5. Pussycat Doll
Anne was the one who ended up sending Harry’s X Factor application in when he got cold feet.
“People tell me I’m a good singer. It’s normally my mum,” the 16-year-old said, already the charmer, when he auditioned for The X Factor in the spring of 2010, performing Stevie Wonders‘ “Isn’t She Lovely” a cappella. “Singing is what I want to do and if people who can make that happen for me think I shouldn’t be doing that, then it’s a major setback in my plans.”
Well, they did and they didn’t. Harry didn’t make it through to the final Boys group, or even to the penultimate Boys group, but the show didn’t want to let him go.
Fatefully, Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger, who was a guest judge filling in for Cheryl Cole, thought to group Harry together with fellow aspiring solo artists Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson.
“Come on, I’m not going to take credit, but I’m going to take credit,” Scherzinger says in the 2013 documentary One Direction: Going Our Way about her usually uncredited role in capturing lightning in a bottle. (Louis Walsh, meanwhile, was the other judge, the one who infamously didn’t get Harry at all.)
It was Harry, however, who came up with the group’s name.
“I thought it sounded good,” he recalled on CBS Sunday Morning in 2017. “We threw around names for a little bit, and I honestly don’t know. I suggested it and everyone was like, ‘Yeah, we like that,’ and then it kind of stuck, and that was what it was.”
“Basically we just came up with the idea to make loads of names up,” Zayn said on Phoenix’s Hot 97.5 FM in 2012, “and it was one of the first names Harry came up with. He just texted it to us and we were like, ‘Yeah, I like that, it’s cool.’ There were some really embarrassing ones that Liam came up with…What was the other one? USP—Unique Selling Point.”