In 2010, 17-year-old Malik auditioned in Manchester for the seventh series of reality-television competition The X Factor. On the morning of the audition, Malik became nervous and did not want to attend, but his mother eventually forced him out of bed and coaxed him into going. He sang "Let Me Love You" by Mario as his audition song and was accepted into the next round. Upon auditioning for The X Factor, Malik stated that he was "looking for an experience". He was eliminated before the final round of the competition, but judges Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell grouped him with fellow competitors Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson to form a new act for the remainder of the show, the boy band that would become known as One Direction. The group quickly gained popularity in the UK, finished in third place, and were subsequently signed by Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco Records record contract. They subsequently signed in North America with Columbia Records.