Watch baby Harry Styles and the rest of One Direction in unseen ‘X-Factor’ footage

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Before Harry Styles became a globe-trotting, chart-topping solo superstar, he was just a teenage kid who got weepy at the idea that he was getting a shot at a music career. You can see it happen in 30 minutes of previously unreleased X-Factor UK footage from 2010.

The unseen footage shows the newly minted members of One Direction — Harry, Liam PayneNiall HoranZayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson — during the Judges’ Houses part of the competition, rehearsing several songs. They had auditioned separately, but judge Nicole Scherzinger decided to put them together in a group.

In the footage, the boys rehearse Natalie Imbruglia‘s “Torn” and perform it for judge Simon Cowell, who pronounces himself very impressed with how good all five of them are, “particularly the kid with the curly hair” — that’d be Harry. The boys also serenade Simon with a never-before-seen performance of Kelly Clarkson‘s  “My Life Would Suck Without You.”

After Simon tells the boys they’re through to the next round, they scream, cry and hug Simon. “I promise you, something magic has happened here,” Simon tells them. “Magic.”

Simon was right. Even though 1D didn’t win X-Factor, they quickly became one of the biggest acts in the world, breaking chart records, filling stadiums and eventually selling 70 million records worldwide. They went on permanent hiatus in 2016.


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