Theo Wargo/Getty Camila Cabello
Fifth Harmony may have never existed if Camila Cabello wasn’t such a Directioner.
The former girl group member and current The Voice coach, 25, revealed to Access that she auditioned for the singing competition show before bailing to give The X Factor a try in 2012.
Although she made it through a round with producers after singing “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, Cabello eventually left The Voice to chase something other than stardom: One Direction.
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“I don’t even know if I can tell the rest of the story,” she shared. “I did make it in the producer round, not the TV round. I never auditioned for the coaches.
“And then I was like, I really wanted to meet One Direction, and I knew that they were gonna perform for X Factor. So I was like, ‘I’m just gonna risk it and not do The Voice and audition for X Factor.’ And then I did end up meeting One Direction,” Cabello added.
Tyler Golden/NBC via Getty Camila Cabello and Blake Shelton
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Cabello’s time on X Factor famously led to Simon Cowell’s formation of Fifth Harmony, the girl group that finished in 3rd place on the US version’s second season and went on to win an American Music Award and four MTV Video Music Awards during their six-year run.
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As she very well knew at the time, One Direction also got its start on the UK version of the series in 2010, when Cowell, 63, united Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne to build a supergroup of contestants. In Cabello’s eyes, rolling with Cowell meant meeting her idols.
“It’s a pretty wild move,” she said of her decision to leave The Voice, before she eventually returned this season as a coach. “It’s like it was a magnet, I was meant to be back.”
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Camila Cabello
Although Fifth Harmony’s members now each have their own solo careers, Cowell explained this month that an X Factor comeback isn’t completely off the table.
“I think about 24 hours ago, I just came to a decision, which is — literally I was thinking on my own — if I had a choice, I would do it here,” he told Access Hollywood‘s Scott Evans. “I swear to God.”
Cowell said he was reminiscing about “about how much fun” he had with Cabello and the rest of the group — which also included Normani, Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke and Dinah Jane — and that a US version could always be something to revisit.
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The shapes American Idol judge founded both the UK and US versions of The X Factor, the latter of which ended in 2013 after three seasons. Both shows managed to kick off the careers of groups like One Direction, Fifth Harmony and Little Mix.
“Because I like working with groups, and there aren’t that many groups at the moment, and we found some great groups on that show,” Cowell added. “And it was like, yeah, I would do it just for that reason.”