This Was Them: 5 Weird Things You Didn’t Know About One Direction’s Origin

In the new documentary, This Is Us, One Direction takes us behind the scenes on their recent world tour and opens up about who they are as a band. However, This Is Us isn’t the first time the boys have had the cameras following them.

Most everyone knows that One Direction started out on the UK version of X Factor, but unless they watched that reality show as obsessively as we (and most Directioners) do, they might not have picked up on some really weird and fascinating parts of the boy band’s origin story.

Did you know that a sea urchin almost destroyed the group? Or that One Direction was this close to having a Welsh member? Or that One Direction might never had existed if not for the benevolence of Katy Perry?

1) Katy Perry Might Have Given Us One Direction

The key to any insanely successful boy band doesn’t come down to looks or singing ability, but pure chemistry. Every member plays a key role and the effervescent Niall Horan may never have even gotten passed in his first round audition if Katy Perry hadn’t indulged a generous whim.
An adorably cocky 16-year-old Niall did okay on his audition, but it was clear that the judges all thought he was too inexperienced and undertrained. Cheryl Cole and Katy Perry were particularly harsh when it came to his lack of experience. Louis Walsh, who has a penchant for choosing charming people, fought for Niall and Simon Cowell relented. Cheryl Cole gave him a “no.”

It came down to whether or not Katy Perry would change her mind about the kid. Though Katy was reticent, she acquiesced and let Niall through to bootcamp because he had “a seed” of talent.

Speaking of the importance of chemistry, one of the members of One Direction almost became a successful solo singer on X Factor…twice. Oh, and it wasn’t Harry Styles

2) Liam Was Supposed To Have Gone Solo…Twice

Sure, Harry Styles is the one in the band who gets all the headlines and Zayn Malik is the one whom pop music critics like to think will have the biggest solo career, but Liam Payne was the one who was supposed to have been the big solo star.

Not once, but twice, Liam was groomed on X Factor UK for a possible “British Bieber who sounds like a baby Bublé” arc.

In 2008, he auditioned for the first time by singing Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon,” and he made it to Bootcamp. Then Simon Cowell brought him to Judges’ Houses to audition for a final time before the live shows. Ultimately, Simon thought the 14-year-old crooner was still a bit too immature for the spotlight–but he openly admitted to the show’s host that Liam came this close to making the cut. Simon advised Liam to take two years, get his GSCE (Britain’s version of a GED or basic high school diploma), and come back.

Liam did just that and produced what was thought to be one of the best auditions that year:

Embedded from