X Factor judges go full-on Black Mirror with horrific bullying of contestant

Two judges on the New Zealand version of The X Factor have been fired after launching a "destructive tirade" against a contestant that made a family-friendly talent show look more like something from Charlie Brooker's dystopian drama series Black Mirror.

British singer Natalia Kills and her New Zealand husband Willy Moon (also apparently a singer) were sacked after branding 25-year-old Joe Irvine "artistically atrocious" and "disgusting".

Kills tore into Irvine for stealing the look of her husband, who apparently is the first recording artist to ever style his hair and wear a suit.

She said:

As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property I am disgusted at how much you have copied my husband.

Moon meanwhile said Irvine looked like "Norman Bates dressing up in his mother's clothing" and said he thought he might try to kill members of the audience and wear their skin on his face (really).

Their diatribe was met with loud boos in the audience on Sunday night's programme and shock from the other two judges, which include former All Saints singer Mel Blatt, while 77,000 people signed a petition demanding they be fired.

MediaWorks, the company which owns the channel TV3, announced in a statement that Kills and Moon had been sacked with immediate effect.

The company's chief executive Mark Weldon said:

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.

On Sunday, Irvine posted a smiling picture of himself on Facebook with the message that he had "survived the kills", while TV3 said that he was "doing well".

Kills has shrugged off criticism of her comments, however, saying she has "passionate opinions".

Blatt later wrote on Instagram: "I've tried to keep my cool and stay professional but really @nataliakills? Sorry love, you're a twat."

You can watch the clip that led to Kills and Moon being fired below:

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