The X Factor’s biggest scandals

Simon Cowell Dermot O'Leary

by Eden-Olivia Lord |
Published on

Oh The X Factor. Since it started back in 2004 we've seen quite a lot: tears, tantrums and a WHOLE heap of drama.

We've loved and laughed at some of our favourite contestants. Remember Rylan Clark-Neal having a breakdown when he got through to the live shows? And One Direction when they were teenagers and adorable? Let's not forget some of the craziest contestants; Wagner, Stevie Ritchie and Jedward.

But it's the scandals that really get our juices going. Here are the best.

The Conway Sisters – Series two (2005)

Remember way back in 2005 when The Conway Sisters were on the show? During week five when they were in the bottom two Louis voted to keep the girls in the show over the public's favourite Maria Lawson.


Sharon Osbourne then accused him of only choosing the group because they're Irish like him.

The Conway Sister didn't have the best relationship with their mentor Simon Cowell and he booted them off the show, which is the first and only time a judge has voted off their own act.

Emily Nakanda – Series four (2007)

Back in series four, Emily made it to the live shows but quit after a video of her happy-slapping a girl emerged. A spokesman for the show confirmed that she withdrew herself from the competition.

Gamu – series seven (2010)

Gamu made it to the Judges' Houses stage with Cheryl Cole but didn't make it to the live shows because Chezza chose Cher Lloyd who cried and didn't actually finish singing her song, plus Katie Waissel who wasn't exactly the public's favourite. They couldn't even bring her back as a wild card because of "deportation issues" which Gamu later dismissed as something in court that was sorted in five minutes.

Misha B – series eight (2011)

During week three of the live shows, after her performance Louis and Tulisa criticised Misha B for being too confident and accused her of bullying other contestants. Gary Barlow then told Misha that she wouldn't win the show because of that and of course he was right.

Frankie Cocozza - Series eight (2011)

Frankie was doomed from the beginning, right? On his audition he showed the judges that he has seven tattoos on his BUM of random girls' names.


Throughout the competition he then turned into a questionable "rock star". He wore lots of eyeliner and had weird hair. He got through to the live shows, but was kicked off the after he bragged about doing cocaine.

And he then adopted the nickname Frankie-coke-up-the-nozza.

He has changed A LOT from his X Factor audition though.

Watch it below:

Cheryl (2011)

Cheryl wasn't a contestant but there was a scandal with her and The X Factor after she was sacked from The X Factor US by her pal and boss Simon. In an interview with Elle UK she revealed that she sent Simon a few angry texts, but all is well with the duo now.

Cheryl Cole X Factor US
©Getty Images

Gary Barlow walks off the stage – Series nine (2012)

During season nine we saw Gary and Rylan bicker/banter quite a lot, but it became too much for Gary when his act Carolynne Poole was voted out of the competition over Rylan. Gary then stormed off the stage and Rylan started sobbing because he was that sad to see Carolynne leave.

Chloe Jasmine – Series 11 (2014)

Chloe first entered the competition back in 2006 and it didn't go too well.

Then it was claimed that Chloe received favouritism in her audition after she messed up and started crying.

She managed to get through her audition but it became MEGA awkward during the Six Chair Challenge when Cheryl Cole made a mistake. At first she rejected Chloe but then called her back on stage and switched her place with someone else.

Chloe didn't win the show though, in fact she was the second act to leave during the live shows.

Watch the clip of the Six Chair Challenge below (oh and prepare to cringe):

Jake Sims – Series 11 (2014)

Remember Stereo Kicks? There was about 20 of them but one stood out more than the rest – Jake Sims.

While on the show, Jake caused some drama when he tweeted and deleted a naked photo of himself under the age of 18.

It wasn't that bad for him though 'cause the guys high-fived him for it.


He also bragged about taking drugs on Twitter and was pictured lying on a carpet in a hotel room high on ketamine, as in, you know, horse tranquilliser.

It's safe to say that although performance-wise the band was great, just like everyone else on the list, they didn't win the show.

Ryan Ruckledge – Series 12 (2015)

Oh Ryan. During bootcamp he told the camera he was stressed and he had to drink "a bottle of wine, a beer and some double voddys" to chill out. He then had an argument with the group he was performing with AND then when it came to actually performing he was completely out of time, tune and routine. He got the boot during bootcamp.

It's all right though he went on Big Brother 2016.

Anton Stephans – series 12 (2015)

There was a lot of controversy when Anton was accused of lying about this childhood. The X Factor contestant claimed that he was torn apart from his biological family and put into foster care at seven-years-old. However it was then reported that he lied and actually grew up with his mum.

But an ITV source cleared up all the rumours and said Anton never lied but he doesn't want to discuss his adoptive family in order to protect their privacy.

Later on in the show during the live performances things got awkward between him and Nick Grimshaw after the X Factor judge called him fake. Anton defended himself by saying, "this is real."

Mason Noise – series 12 (2015)

During Mason's time on the show he not only managed to piss Simon Cowell off but also the Directioners. Hasn't anyone learnt that that fandom can be VERY defensive of the band?

Things for Mason were great at first. He aced his audition but it started to go downhill during the Six Chair Challenge when Simon told him he was about to get thrown off the stage, he then dropped the mic and walked off. Somehow he got through to the live shows but obviously he didn't win it.

He didn't even attend the X Factor final AND he threw shade at Liam Payne when he uploaded a picture of the two backstage with the caption: "One of the highlights of my experience, meeting one of Harry Styles backing singers."

Watch the moment it all went wrong for Mason below:

Princess Diamond – Series 12 (2015)

This was another memorable boot camp performance. Before the group even began singing Princess Diamond and Monique Michael were arguing about rehearsals. Princess then forgot some of the lyrics and when she didn't get through she broke down in tears on the grass.


Castellio – series 12 (2015)

At Bootcamp the boys didn't even rehearse with the rest of the group, which became obvious when they forgot their lyrics. The judges looked as uncomfortable as we felt watching their performance. Some people saw the funny side of things though - Caroline Flack:

Hannah Kilminster – Series 12 (2015)

Before her audition Hannah said: "I haven't been to many auditions.

"Being stuck on a farm, you don't get many opportunities to sing – apart from to the animals."

And everything seemed fine, until it came out that she's been a backing singer on Britain's Got Talent, was the lead soprano for Il Divo AND has been in a few musical stage shows…

Shianne Phillips – Series 12 (2015)

For her audition Shianne sang Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing however Simon and Rita Ora said no and that didn't sit well with her. In an interview she called the show a fix and said her audition was staged. "I sang two songs and received four standing ovations.

"I was forced to sing the Whitney song and was told if I sang the song, I would get through.

"I had actually chosen four other songs instead."

Watch her audition:

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