'The X Factor' released a video for One Direction's 12-year anniversary that shows how the band came...

This Never-Before-Seen Footage Of How One Direction Was Formed Is Music History

"They're like little stars. You can't get rid of little stars."


There is no denying that the One Direction phenomena dominated the 2010s with impossibly catchy hits and boyband charm. Though the band disassembled in 2015, the group is still celebrated by legions of fans today, especially on July 23 each year. The date is considered the boy band’s anniversary, marking the X Factor episode where the five singers were put together for the first time. As a treat for fans on 1D’s twelfth anniversary this year, The X Factor UK uploaded a video to their YouTube channel that brought all of the 1D nostalgia back for fans and even revealed some brand-new details.

Fans know that the band was formed on The X Factor and mentored by Simon Cowell (who later signed them to a record label following their third place win/loss on the show), but finally, we get to see how the group actually came together. In the video posted on July 23, fans get an inside look at the decision-making process between judges Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger, and Louis Walsh. Dozens of polaroid pictures were mixed and matched as the three judges debated which male singers to group together in a band.

“Let’s do an imaginary boy band,” Scherzinger suggested, unknowingly about to put together one of the most popular boy bands of all time. It all started with Niall Horan, whose picture was pulled first; when Harry Styles’ picture was pulled, Scherzinger exclaimed “Yes, yes! Put him with him (Horan)!” The other two judges agreed, and so Styles was added to the line-up. As soon as Louis Tomlinson’s picture was added to the group, Scherzinger saw their potential for stardom.

“They're the cutest boy band ever! I love it,” Scherzinger said, adding, “The little girls are gonna love them!” Even before 1D all came together and launched their careers, you can see the magic being made as the judges put together the band piece by piece until the puzzle was complete. When the trio added Liam Payne to the group, Cowell remarked that he would act as the leader of the band, but as we know now, One Direction’s star-studded career proved that there was no definite leader.

One of the biggest revelations to come from the new video is that while Cowell and Walsh gave their input on the band, it seems that Scherzinger was the most pivotal in selecting the five members. “They’re like little stars. You can’t get rid of little stars, you know, so you put ‘em all together,” Scherzinger gushed at one point.

The X Factor UK documented 1D’s journey through the competition in 2010, only to break the hearts of a million fans when the boys did not win. Just when their career felt like it had stopped before it started, Cowell signed them to his own record label Syco Music and music magic was made. The band released their first album, Up All Night, in 2012 and the rest is history.

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Although One Direction split up hiatus in 2015, each of the singers now has a solo career that showcases their individual talents. The X Factor judges were absolutely spot-on in pulling those five specific photos, because not only did One Direction shine as a group, each member continues to shine on his own to this day.