American reality show competitions like The Voice and American Idol have long been a great
source for viral moments and juicy celebrity gossip.
But nothing in the U.S. can top the 2015 moment on the New Zealand version of The X Factor
when one of the judges killed her own career live on the air - and took her husband down
with her too.
The judge in question was the singer-songwriter now known as Teddy Sinclair, who at the time
went by the stage name Natalia Kills.
Kills told W in 2011 that she had a lot of early success in the music industry, explaining
"I put a demo on Myspace in 2008, and Perez Hilton found it and blogged about it.
Then suddenly I had 2 million plays and got to number 1 on Myspace's unsigned artist charts."
Kills moved from her native Britain to Los Angeles and worked with Black Eyed Peas mastermind
will.i.am on two albums.
And in 2014, she married New Zealand singer Willy Moon, who had gained worldwide notoriety
in 2012 when his single "Yeah Yeah" was used by Apple in its iPod ads.
Everything seemed to be going great for the pair when they were tapped to become X Factor
But that came to a sudden and shocking end on March 15, 2015 when Kills verbally confronted
contestant Joe Irvine.
Kills felt that Irvine was intentionally copying her husband's style, from music to fashion.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I am just going to state the obvious: we have a doppelganger
in our midst."
She was just getting warmed up, though.
"I am disgusted at how much you have copied my husband.
From the hair to the suit."
And she kept piling on.
"You're a laughing stock.
Even when the crowd started booing, she continued to pile on.
"I personally found it absolutely artistically atrocious.
I am embarrassed."
So what did her husband think?
If anything, Moon was even more critical.
"It's like Norman Bates dressing up in his mother's clothing."
"I feel like you're going to stitch someone's skin to your face and then kill everybody
in the audience."
And that just prompted Kills to go on another rant.
You make me sick.
It's absolutely disgusting.
You have no identity.
I can't stand it.
I'm ashamed to be here."
Fallout was swift.
Kills and Moon were both fired from the show within 24 hours, with the show's production
company posting a message on Facebook that read in part,
"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."
Louis Walsh, a judge from the British version of the show, slammed Kills on the Irish radio
"She obviously has no class, no taste, she'll never work again I reckon, honestly.
I mean, who's going to hire her?
And the show's creator, Simon Cowell, told the Daily Mail that the outburst was, quote,
For her part, Kills suggested to Billboard that the show's producers may have intentionally
coached Irvine to copy her husband in order to get a reaction from her.
"Obviously sometimes TV producers plan drama for ratings and it totally back fire[s] on
[...] It's awful he got dragged… into this."
As for her music career, Kills co-wrote the song "Holy Water" for Madonna's Rebel Heart
album, and she even received a Grammy nomination for co-writing Rihanna's track, "Kiss It Better,"
under the name Natalia Noemi.
But when it comes to her solo career as an artist?
Even years later, her performance on The X Factor continues to overshadow the music.
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