Back in 2010 I spotted something I knew was going to be very big at an early stage, I put my talent spotting reputation on the line and went to the media and told everyone... that prediction involved a certain One Direction.
"Good strong voice but I can't help thinking that he would look better as the lead singer in a boy band" was the comment I made 6.9.10 following Liam Payne's first audition.
Harry Styles was also identified in a later review as being another one to watch.
At the Bootcamp stage, Liam was put together with Harry. They joined Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson. What a combination. Together they became One Direction.
Just before Judges Houses, I announced that One Direction were to be my "Midas Act". At this stage many people in the industry challenged this decision, saying I had got it wrong. Comments being that the lads would be "no higher than sixth and would be finished in a year..."
The lads sailed into finals but although they had a bit of a tough first live performance together, the judges being a little too harsh, I did at the time say, "One Direction performed live for the first time and although it was not the best performance of the night I know for a fact that these guys will improve and will get better"
I kept the faith and kept supporting the lads. I just knew I was watching a great group in the making.
After week two, my review of the lads continued to be favourable, "I may be biased but I thought this was a fantastic performance, not perfection and certainly room for improvement but much much better than week one"
I could feel the momentum building, (and the girls screaming) and the doubters were not so cocky now when they interviewed me.
After week three, I had already picked out the eventual top three. "Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson and "Midas Act," One Direction are now looking like favourites and all three acts produced fantastic performances"
Week four was the real turning point. The audience and Judges had started to take a real interest in the lads. I could see the diamond appearing, the one I had seen back in late September, "I also thought for the first time that One Direction looked like the big stars they could be with their version of Bonny Tyler's, Total eclipse of the heart. Great stuff lads."
It was at week five that the pressure started to build for me. The interviews and weekly chats were getting more and more intense and that can clearly be seen by my review of the show "My 'Midas Act, One Direction gave another good show and are getting stronger and stronger every week, anything less than a top three finish would be a failure for me."
Half way through the live shows Liam Payne sent this message to me via his then manager Mr Paul Bailey, "Thanks so much for your support Dean." Now more that ever I wanted the lads to fulfil the prediction I had made.
Week six I published the following review, "Now without sounding at all biased I do think that my "Midas Act", One Direction stole the show."
In all my time reviewing the X Factor and making predictions I can honestly say I have never ever felt as much pressure as I did supporting the lads. I just really wanted to prove the doubters, (and there were many of them) wrong.
So as we hit the semi final I remember thinking, if the lads can just make the Final, it's job done.
Well of course they did and my review of this said, "One Direction, the band formed at Bootcamp from five rejects, is now in the Final and they really are looking and getting better every week. I think their version of Chasing Cars was brilliant and a master-stroke by Mr Cowell. Whatever happens next week the lads are going to be massive"
Liam Payne's then manager, Paul Bailey (who also deserves a lot of credit for their success) said about Me "Best in the business and appreciated by Liam and the One Direction boys."
Since the show the lads have reached number one with their debut single 'What Makes You Beautiful' and won a Brit award for best single.
And, as we speak it has been confirmed that One Direction have claimed the highest debut for a UK pop group on the US chart since the Spice Girls, reaching number 28 on the Hot 100 during its first week on sale, making it the highest from a UK pop group in the last 15 years.
So whatever happens for One Direction I will always look back with pride and satisfaction that the five lads formed at Bootcamp went on to become the big stars that I knew they would.Suggest a correction