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'X Factor' firings: As skins get thinner, criticism gets meaner

Also in Tattle: Kathy Griffin, Stefano Dolce, Kanye West and Jessica Lange


Simon Cowell

was tough on

contestants and Adam Levine and Blake Shelton are tough on each other, meet husband and wife New Zealand "X Factor" judges Natalia Kills and

Willy Moon.

The pair was removed from the show yesterday after their comments on a contestant's appearance were seen as bullying.

Kills said she was "disgusted" at how much singer Joe Irvine had copied her husband in the clean-cut style of his hair and dark suit. She called him a "laughingstock" and said she was embarrassed to sit in his presence.

Moon joined in the tirade, saying that it felt cheap and absurd, and "like Norman Bates dressing up in his mother's clothing."

The audience mostly booed the judges' commentary, which Irvine handled well, saying he thought "he looked good."

Broadcast owner Mediaworks described the comments as "completely unacceptable," and the couple was asked to leave the show immediately.

TV3 tweeted a statement saying: "TV3 does not condone bullying and are currently on-site with Joe who is doing well."

New Zealand's Human Rights Commission welcomed the media company's response. "I'm glad to see Mediaworks decided to not be a bystander and to publicly condemn bullying abuse," Commissioner Susan Devoy said in a statement.


If we're going to have a culture that on one side allows anonymous Internet trolls to say incredibly vile things about people, and on the other side have hours of television in which people judge each other on subjective things like singing ability, with the only real prize being high ratings, occasionally things are going to get nasty.

So, either we take a step back and start treating each other like we'd want to be treated or we all just have to develop thicker skins and get over it.

* In sort of related non-news, Kathy Griffin continued her "Fashion Police" farewell tour on "The View" yesterday and told the hosts, "As a feminist and a comic it just didn't feel like the right fit for me."

Is the implicaton here that barrier-breaking Joan Rivers wasn't a feminist and a comic? That would be ridiculous. What's more feminist than telling a woman spending $10,000 on a couture dress that it doesn't automatically make her look good?

What does feminism have to do with this anyway? Making fun of beautiful people in hideous, overpriced clothing goes back to the days of the jester in the court of the king and queen.

It's not about calling a person ugly, it's about mocking the excesses of wealth and privilege and being able to say to the world that just because it's got a Chanel label doesn't mean it's pretty.

Joan took it a step further, but she never said anything worse about someone than what she would say about herself.

* Speaking of not pretty, the Elton John-launched boycott against Dolce & Gabbana picked up steam yesterday.

Responding on social media, Stefano Gabbana called Sir Elton a "fascist" for "an authoritarian way of seeing things: If you don't agree with me, I will attack you."

Sorry, Stefano. By calling in vitro babies "synthetic" you started the attack . . . on babies. Elton just told people who disagree with you not to buy your clothes.

Even in its looser Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, "fascism" means "very harsh control or authority." Elton John has neither control nor authority. Just an opinion.

Just like Dolce & Gabbana.

* In other fashionable news, the storied French fashion house of Christian Dior has announced that Rihanna will appear in an upcoming video and print ad campaign filmed in Versailles and slated to run this spring.

* And London's Daily Mail reports that Kanye West has landed a role in "Zoolander 2."

Kanye, of course, wants Kim to have a role, also.



Jessica Lange

, the Emmy-winning star of the first four seasons of "American Horror Story," announced Sunday she would not be returning for the fifth in the FX anthology series, which will be subtitled "Hotel."

Committing to each season "is a huge investment," Lange said on the arrivals line of the PaleyFest tribute to the fourth "Horror Story" entry, "Freak Show."

"I've done four great characters. It's enough," Lange said.

The "Hotel" cast will include Lady Gaga.

* The Daily Mail also reports that the family of soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo is heartbroken that he has broken up with model Irina Shayk.

"We have to move forward and overcome," Ronaldo's sister said.

Or as Taylor Swift said: "Shayk it off."

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.