X-Factor New Zealand judges Natalia Kills & Willy Moon have been fired from the show.
Their sacking comes after a change.org petition called for it, with 70,000 signatures in under 24 hours.
The petition was started after fans claimed they bullied contestant Joe Irvine with comments that were way, way, over the top.
The incident occurred during the season’s first live show on Sunday, when Natalia was enraged by Joe’s “Cry Me a River” performance.
After declaring, “We have a doppelganger in our midst!” and bashing the contestant’s “artistic integrity,” she yelled: “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.”
She also called the singer “a laughingstock,” “cheesy,” and “disgusting.”
In a statement issued by parent company Mediaworks just hours before Monday’s live results episode, chief executive Mark Weldon said:
“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. 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.”