"The X Factor" Releases Never-Before-Seen Version of Harry Styles' Original Audition Tape 🥺

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Photo credit: Neil Mockford
Photo credit: Neil Mockford

It's officially been 12 years since we first set our sights on the beloved cheeky pop icon Harry Styles. And with Harry having just wrapped up the European leg of Love on Tour 2022 and gearing up to star in girlfriend Olivia Wilde's film My Policeman in October, is there a better time to revisit his roots? That must have been The X Factor UK's exact thought when they decided to release the extended version of Harry’s original audition for the show.

On July 30, the YouTube channel for The X Factor UK quietly posted a six-minute long video titled "Harry Styles Audition: EXTENDED CUT." At the start of the clip, we see 16-year-old Harry nervously prepping for his X Factor audition, surrounded by a group of people wearing custom t-shirts that read “We Think Harry Has the X Factor.”

“I’m Harry Styles. I’m 16. I’m from Holmes Chapel in Cheshire,” Harry says, introducing himself to the camera. Then, the narrative rapidly begins to change. True Directioners remember that Harry sang Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" for his audition in 2010. Well it turns out that wasn't the only song Harry sang that fateful day. As the newly released footage reveals, Harry originally sang another song in hopes of impressing the judges. Train's "Hey, Soul Sister,” was the choice, and let’s just say it wasn't a hit right off the bat.

"I don't know whether it's the track that's throwing you, but can I hear something just you without any music?" Simon Cowell asks Harry in the video. The teen Harry then proceeds to sing the a capella version of "Isn't She Lovely” that we all saw on TV. “I’m really glad that we had the opportunity to hear you a capella because we could really hear how great your voice is. For 16 years old, you have a beautiful voice,” Nicole Scherzinger, who was revealed to be the driving force behind creating One Direction, says after Harry finishes the song.

In the newly released footage, Harry also chats about the bakery he worked at the time of auditioning (Viennese Fancies and Millionaire's Shortbread FTW), and reveals why he wanted to audition for The X Factor UK. "I’ve always wanted to audition but I’ve always been too young, so I thought I’d give it a whirl this time,” Styles says. “My mom's always told me that I'm a good singer and so have my friends so… I wanted to come and ask from the people who know."

And that charming audition lead to countless sold-out shows, three solo albums, and a nail polish brand! Watch the new (or is it old?) extended version of Harry’s audition below:

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