Axed X Factor judges Willy Moon and Natalia Kills have fled the country, and the duo put on a united front when spotted by photographers at Los Angeles Airport.

The couple, dressed all in black and wearing sunglasses at night, were photographed being escorted through Auckland International Airport last night, before they boarded a flight to Los Angeles.

The couple put on a united front as they walked through LAX airport in Los Angeles. Photo / Getty
The couple put on a united front as they walked through LAX airport in Los Angeles. Photo / Getty

The pair were spotted at LAX by photographers, holding hands and kissing while walking through the terminal. They were believed to be on their way to catching a second flight to their home in New York.

"I would like to wish Joe Irvine and my boys' category all the best on the show," Kills told reporters and photographers, in a video posted on


"I feel like everyone needs to put the idea of it being a manufactured conspiracy theory behind them, there's really nothing to it.

"I love my husband with all of my heart, we'll stick together no matter what. There are many sides to this story and I am not about to get an entire industry in trouble that has been going on for years and years entertaining the masses, so thank you absolutely everyone for your support, thank you to all of my fans, thank you to my husband," she said.

Read more:
X Factor bullying: Ed Sheeran, Lorde offer support to Joe Irvine as Ellie Goulding says axed judges have ruined their careers

In Auckland last night, the pair smiled and remained silent as they walked past waiting media, with Kills clutching her husband's arm as they were escorted on to their late night plane via a "premium check-in".

Bye bye from Willy Moon and Natalia Kills. Picture / 3 News
Bye bye from Willy Moon and Natalia Kills. Picture / 3 News

Kills, wearing a big floppy hat and with a teddy bear attached to her handbag, had a hint of a smile on her face as she faced the media scrum.

Replacement judges will be announced in the next 48 hours, in a hasty turnaround after the controversial couple were unexpectedly fired from the reality programme.

They hit headlines on Sunday night after they launched a humiliating attack on contestant Joe Irvine. Kills said the 25-year-old had copied her husband "from the hair to the suit" and made her "sick". She also called him a "laughing stock".

Moon then likened Irvine to a creepy killer and said his performance of Cry Me a River was "cheap and absurd".


It is understood the show's sponsors, as well as fellow judges Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt, put extreme pressure on MediaWorks to take action over the incident.

Kills and Moon's departure came hours after the media company announced it would be naming new judges either today or tomorrow.

Read more:
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Andrew Szusterman, the show's co-executive producer, said there had "been an incredible amount of interest from both well-known Kiwi artists and high-profile international acts" to be part of the show.

He also touched on rumours the Sunday night incident had been pre-planned.

"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," he said.


The controversy led to a major boost in ratings with more than 438,000 people tuning in to Monday night's live show, up from 256,000 on Sunday night.

The incident, which prompted a large amount of public backlash, hit headlines around the world.

Several high-profile personalities - including league player Benji Marshall and All Black Israel Dagg - publicly condemned the bullying incident.

Lorde and UK singer Ed Sheeran also weighed in.

Lorde sent Invercargill-based Irvine a note and cupcakes in support, while Sheeran tweeted him:

"Don't worry about what anyone else says man. Enjoy yourself with it, that's what singing is about, not what other people think," Sheeran wrote.


Irvine thanked Sheeran and said he wanted to meet him.

Irvine, who made it through Monday night's elimination show, is due back on screens at the end of this week.