The X Factor revealed never-before-seen footage of the formation of One Direction to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the boy band, with the unearthed video showing that judge Nicole Scherzinger had a large hand in assembling the group.
After flashing back to the first time One Direction appeared onstage together in 2010 — Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan were all eliminated as solo performers before the judges invited them back as a group — The X Factor uploaded the backstage deliberations that resulted in the members of the five-piece being selected among all the other rejected singers.
“For the first time ever, here is how the decision is made,” the video says before cutting to the footage of Scherzinger and Simon Cowell sifting through photos of the “Boys” category leftovers and grouping up potential boy bands.
With Horan’s photo already up at the top of the table, it’s Scherzinger who exclaims “Yes!” when she sees Styles’ photo and suggests they pair Styles with Horan. “It’s the cutest boy band ever,” she says. Tomlinson is then added to the mix. “The little girls are gonna love them,” Scherzinger said.
“They’re just too talented to get rid of,” Scherzinger added of One Direction as they became born on the table in front of her. “They have just the right look and the right charisma on stage, I think they’ll be really great in a boy band together. They’re like little stars. You can’t get rid of little stars, so you put them all together.”
Later, after Payne’s photo is added to the 1D pile, Cowell suggests that maybe that singer should go into another potential group. Scherzinger again stands by the decision. “He can actually maybe be the leader,” she said. Malik is finally added to the five-piece, and the rest is history.