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Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Zane Malik and Niall Horan of 'One Direction' attend a photocall during the X Factor press conference at the Connaught Hotel on December 9, 2010 in London, England.

The X Factor has unveiled a never-before-seen clip of the process which led to the judges putting together the biggest boy band group since Backstreet Boys and NYSNC — One Direction.

Filmed during the 2010 series, the clip features judges Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh playing with the idea of putting together some of the boys from the solo auditions into a group. Early in the clip, Cowell puts a picture of Niall Horan down on the table and declares that he should be in the group if they do go ahead with the idea.

“I’m not saying we’re going to do it, but I’d like to imagine it,” said Cowell. Scherzinger suggested that her fellow judges should “do an imaginary boyband” with some of their favorite boys, adding Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson to the hypothetical group.

The Pussycat Dolls star said, “They are the cutest boyband ever, I love it. The little girls are going to love them. They’re just too talented to get rid of. They’ve got the right look and charisma on stage. I think they’ll be really great in a boyband. They’re like little stars and you can’t get rid of little stars so you put them all together.”

In perhaps the one part of the One Direction story the judges got wrong at this early stage, they suggested that Liam Payne’s “standout” audition and confidence meant that he “could be the leader” of the group. To this, Simon responds, “He thinks he’s better than anyone else in that list.”

As we earlier reported, Liam Payne said in an interview that One Direction was formed around him. Simon “started with my face, and then worked around the rest. I was the honorary member of One Direction. He told me that story himself at his house”

Watch the never-before-seen footage marking One Direction’s 12 year anniversary below:

One Direction ultimately finished in third place on the 2010 series of The X Factor, behind winner Matt Cardle and runner-up Rebecca Ferguson. They made their 2011 debut with the single “What Makes You Beautiful,” breaking pre-order records and hitting the tops of the charts.

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