The mastermind behind U.K. sensation One Direction, Simon Cowell talked with Hot 95.7/Houston about the band’s inception. Of all the bands he has mentored and discovered over the years, he said he is most excited to be behind their career.

“These are five boys who entered X Factor U.K. two years ago in 2010 but they had entered the show as solo artists,” he said. “I decided at the last minute to put them into a group and I’ve got a feeling that they’re going to debut at No. 1 tomorrow.”

Cowell admits he never fathomed the band’s success.

“It was only because I put them together that they became a group. If someone had told me two years ago that they’re going to debut at No. 1 in America, you just wouldn’t believe it. But I genuinely think it’s going to happen.”

Appreciative of his support, One Direction look to Cowell for advice.

“He gave us one piece of advice that was probably the best advice which was, ‘You guys need to be the band that you want to be. You can’t be fake about anything,'” Zayn Malik said.

On Thursday, X Factor auditions will take place in Austin, Texas. The rules have changed slightly this year as artists who have managers will be allowed to audition.

“We would never say to an artist if they walked in with a manager [to our record label], ‘We’re not going to sign you.’ It was stupid to keep that rule on X Factor. Hopefully we’ll get some better talent through that.”

When asked if Cowell runs background checks on artists he joked, “Starting with the judges.” With no developments on this season’s judges, a verdict should occur within the next month.

“Every day something different happens but I don’t think we’re going to make a decision for the next three or four weeks.”

– Annie Reuter CBS Local

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