British pop star Natalia Kills and her husband, Willy Moon, were removed from New Zealand's The X Factor judging panel after a live episode on Saturday (14Mar15), during which they attacked contestant Joe Irvine following his performance.

Kills started the bashing by insisting Irvine had copied her husband's style, stating, "You're a laughing stock. It's cheesy, it's disgusting. I personally found it absolutely artistically atrocious. I am embarrassed to be sitting here in your presence having to even dignify you with an answer of my opinion... You make me sick."

And Moon added, "It's like Norman Bates (of Psycho) dressing up in his mother's clothing. It's just a little bit creepy."

Sheeran, it seems, was as appalled by the couple's harsh remarks as viewers and he has since taken to social media to offer Irvine his support.

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

Network bosses at TV3 fired Moon and his wife after sponsors objected to their comments, and a spokesman for X Factor has issued a statement which reads: "MediaWorks has removed Natalia Kills and Willy Moon from The X Factor NZ judging panel."

Stan Walker, a former winner of Australian Idol, and former All Saints star Melanie Blatt will continue as judges on the show while replacements for Kills and Moon are found.