Simon Cowell is dishing a few secrets about X Factor, a show that produced stars like Harry Styles and Camila Cabello.

Speaking with Extra, the mega producer explained that he is the reason Camila was able to audition. The “Havana” singer made a name for herself on the show’s second season as a member of Fifth Harmony, but Cowell said his first meeting with her wasn’t a happy one.

“I happened to go backstage and I saw her crying, asked her why she was crying and she said, you know, it was too late for her to audition because she was a reserve, whatever that meant,” he recalled. “She wasn’t really supposed to audition.”

Cowell must have seen something in Camila, because he personally intervened on her behalf. “I said to her, ‘Well, I’m one of the producers, you just got an audition,"” he revealed.

He said that is a clear example of why he loves doing reality competition shows.

“Seeing Camilla today or Harry StylesLeona LewisCarrie UnderwoodKelly Clarkson, there’s been so many times luckily where I’ve been there at that moment where their career is going to go in a completely different direction,” said Cowell. “If we didn’t have those things happen, then there’d be no point making the shows.”

Speaking of Harry, the producer said he saw greatness in the “Adore You” singer during his first audition. “I remember his audition like it was yesterday. He was very charming, he was very confident, he was very funny, and I liked him,” Cowell said. “I just thought there’s something … special about him … You never forget those moments.”

He added discovering some of the world’s biggest stars and helping them achieve success is what he’s “most proud of,” which he says adds more depth to his shows.

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