Natalia Kills and Willy Moon are liars, says X Factor judge Stan Walker
Stan Walker, who co-judged X Factor New Zealand with sacked villains Natalia Kills and Willy Moon, has suggested the pair lied in their explanation and says they should never have been involved in the show.
Asked whether Kills and Moon's sacking – and the recent disapproval of them from reality show mogul Simon Cowell – could change the way judges treat contestants, Walker replied: "No, it's just them, hopefully they've learned their lesson.
"Everybody knows what they are getting into, if they try to act dumb and blame someone else they are lying."
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Kills and Moon eventually responded to the furore caused by their humiliation of contestant Joe Irvine (who was recently eliminated from the show) by suggesting the program's makers requested they be controversial. Moon tweeted: "The show encourages judges to be forthright and highly opinionated." While Kills said: "I was encouraged to be outspoken."
Walker, who won Australian Idol in 2009 at the age of 18, is in Australia promoting his album of soul covers Truth & Soul. He admitted he had not talked to either Moon or Kills since they were marched from the show. "Nah ... once they left that was it."
Walker, now 24, says he, Kills and Moon were friendly on the New Zealand show, "but they are not the type of people I would befriend in real life."
He stands by the program's decision to sack the pair: "Of course. [Replacements Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Shelton Woolright] are perfect, now it's all about the contestants – they should have been there from the beginning.
"Natalie is awesome, she's hilarious too, fun, bubbly and always on."
Walker's album features covers of 13 soul classics from Ain't Too Proud to Beg to I'll Be There and Let's Get It On. He says soul music was a constant in and around his home when he was growing up.
"It was at home, in the car, at our little local village pub [at Tamapahore, near Tauranga], the kids were allowed in there until 7pm, we'd listen to soul music, play pool, spacies, eat K-bars and peanut slabs until we got kicked out."
Walker hoped Mark Ronson would feature on the album but there was a clash of commitments. He still hopes to work with Ronson in the future, but is positive he has achieved a contemporary soul feel on the album.
"It's in the same style and vein as Amy Winehouse."