Save for his recent influx of golf-related tweets, Niall Horan has been pretty quiet on social media during One Direction’s hiatus. But on Friday, the 22-year-old got adorably nostalgic while commemorating the six-year anniversary of his X Factor audition.
When we first met Niall on April 15, 2010, he was a 16-year-old student from Mullingar, Ireland, who dreamt of being as famous as Justin Bieber.
“I’ve been compared to him a few times and it’s not a bad comparison,” Niall said before his audition. “I want to sell out arenas and make an album and work with some of the best artists in the world.”
Taking the stage before judges Simon Cowell, Katy Perry, Cheryl Cole, and Louis Walsh, Niall launched into Ne-Yo’s “So Sick,” which earned mixed reactions. Cowell said Niall was "unprepared" but still likable, and in the end, Perry was the deciding vote. Though she cited Niall’s young age as a potential hinderance, she admitted he was adorable and charismatic, and eventually gave him the “yes” he needed to move on to the next round, warning him, “Don’t let us down!”
The rest is destiny, as Niall was later grouped together with Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Zayn Malik during the show’s bootcamp stage, kicking off a lustrous career as One Direction. Those albums Niall wanted to make and arenas he once dreamt of selling out? Yeah, let's just say the past six years have exceeded his (and probably Katy Perry's) expectations. Happy six years, Niall!