Natalia Kills and her husband Willy Moon are — or well, as of tonight, were judges on X Factor New Zealand.
Their run on the show has ended tonight following a particularly harsh critique of a contestant named Joe Irvine. But “critique” really isn’t the right word: It was a flat-out attack.
Just watch, if you haven’t already.
The video soon went viral worldwide. Viewers quickly demanded an apology, creating boycotts and petitions. Fellow judge, All Saints‘ Melanie Blatt, called her “a twat.” Corporate sponsors urged producers to axe them from the show. And within a day, both Natalia and Willy were fired.
So…okay. Truthfully, I didn’t even want to write about this, but I sort of feel compelled to give my thoughts.
I’ve spent years now writing about Natalia Kills, ever since she debuted at the end of 2009. She really was one of the first artists I endorsed with MuuMuse. I went to many of her shows, from her first-ever live performance during Fashion Week among just a small smattering of people to her opening sets for Robyn to her latest showcases for Trouble. We’ve run exclusive contests together, and I’ve interviewed her quite a few times over the years.
This is not my way of humblebragging about hanging with Natalia Kills. Instead, this is to say that I’m feeling very awkward, and slightly embarrassed, about the whole situation.
Basically, I’m incredibly disappointed.
“I’m going to say it: It’s disgusting. You make me sick. It’s absolutely disgusting. You have no identity. I can’t stand it. I’m ashamed to be here.”
“I think I look good…”
“You look good because you’re dressed as my husband.”
Natalia’s music career is one thing, but her behavior during last night’s show is entirely another…and it’s just unacceptable. I can’t, and won’t, endorse that deluded tirade. There’s no way around it.
Being an #UnapologeticBitch is a good and important thing, but there’s a difference between being an outspoken critic and being a straight-up bully.
What she was doing in that situation wasn’t providing constructive criticism or painfully honest truth bombs: She was verbally attacking this poor man (“You make me sick!“)m accusing him of stealing her husband’s ‘aesthetic’ which, apparently, consists of a well-tailored suit and slicked-back hair — something that no male artist has ever done. Except Michael Buble. And Justin Timberlake. And Bruno Mars. And, uh, every male pop artist in the history of ever.
It was also an attack completely and utterly lacking in self-awareness, considering the fact that Natalia’s own aesthetic has so frequently been compared to Lady Gaga, Rihanna and, most recently, Lana Del Rey — something I actively tried to avoid whenever writing about her music. As a result, it’s completely bizarre to me that she would focus on someone’s alleged ‘lack of originality’ as her main point of contention, considering the criticism she’s been dealt for being a “rip-off” for the entirety of her career as Natalia Kills.
Worse still has been her response to the situation, which has (so far) amounted to putting up a tweet promoting her song “Problem” to thank us (who, exactly?) for “our support,” demonstrating a total lack of remorse.
I love you guys, thanks for your support & understanding my passionate opinions! You know what they say about me… https://t.co/DNBksvmYWM
— NATALIA KILLS (@NataliaKills) March 15, 2015
My hope, initially, was that the rant was actually a PR stunt for ratings, and that this move was intended to position her as the tough-edged, female Simon Cowell-like figure on the show. (I’m still hoping that was the plan, because the idea of her genuinely believing this contestant was trying to ‘steal’ her man’s look is too insane for words.)
Whatever it was, it backfired. She is now internationally loathed, and I can’t say I blame anyone for feeling that way.
This wasn’t an instance of “diva” attitude gone too far, or a case of a contestant being too thin-skinned. There was no valuable criticism at the heart in that vile, insanely delusional rant. It was just incredibly gross, awful and mean-spirited.
As a result, I’m out. Thank God for these memes, though.