By : Isabel Mohan
Back in 2010, the country was lacking a band for teenage girls to throw their knickers at. Westlife had withered into their stools and the charts were dominated by female artists like Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. There was a gap in the market for a new boy band and, naturally, Simon Cowell had spotted it.
So, did he tirelessly trawl the dingy pubs and working men’s clubs of Britain, in search of a diamond in the rough? Of course not, he sat in a TV studio and waited for the answer to his prayers to come to him. He didn’t have to hang around long…
The X Factor
Wagner. Katie Waissel. Tesco Mary. These are just a few of the musical legends that X Factor 2010 presented us with. Sadly, though, their success was ultimately overshadowed by five young men who all auditioned separately but were manufactured into a group before our very eyes.
Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson (they may or may not be listed here in order of handsomeness; you decide) became One Direction, and a pop sensation was born.
Even at this early stage, some of the boys seemed more excited than others. In fact, Zayn Malik very nearly didn’t make the cut after refusing to dance at boot camp. Thankfully, Simon Cowell quickly persuaded him that he was a performing monkey after all, and the show went on. Even though 1D only came third in the series – after Matt Cardle and Rebecca Ferguson – Cowell signed them up in a reported £2 million deal which presumably covered a few dance lessons.
But this wasn’t the first time during those early days that Zayn seemed like a reluctant popstar – during the boy band’s first big interview with heat magazine, just days after X Factor wrapped up, he admitted that he didn’t like the idea of fame.
Auditioning for X Factor when you don’t like the idea of fame is a bit like going to Nandos for dinner when you don’t really like chicken, but 17-year-old boys aren’t known for their foresight.