Chart topper Tiki Taane has launched a scathing attack on X Factor NZ, claiming he is being exploited by the show and contestants should expect to be surrounded by "fake, ego-blowing industry, soul-sucking vampires".
The Always on My Mind artist posted an open letter to producers ahead of tonight's episode telling them to stop using his name to promote the reality TV show without his consent.
But Mediaworks spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer has hit back saying the promotion was not misleading - and pointing out Taane had unsuccessfully auditioned to be a judge on the show.
In a post on Facebook yesterday Taane lambasted the singing show, saying it had misled the public by linking his name to the show.
An advertisement for tonight's episode states contestant Steve Broad "takes on Tiki Taane".
"Please refrain from fooling the public, especially my fans, that I will be appearing on the X Factor NZ show," wrote Taane. While he was happy for one of his songs to be performed tonight he had issues over the show's integrity and did not want to appear as a mentor.
"Being an independent artist I just wouldn't feel right about being on a programme that promotes the exploitation of its contestants," he posted.
Taane recently appeared on TV3's The Bachelor NZ performing Love Your Ways during a date between unsuccessful contestant Natalie Stol and Arthur Green. Taane said he had performed for a fee he negotiated and because he had total control.
"The X Factor have misled the public by using my name and brand to promote their show without my consent."
Lorimer said the show was consistent in how it was promoted each week with the big selling point for performance shows based on songs the contestants were performing.
"So last week the promos said Brendon Thomas and the Vibes would be taking on Stevie Wonder, this week we said Steve Broad is taking on Tiki Taane.
"We are surprised by Tiki's comments as TV3 has had a positive relationship with him," said Lorimer.
She said after Taane failed an audition to be a judge of The X Factor NZ he declined to be a mentor.
Taane was being paid for the use of his song through the royalties system administered by Apra/AMCOS.
This season of the talent show has been plagued by controversies.
Producers were forced to apologise after screening convicted killer Shae Brider underplaying his role in a fatal stabbing.
Then came judges Natalia Kills and husband Willie Moon delivering a humiliating tirade to contestant Joe Irvine.
The outburst by the two caused a public outcry and ended with their sacking.
Just five artists remain on the TV3 talent show.