Looks like Liam Payne was the expected leader of One Direction after all

In June, One Direction alum Liam Payne found himself in hot water after claiming that he was the reason the iconic boy band formed. Here’s why.

OG fans, who were there from the very beginning, questioned the legitimacy of his claim since, from their standpoint, the band never truly had a leader per se. While singing parts weren’t divided equally between the boys, One Direction never had a member who was singled out as the lead singer. What’s more, with Harry Styles and Zayn Malik in the band, it was rather difficult for many to believe that Payne was meant to be the lead and not either of the aforementioned charismatic superstars.

As a result of the above claims, a new never-before-seen clip from X Factor came forward and set the record straight, and it turns out that Liam Payne was meant to be the lead.

Exclusive X Factor clip reveals One Direction’s origins

In light of One Direction’s 12th anniversary, X Factor, the reality show where the band first formed, released exclusive footage of how judges Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger, and Louis Walsh used their intuition to create one of the greatest boy bands of all time.

In the video, we see Payne was the fourth member added to the lineup. Initially, Cowell had a few doubts about him, as he believed that Payne “thinks he’s better than anyone else”, but Scherzinger and Walsh were quick to defend Payne with everything they had.

“I think that he [Payne] would definitely shine,” Scherzinger stated. “He could actually be the leader.”

Still don’t believe us? Then check out the full clip for yourself below.

At first, Payne’s confidence was mistaken for arrogance, but once he was officially included in the group, the X Factor judges’ eyes lit up. Even they couldn’t deny that he was a force to be reckoned with; the second to last missing puzzle piece of One Direction.

Safe to say, it looks like everyone owes Liam Payne one big apology. Perhaps after forgiving us, our amazing leader will rally the boys together to give us one last farewell. (Pretty please, Liam!)