Harry Styles' Full X Factor UK Audition Video Reveals He First Sang 'Hey, Soul Sister' for Judges

·3 min read

Fans can't get enough of teenage Harry Styles!

Over the weekend, The X Factor UK blessed One Direction fans with an extended cut of Styles' audition tape, which includes a previously-unseen rendition of Train's "Hey, Soul Sister."

When Styles' audition originally aired on ITV in 2010, only the 28-year-old Harry's House singer's rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" made the final cut. According to the extended version, however, it turns out Styles — who was 16 at the time — first performed Train's 2009 hit before judge Simon Cowell asked him to sing a song without the distraction of background music.

"I don't know whether it's the track that's throwing you, but can I hear something just you, without any music?" Cowell, 62, asked.

In addition to the song, the video also includes footage of the "Watermelon Sugar" singer talking about his bakery job and disclosing that his mom always complimented his singing talent — so he wanted to test it out.

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 29: Harry Styles performs on stage during Radio 1's Big Weekend 2022 at War Memorial Park on May 29, 2022 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 29: Harry Styles performs on stage during Radio 1's Big Weekend 2022 at War Memorial Park on May 29, 2022 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Dave J Hogan/Getty Harry Styles performs during Radio 1's Big Weekend 2022 at War Memorial Park on May 29, 2022.

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"I think I could do it, but I think with your help I could be a lot better than I am," Styles said after Cowell asked what he thought of his own talents.

Following Styles' audition, judge Louis Walsh voted "No" while Cheryl Cole and Cowell both gave him a "Yes."

Styles, along with Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan, auditioned for the show as solo artists. Early in the season, however, each contestant was eliminated as a soloist before they were brought back on stage and encouraged to form a band — eventually called One Direction — instead.

In the end, the band came in third place on the competition show and went on to release five studio albums before announcing an extended hiatus in 2015. Earlier that year, Malik had already announced his exit.

Since then, Styles has released three studio albums. Most recently, he dropped Harry's House in May, which includes fan-favorite tracks "As It Was" and "Late Night Talking."

In April, the British singer opened up about his journey from the band to a solo artist in an interview with Better Homes & Gardens for the outlet's June cover.

Styles explained that with One Direction, it became engrained in him that in order to be successful, he needed to be likeable — and that meant being well-behaved.

Harry Styles' Full 'X Factor UK' Audition Clip Reveals He First Performed 'Hey, Soul Sister' for Judges
Harry Styles' Full 'X Factor UK' Audition Clip Reveals He First Performed 'Hey, Soul Sister' for Judges

The X Factor UK/YouTube

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"In lockdown, I started processing a lot of stuff that happened when I was in the band," he said, noting that he was encouraged to give much of himself away in order "to get people to engage with you, to like you."

The Grammy winner said that journalists often peppered him with questions about his sex life, and he often left interviews worried that he'd said the wrong thing, a misstep that could possibly wind up voiding one of the cleanliness clauses he signed in his contracts.

Styles explained that those contracts often scared him into being on his best behavior —and when he finally went solo and signed a new contract that did not include such terms, he burst into tears.

"I felt free," Styles said.