Whether intended or not, The X Factor provided us with many a laugh over the years.
Back in its heyday, we were watching for the sheer spectacle of Simon Cowell’s TV behemoth too, but what we used to love most is when the show really got us laughing.
With the news the show has been cancelled 17 years on from its debut, we’ve rounded up some of our most cherished hilarious moments – from Rylan Clark’s hysterical crying on Nicole Scherzinger to Sharon Osbourne winding up Simon, with of the most memorable auditions thrown in for good measure...
Calvin Harris Storms The Stage With A Pineapple (Series 8)
Long before he became the highest-paid DJ in the world, Calvin crashed a Jedward performance of Under Pressure with a pineapple on his head.
Either that was his tribute to the lads’ hairstyles, or he was worried about them getting scurvy. Needless to say, he was promptly chucked out afterwards.
Harry Styles Whispers Something To Matt Cardle (Series 7)
“Think how much Busey you’re gonna get.”
That’s what he meant, right? You’re gonna be so successful you move to LA and become best friends with Gary Busey? That’s what he said, ‘Busey’? Right?!
Rylan Clark Collapses Into Tears (Series 9)
Rylan definitely played it cool when he found out he was through to the X Factor live shows. You’d hardly even tell he was excited, to be honest.
“WE’RE GONNA HAVE A RIGHT OLD LAUGH,” Rylan promised. Through his hysterical tears.
Alexandra Burke Is Okay.Com, Thank You (Series 8)
Three years after winning the show herself, Alexandra stood in for Kelly Rowland who was “off sick” that week (who, after all, could forget her phone call to the show from LA?) Alexandra really made her stamp, delivering the putdown to Louis Walsh: “You’d better get the words correct. OK. Dot com. Thank you.”
Andrea Magee Tries (And Fails) The Whistle Register (Series 10)
Andrea gave it her best shot performing Don’t Leave Me High, trying to channel Mariah Carey and hit the highest note in her range.
Unfortunately for her she missed it by about a mile. This also got our attention for the random use of a flute in the introduction. More woodwind, please, future X Factor contestants.
Nicole Scherzinger Hits Asda (Series 9)
The sight of Nicole Scherzinger in an Asda fleece is not one we thought could ever be topped. Until a year later, that is, when she donned a hairnet and went behind the counter at Greggs. Schermazing.
Olly Murs Sends Home The Wrong Act (Series 12)
The concept of Deadlock proved to be a bit too confusing for poor old Olly, who told Monica Michael she was going home, before he’d even given the judges the chance to vote. Awks.
Sharon Osbourne Walks Into A Door (Series 4)
If this isn’t exactly what made The X Factor so great, then we don’t know what is. Sharon Osbourne laughing so hard at an auditionee that she walks into a door. 10/10.
Ablisa (Series 7)
In the same year that gave us Cher Lloyd and One Direction, we also met flawless queens Abbey and Lisa, better known as Ablisa, who got a bit physical with each other when things didn’t go their way. Worth watching simply for Cheryl’s shocked reply: “She punched ’er in the face.”
Robbie Channels Sinitta (Series 8)
If ever there was a moment that proves Sinitta is a total fashion icon, this would be it.
Rachel Adedeji Falls Over (Series 6)
Look, it’s not big and it’s not clever, but someone falling over is always going to be a little bit funny, isn’t it? We wonder if anyone has ever been that excited to see Dannii Minogue since...
Katy Perry Loves Cheryl (Series 7)
While Katy Perry enjoyed a stint covering for Dannii Minogue in Series 7, she became particularly enamoured with her fellow judge, Cheryl Cole.
Holly Proves That She Is Big, Blonde And – Indeed Beautiful (Series 5)
We’re not sure which was more ridiculous – Simon comparing Holly’s mouth to “looking into a cave” or Cheryl telling her to become a preacher.
Rhydian Covers Dame Shirley (Series 4)
Oh Rhydian. All he wanted to do was come on and sing a bit of opera.