Say what you want about The X Factor, but one thing is fact: it’s provided us with some truly funny moments over the 12 years it’s been on air. And, let’s face it, it’s always the bad auditions that get everyone talking in the office on a Monday morning. Watching deluded hopefuls with truly awful voices/dance moves/style trying to impress the judges - who often #fail to hide their incredulity - is both hilarious and wince making.
So, as a treat, we’ve compiled some of our favourite ever funny X Factor moments. It's interesting, too, to see how plastic surgery has developed on various judges over the years... Enjoy.
Robert Unwin AKA The Chicken Man
An oldie - this is from series 1 - Robert Unwin’s version of Tragedy by The Bee Gees and Aqua’s Barbie Girl is now the stuff of legend. It’s not an understatement to say the chicken factory worker (who didn’t sound that unlike a strangled bird himself) from North Wales CRUCIFIED both ditties.
Ant & Seb
They compared them selves to PDiddy and Usher, “although when Ant sings on his own he sounds like Rick Astley.' When Ant proceeded to break into a rendition of Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl (which is funny in itself) accompanied by Seb’s rapping in his flat Welsh tones - tinged with a Jamaican accent - the judge’s completely fail to keep their shit together. 'You’re more like Any & DEAF,' Simon concluded.
Dawn the Jockey
This is Dawn. She wants to be the next Madonna. When she tells the judges she used to work as an apprentice jockey - as in horses, not radio - Louis and Sharon become paralysed by giggles, made all the worse when Dawn starts to ‘sing’ Like A Prayer. When Simon order’s the judging duo to leave, by this point, they are doubled over and Sharon promptly walks smack bang into a door.
A part-time model, Jaystar - with his shirt undone to the navel and a gigantic crucifix dangling from his neck - looks the part. But as soon as he breaks into Hallelujah (“Alexandra Burke’s version”) complete with some rather special facial movements, it quickly becomes apparent he’s really not.
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He declares himself as good as Michael Jackson, George Michael and, erm, Daniel Beddingfield. When he starts to warble Michael Jackson’s The Earth Song, Simon starts chewing hard on a pencil. Back in the day when Paula Abdul was a judge.
Ablisa (Abby and Lisa)
Friends - or are they sisters? Cousins? - are “both really loud and bubbly.” And, as Simon Cowell points out, “ You have the worst attitude of anyone I’ve ever met on any of these shows.” When Natalie Imbruglia tells the girls that their singing wasn’t great, Lisa asks, “ Who are you?” Then Abby smacks her in the face. And Lisa storms off the stag, giving the judges the finger.
Andrew Muirhead (or when Sharon Osbourne gets uncontrollable laughter. Again.)
Dreadlocked Andrew chose Busted’s Air Hostess. When he sang about messing his pants, Mrs. O started banging the desk with laughter. 'You messed your pants?! I love this job so much,' she said before promptly falling off her chair.
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'What do you do at the moment?' asks Sharon pleasantly to their latest contestant, Rachel. 'Nothing. I’m lazy,' she replies sullenly. When Simon told her she was everything they didn’t want in a contestant she, proclaimed, 'F***k you,' followed by several hundred other explititives. Not advisable behavior if you’re ever planning on trying to win a talent contest anytime soon.
'I’m going to sing Copper Bell,' says Goldie Cheug (“Copper Bell?” asked the rest of the world) before launching into a song that consists of her mostly repeating ‘Ding dong, ding dong, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding dong’ whilst simultaneously massaging her boobs. This was after she’d thrown up backstage and burped - loudly – before presenting herself to the judges. Really.
A Britney Spears impersonator, its immediately alarming when you see what she’s wearing: a barely there lime green bikini under a white net ‘jumpsuit.’ But when she starts to perform, it’s clear that she’s mistaken some of Britney’s moves for that of a porn star. Hide-behind-your-hand’s viewing.
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It didn’t bode well when he came in wearing two pairs of sunglasses. But when he proceeded to use a giant pink and white plastic microphone as a prop - singing along to R.Kelly's classic I Believe I Can Fly - it was game over. 'You came in, you called yourself Champagne and sounded like house wine. That kind of summed up the performance,' declared an exasperated Simon. They had to practically beg him to leave.
To round it off, we went with one from this year’s series, the Honey G, “Sweet like Honey.” From “North Weazy” – or more commonly known as Harrow in North London – this woman’s rendition of Work It by Missy Elliott - with a crotch grabbing jig to go with it - had Simon shaking his head in disbelief.