Simon Cowell 'Inspired' By One Direction

He reckons Harry and co are setting a good example

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One Direction are so massive that it's easy to forget that before they achieved international success, they were runners up on a humble telly talent show. However, one man wants to make sure we remember - Simon Cowell.

Simon told MTV News "it just proves the point that you can enter one of these shows, and even though you didn't win, you can have a big career afterwards."

The X Factor USA judge said that the boys' success should spur the current contestants on. "I think they're good examples for the other contestants, you know what the show can do for people."

We definitely noticed Harry, Liam, Niall, Louis and Zayn on the show back in 2010 - but to be honest, we think we'd have noticed them if they'd been hanging about a supermarket car park eating pasties. However, we have to credit Simon for introducing them to each other.

One Direction performed their new single, 'Live While You're Young' on X Factor USA last night. According to Liam, the performance went well. "We had a great time, so we're really happy," he said.

Check out the boys' performance here:

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One Direction perform on the X Factor USA (Splash News)