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RIP The X Factor (2004 – 2018): An iconic British TV show forever in our hearts

Take a moment’s silence for its tragic death

Seven years ago, The X Factor reached an artistic pinnacle unmatched by any other British television show. It was our national joy and pride.

Last night, the finale of the fifteenth series opened with a performance of Baby Shark. And I'm pretty sure everyone there, including Robbie Williams, just wanted to die. Seriously, how did the the X Factor descend this hellish nightmare?

Nothing will ever top Beyonce descending upon the stage like Mother Theresa while Alexandra Burke cried like a blind, wailing child who's just been healed. Nothing will match Leona Lewis becoming a superstar overnight with Bleeding Love, collecting the coin and disappearing into the abyss. And never forget the 56-year-old Brazilian man called Wagner who, and I quote, "took inspiration from a cockerel." How did this strange, strange man ever make it to sixth place?

Remember when Abi punched Lisa in the X Factor auditions? Remember when Matt Cardle awkwardly dad-danced around Rihanna while she ate him alive with a single stare? Remember when Diana Vickers caused an entire nation of British girls to sing with a faux accent which made them sound like their tongues went limp inside their mouth?

And nothing, nothing, will be as embarrassing as Cher Lloyd in the judge's house circa 2010.

2012. That's the year they should have stopped it. End it on a high. Enjoy all the money made from rinsing naive people with no talent on live television!! Even Simon's fucked off at this point. But no. The producers kept it going while the nation watched their beloved show crash and burn.

And to prove to you I am 100 per cent correct, I bet you can't name a single X Factor winner from the past five years, aside from that band which sounds like a new ramen flavour at Wagamama's. I googled it. Apparently Rak-Su is short for Tracks v Suits???? SURELY a name that bad is proof this is the end? Surely.

So to remember the golden years on X Factor's fifteenth anniversary, here are all the unforgettable moments it gave us, before it died a slow and painful death:

Cher Lloyd's Turn My Swag On audition which every secondary school girl could recite word for word

diME diVas GiVE it tO mE!!1

Cher Lloyd's very uncomfortable audition at the judge's house

P.S. those eyebrows were criminal enough not to get through to the live shows.

Ant and Deaf's version of Mysterious Girl

When mum says "take your brother with you."

The man, the myth, the legend. Wagner!!!

This man undoubtedly made your parents forget about the recession.

Abbey brutally punching Lisa in the face

FYI Abbey went on to do a naked shoot, brilliant.

This hair raising performance by Beyonce while Alexandra Burke cried for three whole minutes

Honestly, how did they get Beyonce on the show with these peasants?

Ariel Burdett's holistic approach to singing

"I'm not a number, I'm a HUMAN BEING."

Matt Cardle looking very uncomfortable around Rihanna in an oversized suit

I still cringe at this now.

Cheryl's ICONIC performance of Fight For This love

Remember when she could actually sing?

Jedward's unbelievable front in thinking they were already pop-stars

It was soooo bad it became good. Somehow, I'm not surprised they still have fans:

Same Difference's brother-sister career???

Don't worry, you're not the only one who thought it was a bit weird too.

Rylan crying uncontrollably at Nicole Scherzinger's house

How could they ever top that?

Diana Vickers' entire persona

The teased back hair, the foundation lips, the side fringe. The very strange on-screen relationship with Eoghan Quigg. BRING IT ALL BACK.

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