A brief history of everything tragic Olly Murs has ever done

A moment of silence for that poor poor Pringles tube

In life you face the same choice every day: either you put your cock in a Pringles tube, or you don’t. And while the chances of you taking a can opener to a tube of Pringles, grabbing your phone, and filming your girlfriend reaching into the tube to touch your (presumably erect) penis are low, they are never zero. In theory there is nothing stopping you or me from following the aforementioned steps and ending up the butt of the collective joke that is the Twitter timeline. But if you were planning on doing it today, you might want to hold off because your thunder has in fact been stolen by Olly Murs

Now full disclosure, I appreciate Olly Murs. In fact I voted for him in The X Factor final of 2009, making me somewhat responsible for him and by extension the Pringle tube debacle. But as is the case for a lot of things forged in the fires of the early 2010s, like Mr Schue from Glee, or Cheryl, the last decade was not entirely kind to Olly. On the one hand he has managed to eke out the 15 minutes of fame allotted to X Factor runners-up far longer than he had any right to, making more money in a decade than you ever will in your life along with a few undeniable bangers. He’s also managed to keep on top of modern fame without being a homophobe, a racist, or a 9/11 truther. But on the other he did put his dick in a Pringles tube. 

Maybe there’s more to this than we realise, and perhaps Olly was showing us something deeper and more profound. After all, what better way to represent the year of our Lord 2020 than with that poor poor Pringles can? In any case, it’s given us something to laugh at through the cabin fever of lockdown. And you know what? Now’s as good a time as any to cast our minds back over a decade of Olly’s most memorable (read: tragic) career highlights. Here we fucking go:

2009: Olly appears on X Factor and dad dances his way to second place

Olly Murs’s iconic first audition is right up there with Cher Lloyd and Jamie ‘Afro’ Archer. As 13-year-olds we thought Olly’s rendition of Superstition was the best thing ever – and that way he danced like he was being shot at from offstage? Showmanship, ladies and gentlemen.

At the time, a lot of people didn’t really think Olly was up to much, especially during this performance of Come Together where he ripped his shirt open. In fact a lot of pundits thought he should have his bags packed for the jungle just in case. Even Robbie Williams didn’t seem to have much faith in him, butchering his most memorable hit while his duet partner Olly could only watch and try not to cry. 

In the end, Olly came second to Joe McElderry, despite most of the judges having pegged the former as the likely winner as early as bootcamp. Olly was then given a record deal by Simon and sent away to go and make a fist of a career.

2010: Olly’s solo career gets off to a rocky start

After some time away, Olly returned with a far better stab at a debut single than a lot of people were expecting. Please Don’t Let Me Go was one of four good songs Olly would go on to release over his decade long career. The single managed to actually keep Katy Perry off the number one spot in the UK, but it was also served alongside this horrible video of him at Glastonbury. I mean… just watch it.

Olly’s follow-up single Thinking of Me was objectively the worst song he’s ever released and momentum seemed to fall away from the campaign around him during X Factor’s unprecedentedly popular seventh series

2011: Olly is an unexpected success

2011 did not look like it was off to a promising start for Olls (the following two singles from his debut album were awful and one of them featured this really weird video of him being in love with a mannequin).

Despite this, it ended up being Olly’s best year in the biz: we were served Heart Skips a Beat (good Olly song number two) with Rizzle Kicks of all people. Olly also started presenting The Xtra Factor with Caroline Flack at this point, and while this might have looked like a step backwards for him it actually proved to be what the show needed. While viewing figures for the main show fell for the first time ever after Simon Cowell’s departure, The Xtra Factor was genuinely fun.

The year was capped off with the moment that will forever go down as the most Olly Murs thing that ever happened to Olly Murs, as he performed on X Factor alongside the Muppets. It is unclear from his expression whether this is a career highlight for or low point for him. Either way, he ended the year with two number ones under his belt. Joe McElderry, meanwhile, was dropped by Simon Cowell.

2012: Olly tries to crack America

Not many X Factor alumni manage to have more success with a second album than with their first, so naturally the next step for the ascending Murs was his to make a go of it in the US. Thankfully it wouldn’t even be that hard, as One Direction’s explosive international popularity was at this point underway, and Olly was the perfect support act for their American tour. Troublemaker, his next single, roped in Flo Rida for added appeal, while Rizzle Kicks were swapped out for Chiddy Bang for the new version of Heart Skips a Beat.

Olly continued to reign as one of the UK’s most popular male solo acts, and his third album was a huge success. He then banked one more series of Xtra Factor and moved on.

2013: Olly fails to crack America

While continuing to plug away at the states, Olly releases his third good song: Dear Darlin’. Commercial success did not translate to critical acclaim however, and he would continue to moan about not winning a Brit award a month after the fact. Yeesh.

Unfortunately for Olly not even a guest slot on 90210 could help him make a splash, and none of his previous hits from the year before landed with US audiences.

2014: Olly finds his lane

Olly marches on selling lots of albums and going on tours which bring in the cash. Wrapped Up sounds like a Clean Bandit song and featured Travie McCoy, and the follow-up was a duet with Demi Lovato. Despite all these American collaborators the attempts to help Olly make sense in the US mostly wind down.

2015: X Factor turns out to be harder to host than it looks

2015 saw Olly and Caroline step up to host The X Factor proper and needless to say it did not go well. Olly and Caroline’s chaotic energy was perfect for the backstage fun of the sister show, but the main gig requires precise timing, a clear head, and emotional intelligence, qualities Dermot O’Leary had in abundance but Olly did not. At one point, Olly erroneously told a contestant she was going home before it had actually been confirmed. 

Dermot returned the year after.

2016: Olly reckons he’s ‘20 per cent gay’

The biggest pop stars of 2016 were becoming cooler and more interesting, while X Factor and its extended family had all but vanished: JLS were a distant memory, Cheryl long forgotten, even The X Factor itself was barely scraping by. Olly’s lead single from his fourth album was also coincidentally his fourth good song. It failed to make the top 10.

This is also the point where Olly tells gay publication Attitude he’s ‘20 per cent gay’. It’s not exactly James Arthur calling someone a “fucking queer” but it’s also not a good look.

2017: The infamous Selfridges debacle

In a telltale sign of the snake eating its own tail, Olly steps into the ring as a ‘coach’ on The Voice UK – you know, the singing competition with the spinny chairs your mum likes. At this point Olly’s singles start missing the top 30, including this super bizarre duet with Louisa Johnson where they play tennis in the music video.

2017 would also mark Olly’s most batshit moment: the Selfridges phantom shooting. With a single tweet, Olly caused stampedes across Oxford Circus after mistaking a loud bang for gunshots and tweeting about it. Olly still thinks there might be some truth in what he said.

It was another tough time for Olly at the Brits this year, too, and he pulled out of a nominations lunch event because he hadn’t actually been nominated for a single award. Ahem, lmao.

2018: Olly collabs with Snoop Dogg and no one cares

Olly settles into his role of ‘album artist for mums who still buy albums,’ and thus continues to justify his continued presence on The Voice. The lead single from his fifth album featured former 2pac collaborator Snoop Dogg. Snoop does not appear in the music video but Rowan Atkinson does, which probably tells you all you need to know.

2019: Not much is happening at this point

It was a quiet year for the Murs save for this very on-brand cameo on the objectively horrible Mrs Brown’s Boys.

2020: Puts cock in Pringles tube

2020 introduces two variables into the unsolvable equation that is Olly Murs: TikTok and a girlfriend. If you know anything about either of those things you’ll know where this is going. Cue endless videos of Olly pushing his gf in the pool at his house, dancing about like a loon, and of course – that Pringles tube.

But at the end of the day, Olly does have a pool in his house to push his girlfriend into. When one day you finally succumb and stick your knob in a cardboard crisp container, you probably won’t be doing it in a lovely house with a lovely pool and when you think about it isn’t that the real lesson here?

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