Prior to Simon Cowell bringing over “The X Factor” to the United States, I didn’t pay much attention to the show. Sure, I loved Leona Lewis and “Bleeding Love” but other than that I wasn’t invested at all. After watching the first season of the American version, I caught the eighth series of the UK one where Little Mix won. Not only did I fall in love with them but also with the show.

With the success of One Direction around the world, I decided to check them out from their X Factor beginnings before becoming a global sensation. I have to give it to Simon Cowell and his team for making the band what it is. Based on their initial auditions and first group performance, I never would’ve predicted their meteoric rise. While adorable looking, they weren’t the best vocally and lacked that group chemistry. They definitely began to come together as the weeks went on. Just compare their group performance at Simon’s home to their X Factor Series 7 Final performances where they placed in third to Rebecca Ferguson and eventual winner Matt Cardle.

Say what you will about Simon Cowell, but he certainly has knack for picking talent and marketing them. Based on their initial auditions, I certainly wouldn’t have said yes to a couple of them. But somehow Simon knew together they would make millions. Back in 2008, Liam Payne, then 14, tried out and made it to Simon’s house where Cowell rejected him and told him to come back in two years. And come back he did. Now, Payne sings most of the lead parts. During the bootcamp round, Simon noticed Zayn Malik was missing from the dancing portion and searched for him. Zayn didn’t like to dance, but Cowell convinced him to give it a go. I think at that time, Simon had already decided he was probably putting Zayn in his boy band group. Otherwise, he would’ve kicked him out for his divo behavior.

As mentioned before, One Direction started off shaky on the show with their first performance- Natalia Imbruglia’s “Torn“. Then as their confidence grew, their performances got stronger. Check out their covers of Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, The Beatles, Elton John, Coldplay, Bryan Adams and more below. The thing I noticed from the video was how Harry Styles started getting solos after the sixth week of competition. Up until that point, it was the Liam Payne show. Poor Louis Tomlinson (whom I love) never got a significant solo on the show, nor in their future music videos so far. Is he the Lance Bass of the group? Vocally and homosexually 😉

Judges Home

The Live Performances

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Did you watch One Direction on “The X Factor“? What was your favorite performance? Who’s your favorite member of the group. Sound off below.