for all things," said Devilsgotmywhisky. "Perhaps this husband is an unoriginal hypocrite for wearing one of the most common outfits of the century."
Irvina and Kills are both trending on Twitter this morning, with even 3 News presenter Hilary Barry weighing in.
Shame on you Natalia. Shame on you. #xfactornz— Hilary Barry (@Hilary_Barry) March 15, 2015
More than 1300 people retweeted Barry's thoughts.
"If @Hilary_Barry says that it means your f****d up big time," added @Eyesz13.
"Bullying is NEVER acceptable, especially on National TV," wrote @ACeeyShaw, while @Raj_In_Charge kept it simple: "Who is Natalia Kills?"
Others suggested Kills and Moon forgot what kind of show X Factor is supposed to be.
All Black Israel Dagg weighed in too.
Those comments were inappropriate and disgraceful.. #xfactornz— Israel Akuhata Dagg (@izzy_dagg) March 15, 2015
Some have come to Kills' defence, though they are definitely in the minority.
Saying we're supposed to be nice to em cause they're 17 year olds? Um care bout their age! Their perfomance was boring full stop! #xfactornz— Mela ela ela eh eh. (@MELODEEZE) March 15, 2015
TV3 posted a statement on its Facebook page last night, following the episode.
"Following tonight’s episode of The X Factor NZ we received a huge amount of feedback about comments made by our judges. The nature of live television can be unpredictable and we appreciate you taking the time to voice your opinion. TV3 does not condone bullying and are currently on-site with Joe who is doing well."
A petition set up on Change.org to have Kills and Moon booted off the show already has more than 22,000 supporters. More than 32,000 have joined a Facebook page with a similar goal.
source: data archive