6 Apr 2015

Cowell criticises X Factor NZ judges

7:01 am on 6 April 2015

X Factor creator Simon Cowell has criticised sacked judges Natalia Kills and Willy Moon for their bullying tirade against a contestant.

Willy Moon and Natalia Kills

Willy Moon and Natalia Kills Photo: X Factor

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell Photo: AFP

Kills and her husband Willy Moon were been dropped as judges on X Factor NZ in March after ripping into contestant Joe Irvine.

It was "hateful" and "didn't even make sense, " he told the [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3025931/Simon-Cowell-slams-Natalie-Kills-Willy-Moon-bullying-behaviour-X-Factor-NZ.html

Daily Mail's Weekend magazine].

Kills accused the contestant of aping the style of Moon, telling Irvine he was "disgusting" and "artistically atrocious". Moon went on to compare him to the fictional Psycho character Norman Bates.

Cowell said the judges didn't apologise early enough.

"If they'd both been genuinely sorry and called me, and apologised to the guy and his family, who knows what could have happened? They didn't. They were quite defensive," he told the newspaper.

At the time, MediaWorks chief executive Mark Weldon released a statement saying the couple's comments 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," he said.