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How Are Nicole Scherzinger And One Direction Connected?

One Direction was the talk of the industry during their run as a boy band in the early 2010s. Songs like “Night Changes,” “What Makes You Beautiful,” and “Story Of My Life” will forever link Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne, even as they prosper in their solo careers. An important, previously unknown detail is the role that Nicole Scherzinger played in the group coming together during their run on The X Factor UK.

The former lead vocalist for the Pussycat Dolls played the role of a judge during the show’s tenth season alongside the former American Idol judge Simon Cowell. Both have taken credit for 1D’s formation over the years, but footage leaked recently that shows Scherzinger deserves a lot more credit for the five men coming together.

In July, The X Factor UK shared an unreleased clip of Cowell, Scherzinger, and Louis Walsh looking at pictures of contestants. As they attempted to decide who should advance in the competition, Scherzinger said, “Let’s do an imaginary boy band […] instead of just saying ‘no.’” They eventually decided that Styles, Horan, Malik, Tomlinson, and Payne would be banded together en route to becoming the popular boy band known as One Direction.

Scherzinger spoke in a recent interview with Sherri Shepherd on Shepherd’s eponymous talk show where she expressed her gratitude for the footage coming out.

“Honestly, I never thought this footage would see the light of day. I thought Simon burned it [laughs]. And it’s really cool that it came out because what people are actually seeing is me actually putting them together […] and being like, ‘Look, I just came out of a girl group, I know how successful and powerful it can be to be a group, we gotta join forces.’ It’s amazing to think… we didn’t have anything at that time, so I’m super proud that I got to play a small part — or a big part […] They made history, right? To be a small part of history.”

Her gratitude comes after saying back in a 2014 interview, “I’m happy for their success. I can’t believe I put together the group and then I’m at Walmart buying One Direction bags for my nieces. Like, something is wrong with this picture! […] Where’s my cut? Seriously? I’m a giver, what can I say? I gave the world One Direction.”

Now, any doubts about Scherzinger’s impact on One Direction can be put to rest.

Check out the clip of One Direction’s formation above.