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Thread: Pop Stars Fired From 'X-Factor' New Zealand After Bizarre Rant (Video)

  1. #1
    Bronze Member Bunraku's Avatar
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    Default Pop Stars Fired From 'X-Factor' New Zealand After Bizarre Rant (Video)

    Natalia Kills

    by Jason Lipshutz, Billboard
    3/16/2015 2:20pm PDT

    Have you seen this video? If not, stop reading and watch it immediately.

    <font color="#000000"><span style="font-family: RobotoTHR">

    Welcome back! OK, let's talk about the insanity that you just witnessed.
    The show is one of the many international versions of The X Factor, now in its second season in New Zealand. It's the first season to feature Natalia Kills and Willy Moon, a husband-and-wife duo of aspiring pop artists, alongside singer-songwriter (and former member of All Saints!) Melanie Blatt and former Australian Idol winner Stan Walker on the judges panel.
    First, some background: Kills is a British pop artist/model/designer who has worked with producers such as Jeff Bhasker and Emile Haynie, recorded with and LMFAO, and co-wrote the song "Holy Water" on Madonna's new album, Rebel Heart. Kills is a respected songwriter with some impressive collaborations on her résumé, although she has yet to chart a single of her own on the Hot 100.

    Meanwhile, Moon's career has included a minor hit: The New Zealand native enjoyed a breakout moment in 2012 with the single "Yeah Yeah," which was used in an Apple iPod television commercial — still a dream sync for a new artist. "I knew it was something that would, in a way, change my life," Moon told Billboard in early 2013 of the Apple sync, which helped push "Yeah Yeah" to No. 26 on the U.K. singles chart and No. 10 on the Alternative Digital Songs chart. Two years later, he has yet to capitalize on the buzz of that single — his debut album, Here's Willy Moon, has sold 5,000 copies in the U.S. since its 2013 release, according to Nielsen Music, and no music has been formally released since then.
    Moon also likes to wear a suit and tie, and slick his hair back. Apparently, he is the only one on this green Earth allowed to do both at the same time.
    The video clip above shows Kills' reaction to X Factor contestant Joe Irvine's performance of "Cry Me a River" during a live taping on Saturday night (March 14), during which he wore … a suit and tie, and his hair slicked back. The look, which Kills interpreted as a direct photocopy of her husband's signature style, made her lose it: "You're a laughingstock. It's cheesy. It's disgusting. I personally found it absolutely artistically atrocious. I am embarrassed to be sitting here in your presence having to even dignify you with an answer of my opinion."
    Moon then chimed in, and was even meaner! "I mean, it's like Norman Bates dressing up in his mother's clothing," said Moon. "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." Did he just liken a reality show contestant to Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Leatherface for copying his outfit? "Yeah, yeah," as Willy Moon himself might say.
    Kills and Moon were fired for the tirade less than 24 hours after the taping, following the video of their critiques going viral and an online petition in which thousands called for their ousting. "We no longer have confidence that Kills and Moon are the right people to perform the role of The X Factor judges, and they will leave the show, effective immediately," said Mark Weldon, the CEO of Mediaworks, which owns New Zealand's TV3.
    The swift move to get Kills and Moon off the judges panel and condemn their bullying should be applauded. But in the aftermath of this mind-boggling story, one must ask: Why did they choose to bully poor Irvine (who admirably withstood the haranguing) in the first place?
    "I'm just going to state the obvious: We have a doppelganger in our midst," Kills began her rant. "As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property, I am disgusted at how much you have copied my husband." Again, Irvine copied her husband by … wearing a certain outfit and hairstyle? As most humans know, wearing a suit and tie is a common thing for men to do, especially when appearing on popular television shows. Also, sometimes guys wear their hair slicked back! Has Jon Hamm been copying Willy Moon for years? What about Leonardo DiCaprio — is The Wolf of Wall Street secretly a three-hour homage to the greatness of Willy Moon?
    Why would Kills and Moon assume that Irvine is trying to copy Moon's look and feel so absolutely secure in that assumption that they could punish this young singer in such an embarrassing manner? Was there ever an inkling of doubt that maybe this guy who performed a Justin Timberlake song on the X Factor might not worship at the altar of Moon? If anything, Irvine might just be a huge JT fan and decided to get his "Suit and Tie" on — that's certainly more feasible than being a creepy megafan of an artist who has never cracked the New Zealand Digital Songs chart.
    For argument's sake, say Irvine really was trying to look like Moon, and copied the New Zealand artist's signature look for the performance. Isn't that sort of flattering? If Irvine wanted to pay homage to an X Factor judge by kinda-sorta looking like him during one performance, I can't imagine that decision would equate him to a serial killer (Moon's conclusion) or a "laughingstock" (Kills' word). Maybe he's just a fan of Moon's music and wanted to pay him respect. One time in elementary school, I dressed up like my father, a lawyer, for career day — I wore a suit and carried a briefcase into class. Somehow, I didn't stitch someone else's skin to my face that day!
    The absolute craziest thing at the core of this molten ball of crazy: This ordeal happened on The X Factor, which is a show based around performing cover songs as opposed to original material. When Kills asked Irvine, "Do you not have any value or respect for originality?" she literally could have asked any of the other contestants on the show the same thing. Sure, they were wearing their own clothes, but they were singing other artists' songs! The entire idea of a show like The X Factor is to locate musical talent through the prism of classic artistry. Performing another artist's song and evoking their vocal runs are totally acceptable practices on the show — but dressing similarly to another artist turns you into Norman Bates? How can that switch be flipped so irrevocably by a suit-and-slicked-back-hair combo?
    A lot of these questions are going unanswered for now -- Kills and Moon have not responded to Billboard's requests for comment, and Kills has only tweeted once, thanking her fans for "support and understanding my passionate opinions!" Before criticizing others for lack of artistic integrity, however, perhaps Kills and Moon need to look in the mirror. Moon is a self-admitted "throwback" artist who evokes '50s rock 'n' roll and '60s soul music (he peppers his songs with James Brown-esque cries of "Hit me now!") without adding anything groundbreaking to modern music. His album includes covers of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You" and Little Willie John's "I'm Shakin'," yet Moon would probably bristle instantly if one were to accuse him of "hav[ing] no identity," as Kills did to Irvine. Meanwhile, Kills is an artist with a bevy of pop influences — the forces of Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Lily Allen are strong within her — and synthesizes those inspirations through her own style. Because, you know, that's what contemporary artists do. They look to the past to mold their future output, and they usually don't get compared to horror movie antagonists while doing so.
    On Sunday morning, hours after the X Factor debacle and hours before her dismissal from the show, Kills tweeted an Instagram picture of Uma Thurman wearing her iconic black bob in a scene from Pulp Fiction. Kills, who wears the same retro hairdo as Thurman's character, tagged herself in the photo. If there is any justice in this world, Thurman will declare the Instagram photo "absolutely artistically atrocious." Or maybe she's too embarrassed to dignify Kills with her opinion.
    Last edited by Bunraku; March 18th, 2015 at 09:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I read about this a couple of days ago. I had never even heard of either of the judges. I thought she sounded toxic, bordering on insane. Her husband has some kind of copyright on wearing a suit and combing his hair back? I bet if she walked down Wall Street, she'd have to accost a pedestrian ever 2 feet or so.

    Howard Stern (who judges on America's Got Talent) thought what they did was inexcusable ("you are supposed to be helping the contestant get BETTER"), but didn't think they should be fired. Well, what do you do with two judges who verbally mug contestants?

  3. #3
    Elite Member levitt's Avatar
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    the sin bin


    Surely "Willy Moon" is the term to describe when you so energetically moon somebody you can see the penis between the buttocks?
    Ain't nothing wrong with Ohio wang! - MontanaMama

  4. #4
    Elite Member Pinkii's Avatar
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    This made me LOL, who does she think she is? she probably thought it would be a good PR stunt but it backfired badly on her and husband. extra LOL at her bullshiting about artistic integrity when its so easy to google and see what a 'true' artist she was before she became a lady gaga (2008) clone..
    darksithbunny likes this.
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  5. #5
    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    Somewhere been 'General Confusion' and 'Total WTF?'


    Who is this bint anyway? Can't someone drop her down a well or something?
    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. Hunter S Thompson

    How big would a T-Rex wang be?! - Karistiona

  6. #6
    Elite Member arie_skop's Avatar
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    I heard about this a few days ago, I am glad they were fired. That was just insane, and rude. No one will hire her again.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    When I read that she was upset the contestant was copying her husband's look, I immediately thought of 80's-90's artists like Spandau Ballet in the "True" video, Rick Astley; didn't her husband kinda copy their look?

  8. #8
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    What an awful pair! They take themselves too seriously

  9. #9
    Elite Member cheray's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Savannah, GA, USA


    When you speak you copy the accent of who you grow up with....When you wear a certain trend of clothes, like in the 60s...Copying! The mullet hair cut?? Say no more...It was popular though yyou gotta admit....but copying is the highest form of don't OWN a look. This woman deserves to be fired, then re hired and fired again. Stupid abusive vindictive thoughtless bullshit of a woman.
    Clubber Lang and arie_skop like this.
    Jack I swear.

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