Shelton Woolright and Natalie Bassingthwaighte have been named as the two new X Factor NZ judges.

Woolright is the former drummer of Auckland nu-metal band Blindspott who had a string of local hits throughout the noughties. He is now a member of I Am Giant.

Bassingthwaighte is a former cast member of Neighbours who went on to become the singer in electro-pop band Rogue Traders before embarking on a solo career. She has been a judge on The X Factor Australia.

Woolright told hosts on The Edge Radio station he had got a phone call about the producers yesterday and at first thought it was a prank.

Advertisement

He said he was excited and "absolutely freaking out" about the role.

Bassingthwaighte's debut solo album 1000 Stars topped the Australian charts when it was released in 2009.

Bassingthwaighte is looking after the boys in the competition while Woolright will be in charge of the bands.

"I think we are going to win this hands down," said Bassingthwaighte who has been an X Factor Australia judge for four seasons, though she hasn't won any of the competitions.

The two new judges replace Willy Moon and Natalia Kills, who were axed on Monday following a bullying controversy surrounding contestant Joe Irvine on Sunday night's show.

Neither new judge offered any strong opinions on the controversy which has got them their roles with Bassingthwaighte saying: "Look, I think the whole point of the show is about nurturing talent."

Despite MediaWorks saying the comments of Kills and Moon was unacceptable, the announcement of the new judges was promoted on The Edge using soundbites of Kills' verbal attack on Irvine.

Woolright regularly featured in the social pages when he went out for a year with model Nicky Watson in the mid 2000s.

Watson left him for Dancing With the Stars judge, Brendan Cole. When Blindspott split up in 2007 and later reformed without him Woolright took legal action against his former band members for using the band name. The group continued as Blacklistt.

Co-executive producer Andrew Szusterman said: "We couldn't be happier to have secured Natalie and Shelton as the new X Factor NZ judges. Shelton has the perfect background to be mentoring our bands and Natalie's experience in the judge's seat for the X Factor Australia is invaluable."

- nzherald.co.nz