Looking back at the 26 reality TV show performances that defined British culture

How did we ever forget about these?


Before Love Island took over our lives, the golden era of British reality TV used to consist of shows like The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent, Geordie Shore, TOWIE and Big Brother.

It brought the nation some absolute icons like Susan Boyle, some of the best bust ups (remember Gemma Collins vs Tiffany Pollard?) that have ever graced our screens and moments which only live on as memes today.

Maybe you've forgotten them, maybe you think about them everyday. But these are unequivocally some of the best relics of British reality TV that once was:

1. Ant and Seb channeling their 'inner P Diddy and Usher' in this truly unforgettable first audition

When Ant and Seb graced our screens on series five of The X Factor it made us laugh then as much as it does today. Absolute TV gold.

2. Megan McKenna kicking off in the diary room, resulting in security having to come and calm her down

Can you ever hear the phrase "He's a liar!" without thinking back to this unforgettable scene with Megan in the diary room of Big Brother back in 2016? If this was GCSE Drama, she would definitely be getting an A*.

3. Susan Boyle shocking everyone with how amazing her voice is

No one can forget how truly shocked the nation was after watching her singing "I Dreamed a Dream" in her first audition. She was probably the most memorable contestant from the entire show.

4. Ariel Burdett and her 'holistic vocal skills' that made the judges literally speechless

You'll remember her for informing the judges: "I am not a number, I'm a human being." She then argued with the judges and was eventually escorted out by security, after she shouted at the panel.

5. Damion Merry performing the act of how to NOT get the date you're after

Probably the most awkward experience to ever happen. This led to him being dubbed "the worst Take Me Out contestant ever." Eeek.

6. Calum Scott hitting everyone in the feels with his performance of 'Dancing On My Own'

When he took the Britain's Got Talent stage back in 2015 to perform his rendition of Dancing On My Own, it wowed the judges and gave everyone goosebumps. I have goosebumps right now just thinking about it. Also he was pretty fit.

7. That time Chloe Ferry kicked off and smashed the glass table in the Geordie Shore house

After an argument with Abbie over Sam she got so angry she proceeded to throw the chair, lob her chicken nuggets and smash the glass table. Making it one of the most insane arguments in Geordie Shore history, and there are a lot of arguments in Geordie Shore.

8. Cher Lloyd's Turn My Swag On audition!!!

The first thing you will probably think about after hearing anyone say "Cher Lloyd", is that viral video about not knowing how to flush the toilet.

But we've all managed to forget that Cher Lloyd can can actually sing. Her first audition has racked up over 64 million views on YouTube and it's still just as good as when it first aired. Her eyebrows however, are not.

9. Nikki Grahame shouting 'WHO IS SHE?!' in the Big Brother diary room

This diary room rant from Nikki Grahame is an Oscar worthy performance from the 2006 season of Big Brother. Videos from her time in the house are still being used as memes almost 13 years later.

10. When Lucy Spraggan's original song 'Last Night' made all of us relate to taking it too far on a night out

This was not the generic "belt out the last note" X Factor audition but it did quickly become one of the most popular performances with viewers, with 64 million views on the YouTube video.

11. Tiffany Pollard taking on Gemma Collins in Celebrity Big Brother was WOW

This argument between Tiffany Pollard and Gemma Collins is something every Big Brother fan will remember. Both parties were completely savage and there were no survivors. Also it's made all the more hilarious by the costumes they're wearing the whole time.

12. Louisa Johnson being probably the most nervous X Factor contestant ever

In 2015 she stunned everyone with her rendition of The Jackson 5's "Who's Loving You" despite barely being able to talk because she was so nervous. If you don't cry even a little bit, I'll be amazed.

13. When Millie swilled Hugo after finding out he cheated on her on Made In Chelsea

Caggie tells Millie that Hugo has cheated on her with someone she knows. Millie was having none of it and threw the remains of her drink over him.

We've all dreamed of doing this to an ex, so live your life vicariously through her and watch this extremely satisfying clip.

14. When Gemma Collins told everyone she's 'earned her divaship' on TOWIE

Gemma and Ferne got into a heated row over Ferne's comments about Gemma and vice versa. The confidence in both of them throughout the fight made this a truly unforgettable argument. Flawless.

15. Rylan Clark-Neal crying SO hard when he was told he got through to Judges' Houses part of The X Factor

When Nicole Scherzinger told Rylan he was through to Judges' Houses after hinting he was going home, he completely lost it and it's probably one of the funniest moments to come out of The X Factor, ever.

16. When Chanelle screamed "Waaaaaaaaa" at Zahida on Ex On The Beach

Chanelle and Zahida were mid argument and the only way Chanelle could end it was to literally scream noises at her. Everyone on the programme thought it was as funny as the viewers did. Classic Ex On The Beach.

17. When this Come Dine With Me contestant was the sorest loser EVER

"Enjoy the money, I hope it makes you very happy. Dear lord, what a sad little life Jane."

18. When AbLisa auditioned for The X Factor fought each other on stage

How could we forget about Abbie and Lisa?! Their audition had arguing on stage, awful singing, insulting Danni Minogue and elbowing in the face. Wild.

19. Beyonce and Alexandra Burke singing in The X Factor Final in 2008

First of all, how did they manage to get Beyonce to come and perform with a contestant?! But everyone, including Alexandra Burke lost it.

20. John and Edward performing Ghostbusters in the Live Shows (?!)

Jedward were truly iconic and no-one will ever be able to forget their memorable performance of them singing Ghostbusters in the live shows.

21. George Sampson dancing under the waterfall in the BGT semi-finals

George Sampson (way before he appeared on Waterloo Road) showed the judges his moves, but did it under running water and surprisingly didn't slip over.

22. When Nicole Scherzinger and Jahmene Douglas sung together in the final and Nicole completely took over

She literally takes the microphone off him to belt out a note and he just awkwardly stands there. Wow.

23. Wagner singing Love Shack and She Bangs and then bringing the bongo drums on stage

Wagner performing this mashup is something that will forever be a part of British culture.

24. When Louis dramatically cut his foot up right before One Direction's Judge's House performance

So much drama from the newly put together One Direction.

25. Ella Henderson's moving first audition on The X Factor

She was only 16 when she first auditioned back in 2012 and her performance of Cher's "Believe" will give you goosebumps.

26. THAT Matt Cardle and Rihanna performance on X Factor

Inappropriate sexual energy.

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Ant and Seb, AbLisa and Cher Lloyd: Where are the iconic stars of X Factor now?

Before the fillers: What did the Geordie Shore girls look like before cosmetic surgery?

George Sampson, Diversity and Connie Talbot: Where are the iconic stars of BGT now?