|The X Factor (UK)|
The X Factor was created by Simon Cowell in September 2004 and features singers chosen from public auditions. The winner for the seventh series would receive a £1 million recording contract with the Syco Music record label. It was hosted by Dermot O'Leary, with the spin-off show The Xtra Factor currently being hosted by Caroline Flack and Olly Murs on ITV2.
- Main article: The X Factor (Season 7)
Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, and Zayn Malik auditioned as solo artists. All five made it through to bootcamp. However, at the end of bootcamp, all were eliminated as solo artists. As the eliminated contestants all prepared to leave, Harry, Liam, Louis, Niall, and Zayn were called back. Since the groups category was the weakest, it had been decided that five rejected soloists from the Boys category and four from the Girls category would form two groups. The boys were put through to the judge's houses round and named themselves One Direction. Simon was their mentor. At the judges' house, One Direction performed Torn by Natalie Imbruglia and succeeded onto the live shows. Ultimately, they placed third.
One Direction appeared on The X Factor on November 13, 2011 for the sixth week of the live shows. They performed their new single, "Gotta Be You". On November 27, 2011, they returned to perform the charity single "Wishing on a Star" with the finalists and JLS. During the season eight live final on December 10, 2011, One Direction performed alongside JLS in a "mash-up" performance. JLS began the performance with "She Makes Me Wanna". One Direction then joined them with "What Makes You Beautiful". At the end both groups sang alternating between both songs.
On October 6, 2012, One Direction made a surprise guest appearance during the first live show. They had a short interview with Dermot O'Leary where they touched on how they felt when they were on The X Factor, and advice they have for the current contestants, On November 6, 2012 during the sixth week of live shows, a pre-recorded performance of "Little Things" was aired.
On October 24, Louis Tomlinson served as a guest judge for Simon Cowell during the Judges Houses stage of the competition.