| 11.2°C Dublin

X Factor New Zealand: Ed Sheeran leads support for Joe Irvine as Natalie Kills and Willy Moon subjected to Twitter abuse

Singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran is among the people who have tweeted their support to Joe Irvine as his bullies are subjected to abuse on social media.

Joe sang 'Cry Me A River' on X Factor New Zealand last night only to find himself the target of a verbal attack by husband and wife judging team Natalia Kills and Willy Moon.

The incident prompted a flood of support for Irvine on social media, and Ed Sheeran was among the well-wishers.  He tweeted, "don't worry about what anyone else says man. Enjoy yourself with it, that's what singing is about, not what other people think".

A visibly exhausted and overwhelmed Irvine also sent a message of thanks to fans via Twitter just hours after the incident.

Producers had assured fans that Irvine was okay following the incident, but he took to Twitter to thank them himself in the early hours of this morning - from his bed.

Speaking very slowly, he said, "Thank you all so much for your support tonight.  I'm just about to go to bed.  You've all been amazing.  All my supporters out there it's just been overwhelming eh.  Thank you all so much. I love you all.  See you later. Talk to you later. Peace."

On the show last night Natalia accused Irvine of copying her husband and Moon agreed before adding his own horrible insults.

She said, "As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property I am disgusted at how much you have copied my husband, from the hair to the suit.

"Do you not have any value or respect for originality?  You're a laughing stock.  It's cheesy, it's disgusting.  Personally I found it absolutely atrocious and I am embarrassed to be sitting here in your presence having to dignify you with an answer of my opinion."

Irvine responded graciously with, "Thank you Natalia, you're beautiful" before Moon joined in.

"To me it feels a little bit cheap and absurd," he said. "It's like Norman Bates dressing up in his mother's clothing.  It was just a little bit creepy and I feel like you're going to stitch someone's skin to your face and kill everybody in the audience."

Natalia's comments prompted a #NataliaKillsHerCareer campaign on Twitter and MediaWorks’ chief executive Mark Weldon confirmed the pair will no longer be a part of the show as the comments were "completely unacceptable".

Support for Joe continues to grow whilst Kills and Moon have become the but of Twitter's biggest joke today:

Online Editors