In 2010, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson all applied as solo candidates for the The X Factor.

The Auditions
Niall Horan auditioned with “So Sick” and received mixed comments from judges present at his audition, with Louis Walsh in his favor. While two other judges having doubts on whether he was ready to progress in the competition.
At the audition, Zayn Malik sand “Let Me Love You” and got through to the bootcamp.
Payne had auditioned in 2008 to The X Factor’s fifth series when he was 14 and reached judges’ houses, but Cowell thought he was not ready for the competition and asked him to come back in two years. This time Payne auditioned singing “Cry Me a River” and received a standing ovation from the audience and Simon Cowell.
Harry Styles auditioned with “Isn’t She Lovely” and received positive comments from two of the three judges present at his audition, with Louis Walsh having doubts on whether he was ready to progress in the competition.
Louis Tomlinson auditioned with “Hey There Delilah”,with three votes out of three judges present at his audition he was sent to bootcamp.

At the Bootcamp
At bootcamp, Niall Horan sang “Champagne Supernova”.
Zayn Malik was noted becoming nervous in bootcamp, and when he was told he had to dance, he decided to remain backstage, effectively running the risk of elimination. Cowell noticed Malik missing from the dance routine and went backstage and convinced him to return. He sang “Make You Feel My Love”.
At bootcamp, Harry Styles and Liam Payne sang “Stop Crying Your Heart Out”
Louis Tomlinson sang “Make You Feel My Love” before being rejected at bootcamp.
With three votes out of four he was sent to bootcamp. At bootcamp, he sang “Champagne Supernova”.

Becoming One Direction
After a suggestion by guest judge Nicole Scherzinger, the judges said that the boys were too talented to let go off and the five were put into a band, thus qualifying for the “Groups” category. Over the days, they got to know each other better and performed every week progressively.

After the elimination of F.Y.D., Diva Fever and Belle Amie within four weeks, they were Simon Cowell’s last act in the competition. One Direction finished third behind runner-up Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle. Even though, Simon Cowell had made it very clear that only the winner would be signed to a record label, he knew there was something about the boys and offered One Direction to sign with Sony Music Entertainment.

So, the end of their X-Factor Journey was just the beginning of One Direction !

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