One is known as TV's Mr Nasty and the other has a penchant for dropping the F-word at every opportunity, so it's not surprising that disgraced Natalia Kills doesn't think she is as bad as Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay.

Weeks after the former X Factor New Zealand judge and her husband Willy Moon were unceremoniously fired from the show after launching a scathing attack on a contestant, she has compared her conduct to that of the formidable duo.

In March, the British singer was accused of bullying Joe Irvine, who performed Cry Me A River, after branding the finalist "disgusting" and accusing him of stealing her partner's style. Irvine had taken to the stage wearing a blue suit and sporting gelled-back hair.

"As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property, I am disgusted at how much you've copied my husband," Kills, 28, said while dishing out feedback.

"From the hair to the suit, do you not have any value for respect for originality?" she asked, suggesting that Moon has somehow copyrighted wearing suits and gelled hair.

The Bradford-born star added: "You're a laughing stock. It's cheesy, it's disgusting, I personally found it artistically atrocious. I am embarrassed to be sitting here in your presence having to even dignify you with an answer of my opinion."

Amid the controversy there was a barrage of criticism from social media and celebs, with Cowell – the creator of the TV franchise – branding her behaviour "mad" and "hateful".

"It was hateful. She sounded mad. It didn't even make sense ... Where they cocked up was that they didn't apologise straight away. If they'd both been genuinely sorry and called me, and apologised to the guy and his family, who knows what could have happened?"

But Kills has insisted it is a case of pot calling the kettle black because her comments were "light" compared with some of Cowell's epic put-downs.

"I've been a fan of The X Factor and Simon Cowell my whole life and what we said is light compared to what Gordon Ramsay, Simon Cowell and many others have said on national television and been celebrated for," she told entertainment website NZME on Twitter.

"It's so sad how they [TV3] encourage so much drama but then when their sponsor and the public react badly they release a statement branding us as 'bullies'."

In the wake of the backlash, Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Shelton Woolright replaced the wife-husband duo on the show.