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Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Shelton Woolright will step in for Natalia Kills and Willy Moon

By Tim Nudd
Updated March 20, 2015 12:15 PM
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X Factor New Zealand has named two new judges, and is hoping they won’t be quite as razor-tongued as the old ones.

Stepping up to the judges’ table are Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Shelton Woolright, Billboard reports.

They will replace the husband-and-wife team of Natalia Kills and Willy Moon, who were unceremoniously fired for absolutely eviscerating a contestant during a live broadcast – for the crime of supposedly looking a bit too much like Moon himself.

Bassingthwaighte, an Australian singer, was once a judge on that country’s version of The X Factor. Woolright, a native New Zealander, is a drummer in the band I Am Giant.

Kills and Moon’s vicious takedown of contestant Joe Irvine on March 14 – seriously, it made Simon Cowell look like Mother Teresa by comparison – quickly went viral, and no wonder. Kills called Irvine “cheesy,” “disgusting” and “artistically atrocious,” and said she was “embarrassed to be sitting here in your presence.”

Moon added: “It’s like Norman Bates dressing up in his mother’s clothing. 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.”

Kills and Moon have since said they were encouraged by the show to be outspoken and opinionated, but they have also apologized to Irvine.