CMA Awards 2018
Natalia Kills Speaks To Billboard: 'Sometimes TV Producers Plan Drama For Ratings'
In an exclusive exchange, Kills shares a photo that shows how closely contestant Joe Irvine’s style resembled Willy Moon’s own look.
Days after Natalia Kills and Willy Moon were dismissed from the New Zealand version of X Factor following their harsh criticism of contestant Joe Irvine during a live taping on Saturday night (Mar. 14), the couple is beginning to share their side of a story that became international entertainment news. Kills and Moon issued individual statements on Wednesday night (Mar. 18) commenting on the situation -- Kills wrote that she was "encouraged to be outspoken and things got out of hand," while Moon added, "The reality of 'reality' TV is that there's a lot the viewer doesn't see." And on Thursday, Kills expanded upon those comments in a chat with Billboard.
"Obviously sometimes TV producers plan drama for ratings and it totally back fire[s] on them. But if that was another stunt then it was badly..," Kills wrote (and trailed off) in an online exchange with Billboard on Thursday afternoon. "When you're under contract there's no room for error, so I wish I could have spoken up and addressed Joe sooner. It's awful he got dragged … Into this but I wish him all the best on reality TV and with his music."
Kills is a British pop artist/model/designer who has worked with producers like Jeff Bhasker and Emile Haynie, recorded with Will.i.am and LMFAO and co-wrote the song "Holy Water" on Madonna's new album, Rebel Heart. The singer wished to clarify that, although she is no longer part of Cherrytree Records -- which issued her sophomore album, Trouble, along with Interscope Records in 2013 -- her U.S. record deal with Interscope is still intact.
"I don't know why the media said I 'lost my record deal,'" she wrote. "I changed management months ago and parted with Cherrytree Managment [sic] but I'm … Still on Interscope UMG for now, I'm working on a new project and I'm celebrating Madonna's album release with my song Holy Water we co-wrote."
Kills' controversial takedown of Irvine stemmed from the belief that the X Factor contestant duplicated Moon's signature look, which has long consisted of a slim suit and slicked-back hair. "As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property, I am disgusted at how much you have copied my husband," Kills told Irvine on the show, while Moon added, "It's just a little bit creepy, and I feel like you're going to stitch someone's skin to your face and then kill everyone in the audience."
Since their criticisms went viral, Kills and Moon have been widely derided for assuming that the contestant copied Moon's look -- but Kills still believes that Irvine was clearly inspired by her husband. When asked about Irvine's style, Kills shared the following before-and-after collage, featuring Irvine's original attire and new sytle side-by-side with her husband's photos:
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Kills did not know who made that collage, but wrote that Billboard should post it. When asked about Irvine's style recalling Moon's look, Kills wrote, "Like I said, I don't know who was in on it, or where the idea came from but it's a shame for everyone that happened."
Kills and Moon, who married last May and joined the X Factor for its second season that began in February, were fired from the show on Sunday, and were photographed heading from Auckland, New Zealand to Los Angeles earlier this week. When asked about how the couple is holding up, Kills replied, "We had no idea what reality TV entails and how much or how little of it is reality. I am still shocked that all happened but we're delighted … To be back and enjoy quality time together as husband and wife!"
Kills did not directly answer a handful of questions, including whether she and Moon have personally spoken to Irvine since Saturday's live taping, but concluded, "After working with Madonna and starting a new music project myself, I'm just so happy to be back in the recording studio writing new music."
Click here for more on the X Factor New Zealand controversy, including reactions from artists like Lorde, Ed Sheeran and Ellie Goulding.
Collage courtesy of Natalia Kills via Twitter.