Ranked: These are the most forgettable X Factor judges of all time

Forgot all about Nick Grimshaw


Plenty of judges have come and gone over the countless years that the X Factor has besmirched our TV guides and it seems that the most hateable case studies have unfortunately done everything they can to stick about – Louis Walsh might as well have been taxidermied by this point and we’d be none the wiser, just as Simon is a Beverley Hills Clinic CV on legs. However, we’re not here to talk about your Louis Walshes, Simon Cowells or even Sharon Osbournes.

Now, these people certainly don’t have a good track record when it comes to treating other people well, so it brings me no regret whatsoever to announce that today they will be mercilessly ranked based upon how completely and utterly forgettable they were as judges on the X Factor UK. Enjoy!

9. Tulisa

tulisa, x factor uk

Kind of iconic, kind of rough and definitely in over her head, Tulisa was probably the last person to have been allowed to unload her woes onto the poor contestants that took to the stage. Like, seriously. Still, she did have some good quips and her arguments with her fellow judges caused her to be pretty memorable which is why she places so high on this list.

Speaking of which…

8. Gary Barlow

gary barlow

Where Tulisa goes Gary follows, and the pair certainly had some bust-ups during their time on the show. Do you remember that cringe-inducing argument they had when he told her she had fag ash breath and she fired back about him laying off the red wine? Good thing Gary wasn’t sat next to Louis – who knows what he would’ve smelt coming out of that mouth.

Whilst I leave you to read from that what you will, let’s just say Gary still managed to make himself popular as a judge during his time on the show and so is placed at number eight.

7. Dannii Minogue

dannii minogue

Dannii Minogue is lucky for being one of the judges that arrived and left at just the right time – definitely during what was considered the golden age of the X Factor but before people started rightly criticising them for, well, falsely painting contestants as mentally unstable.

Not that she was without her controversies, but Dannii was largely inoffensive as a judge on the whole and that was her ultimate shortcoming. Too normal to be massively memorable, yet memorable enough to be at number seven on this list.

6. Mel B

mel b, x factor uk

Whilst it’s not a rarety to see Mel B’s somewhat smoothed looking face on our screens nowadays, there was indeed a point where she was a judge on the X Factor. Just hanging around for series 11 before packing it in, her appearance was short and sweet – although it’s hardly a surprise given the behaviour she had to endure from evil Count Louis.

5. Kelly Rowland

kelly rowland

Kelly Rowland is undoubtedly iconic as a musician, but as an X Factor UK judge? We’ll hedge our bets that most people will have forgotten she appeared on season eight in 2011. Taking over from Dannii, Kelly oddly sat alongside Tulisa and Gary – you’d be hard-pressed to name a more nightmarish blunt rotation.

4. Robbie Williams

robbie williams

When they announced that ANOTHER Take That alumn would be joining the X Factor panel, many people were understandably jubilant at the prospect of Mark Owen from the good old LET IT SHINE Morrison’s adverts giving people a good old grilling. However, presumably on the realisation that it was in fact 90s badboy Robbie Williams instead, many defected from the show and it suffered as a result.

And to think if they got Mark, Howard or Jason into the mix, the X Factor would still be around today. 😠

3. Paula Abdul

paula abdul

Paula Abdul is someone you’re either not going to recognise for being on the show because she appeared so early on, or because you have no idea who she is regardless. Whatever your remembrance of Paul is, however, it’s fair to say that she’s definitely not memorable for anything she did on the show.

Her appearance as a guest judge on 2006’s season three hasn’t seemed to stick in anyone’s head.

2. Ayda Field

ayda field, x factor uk

Again, who?

Okay, let’s not be unduly mean and attempt to give Ayda some credit. After all, her appearance on the X Factor was less “forgettable” and more “you’d completely given up watching by this point”. Appearing alongside husband Robbie Williams, it seems that everyone had collectively switched off as is evident from the first episode becoming their lowest launch rating in 14 years.

1. Nick Grimshaw

Nick Grimshaw, x factor uk

And finally, coming in hot at the top of the list is none other than Nick Grimshaw, and I mean really – talk about fingers in pies. This man was hosting the Radio One breakfast show alongside several other BBC programmes during his tenure as a judge on the X Factor, yet that just hasn’t stopped him from being the last name anyone thinks of when tasked with recalling past judges.

The likes of Grimshaw and Robbo surely had to be the nail in the coffin for the X Factor, yet I’m sure money goblin Cowell will find a way to milk the last few drops from its saggy undercarriage. Tah tah!

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• The X Factor falsely painted me as mentally unstable in front of millions of people

• From Misha B to Diana Vickers: Where are X Factor’s most iconic finalists now?

• The 64 most genuinely insane things that actually happened on The X Factor