Ed Sheeran has sent messages of support to a X Factor contestant in New Zealand who was called “disgusting” and “creepy” live on air.
Two judges on the New Zealand version of the show have been fired after abusing a contestant on the show this weekend. British pop star Natalia Kills and her husband, Willy Moon, were removed from the show after a live episode on Saturday (March 14) in which the pair harshly criticised contestant Joe Irvine following his performance.
Now, however, Sheeran has sent in a tweet to Irvine, telling him to take no notice of the attacks.
“Don’t worry about what anyone else says man,” Sheeran tweeted. “Enjoy yourself with it, that’s what singing is about, not what other people think.”
@jooe63_joe don't worry about what anyone else says man. Enjoy yourself with it, that's what singing is about, not what other people think
— Ed Sheeran (@edsheeran) March 16, 2015
The controversial moment, which you can see below, came when the couple began their critique of Irvine. Kills started by saying that Irvine was copying her husband’s style and adding: “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 having to even dignify you with an answer of my opinion… You make me sick.”
Moon, who is originally from New Zealand and married Kills in 2014, then added: “It’s like Norman Bates dressing up in his mother’s clothing. It’s just a little bit creepy,” said the New Zealand-born singer-songwriter, referencing the central character in the movie Psycho. “I feel like you’re going to stitch someone’s skin to your face and then kill everyone in the audience.”
The Guardian reports that TV3 came under “extreme pressure” from from sponsors to fire the pair after the clip went viral on Sunday (March 15). TV3 described the incident as “bullying” on its Facebook page and added: “We have decided Natalia Kills and Willy Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor NZ and have been removed from the show.”
X Factor has also issued a statement which reads: “MediaWorks has removed Natalia Kills and Willy Moon from The X Factor NZ judging panel.”
Fellow judges Stan Walker, a former winner of Australian Idol, and All Saints singer Melanie Blatt will continue as the sole judges on the show while replacements for Kills and Moon are found.