Former X Factor judges leave NZ video

DAVID WHITE/Stuff.co.nz

Former X Factor Judges depart New Zealand on a flight bound for Los Angeles.

Fired X Factor judges Willy Moon and Natalia Kills have packed their bags and left the country.

Dressed in black and wearing sunglasses, the controversial couple were snapped at Auckland International Airport late on Tuesday night bound for Los Angeles.

They were helped by airport staff with their luggage, and ushered through "premium check-in" to make the 10:45pm flight.

FLYING OUT: Former X Factor judges Willy Moon and Natalia Kills were spotted at Auckland International Airport late on ...
DAVID WHITE/ Fairfax NZ

FLYING OUT: Former X Factor judges Willy Moon and Natalia Kills were spotted at Auckland International Airport late on Tuesday night, heading for Los Angeles.

They did not speak to media.

Their departure came hours after MediaWorks announced that new judges will be announced within 48 hours. 

The incoming judges' identities are not yet known, though there has been speculation that Shelton Woolright, of I Am Giant and Blindspott, would take one of the seats. 

ASHTEN MACDONALD/Stuff.co.nz

We ask the public who they would like to fill the empty seats on the X Factor judging panel.

Woolright's Facebook page erupted on Monday night with posts congratulating him on the role.

X Factor executive producer Andrew Szusterman said there had been an "incredible amount" of interest from well-known Kiwi artists and high-profile international acts that were keen to be part of the show.

X Factor was currently testing potential judging candidates and would announce the replacements within the next 48 hours, Szusterman said.

CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTS: Judge and mentor on X Factor NZ, Natalia Kills.
Supplied

CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTS: Judge and mentor on X Factor NZ, Natalia Kills.

"I also want to address some unfounded speculation that what unfolded on Sunday night's show was in any way planned.

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"This was not planned.

"It came as a complete shock, and as we have said and demonstrated by our actions, this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable.

"The speculation is totally baseless."

The X Factor saw a massive ratings boost on Monday night following the bullying controversy which rocked the show.

Judges Kills and Moon were fired from the show following their on-air tirade on Sunday night's show.

READ MORE:  * Natalia Kills achieved what she wanted: Stan Walker * X Factor conspiracy theory guide X Factor's Natalia Kill's teenage-rapper past  * Bullied X Factor contestant Joe Irvine finds celeb support * X Factor: Back to the competition * Who will replace Natalia Kills and Willy Moon?

Kills accused contestant Joe Irvine of copying the style of her husband, Moon, while Moon likened him to fictional murderer Norman Bates.

But the drama did wonders for the show's ratings.

It attracted 438,320 on Monday night, 43 per cent more than the previous Monday when only 307,400 tuned in, according to television website Throng.

It was also up markedly on Sunday's episode, which had 255,900 viewers - although that figure was in line with the average Sunday X Factor audience of about 256,000.

The news will only further fuel rumours that the controversy was all a conspiracy to boost ratings.

The news won't help the show receive any more New Zealand on Air funding, as a decision to cut funding to it, and rival show New Zealand's Got Talent, was made months ago.

 - Stuff

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