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Harry Styles’ Full ‘X Factor’ Audition Included a Train Song, Bakery Banter With Simon Cowell

The U.K. talent show shared some previously-unreleased footage in which Styles sang “Hey, Soul Sister,” before his a capella rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”

Jon Blistein Aug 02, 2022

The X Factor is still digging through its bag of unreleased One Direction archival footage, this time offering up an extended cut of Harry Styles’ original audition for the U.K. talent show.

When the show originally aired, Styles’ audition featured an a cappella rendition of the Stevie Wonder classic, “Isn’t She Lovely.” But as it turns out, he actually sang a bit of Train’s 2009 smash, “Hey, Soul Sister,” with some instrumental backing first. It wasn’t until Simon Cowell stopped Styles mid-performance that he decided to sing the song that eventually aired on television. 

On top of the extra audition song, the new clip boasts some bonus banter as the 16-year-old Styles chats with Cowell about working at a bakery and why he wanted to audition for The X-Factor. Styles said his mother had always told him he was a good singer, and when Cowell skeptically quips that “mums normally don’t know,” Styles was quick with a reply, peppered with just the right amount of flattery: “Yeah, that’s what I mean! So I wanted to come and ask the people who know… I think I could do it, but I think with your help, I could be a lot better than I am.”

The Styles footage arrived just about a week after The X Factor shared some never-before-seen footage for One Direction’s formation to mark the band’s 12th anniversary. While Cowell has often been credited with assembling the massively popular boy band, the new footage showed that his co-judge, Nicole Scherzinger, had a large hand in bringing Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan together. 

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“They’re just too talented to get rid of,” Scherzinger says of the individual members in the clip. “They have just the right look and the right charisma on stage, I think they’ll be really great in a boy band together. They’re like little stars. You can’t get rid of little stars, so you put them all together.”

From Rolling Stone US.


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