Rightly or wrongly, most of us probably remember stand-out seasons by the mix of judges on the panel rather than the contestants competing on the stage. With the show on indefinite hiatus (depending on whether Simon wants to do it all again in 2021), we're taking a look back at why everyone left when they did.
Robbie Williams and Ayda Field
This married couple only signed up for the gig a year before they called it quits.
It was widely believed that Take That's former bad boy was just what The X Factor needed, but there were many that called into question the decision to bring his wife, film and TV star Ayda, along for the ride.
It all worked out in the end though and, despite not being reflected in the ratings, big boss Simon Cowell was happy with how the new-look panel panned out during the 2018 series.
Despite previously joking that they'd be making Cowell pay the big bucks if he wanted them to stay on the judging panel for 2019, Robbie officially cited a jam-packed schedule as the reason for walking away.
"We’re gutted to tell you we won’t be able to return to The X Factor this year," Robbie wrote as part of a lengthy statement on Instagram.
"We will, however, be working on projects with Simon going forward – and as huge fans of the show, we will still be tuning into The X Factor, voting and winding Simon up…x."
Did she quit? Was she fired? We're still not really sure.
In the announcement from ITV, it was explained that Mrs O had "decided not to return" for the 2018 series, which had already downgraded her role from the full-time judging table to an impartial fifth adjudicator at the live shows.
However, with the news coming shortly after Sharon had shared some, shall we say, controversial comments about the talent show – targeting "little shit" auditionees and branding Simon Cowell a "f**king pain in the arse" – many thought there was more to it.
In her own statement released at the same time, Sharon seemed to back up the official line. "After watching the new season [of] X Factor unfold, I've seen the new judges finding their rhythm and are doing brilliantly," she said.
"Simon was so gracious to find me a spot on the live shows but at this point I really don't think I'm needed and I would honestly feel odd coming in at this point. So I have decided to pass on the series this year."
But, fast forward six months, and Sharon had a very different story to tell. Speaking on her chat show The Talk, she alleged that Simon "changed his mind and thought I was too old". Simon hasn't yet responded to Sharon's claim.
Some might argue that it's just not The X Factor without Louis Walsh. In fact, during the 2018 press conference for the show, even Simon Cowell admitted that "we wouldn't be sitting here, if I'm honest with you, without Louis."
And yet, Louis walked away before that series launched with a brand new set of judges.
In fairness, Louis had been dropping a few hints that he might not be coming back. But it remains unclear as to whether it had been Louis that ultimately decided enough was enough.
The much-loved judge quit her X Factor role for the second time in 2016, after much speculation over her future on the show.
"I have learnt so much and enjoyed nurturing talent, but I've missed making music and am excited to be recording again," she said at the time.
Of course, as a big part of the X Factor family, the door has always remained open for Chezza to hop back on the stage and perform some new material. And she recently appeared as a dance captain on another Simon Cowell-produced show – The Greatest Dancer.
N-Dubz star Tulisa became a firm fan-favourite during her short stint as an X Factor judge as part of series eight and nine. Not only was she incredibly likeable, but she proved to be pretty ace at the whole mentoring thing when her act Little Mix became the first band in X Factor's history to win the competition.
Tulisa's decision to leave was announced in 2013. "Just wanted to let you all know that I won't be part of the X Factor panel this year," she wrote on Twitter at the time.
"I've had a great time on the show, but this year it's time to do something different... I'd like to thank everyone on The X Factor for two amazing years."
In the same year that Cheryl walked out of X Factor's doors for the second time, the show also lost Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora.
While this might seem like some sort of coordinated cull, Rita (who's also a former Voice UK coach), actually left the ITV show because of scheduling conflicts.
"Rita brought a great energy to the show last year and did a brilliant job mentoring the girls' category, leading Louisa [Johnson] to victory," an X Factor spokesman told Digital Spy in 2016.
"We wish her all the best with her music and film plans for the rest of the year."
The Destiny's Child singer only featured in one series before announcing in 2012 that she would be leaving.
"After much speculation, we can officially confirm today that Kelly Rowland has decided not to return as a judge again for this year's UK X Factor," her spokesperson said at the time.
The reason given was a combination of "global commitments" and "increasing demands" of the show.
Okay okay, so he's not a judge. But Dermot is synonymous with The X Factor and fans of the show were left reeling when he quit in 2015.
Dermot decided to leave after 8 years in order to pursue other projects but later revealed that, having still not received confirmation from ITV that he would be filming for the new series (which was due to start in a matter of weeks) he had actually told them to count him out.
Thankfully, this decision didn't stick. After being replaced by former X Factor contestant Olly Murs and Caroline Flack for one series, Dermot returned to host the show in 2016.
The X Factor is on indefinite hiatus.
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