5 ways One Direction can beat the competition


As the world prepares for the second season of the U.S. version of "The X Factor," bossman Simon Cowell has his sights set on one act in particular: He wants to find the next big boy band to rival ubiquitous U.K. newcomers One Direction.

Pop music is experiencing a boy band revival, with One Direction and fellow U.K. group The Wanted leading the pack. According to Cowell, that leaves plenty of room for an American group to step into the ring -- and that's exactly what he predicts will happen in soon. Unsurprisingly, Cowell wants to be the one to find them and sculpt them, like he did with One Direction.

But can the British boys keep up with the competition? Boy bands come and go, and the battle for girls' hearts is intense. Here are a a few ways Harry, Louis, Niall, Zayn, and Liam can stay on top.

Venture into new business territory
The One Direction boys already have their own dolls, and things like fragrances, clothing lines, and recording studios are so passé. These guys should find a unique offshoot business that can set them apart from the crowd. What about individually-packaged locks of hair? We bet millions of fans would pay good money for one of Harry's signature curls.

Bring back the 'wet' look
The Backstreet Boys rocked the "tortured in the rain" look in the '90s; we think it's due for a comeback. One Direction spent all of "What Makes You Beautiful" on the beach, but never went swimming. A little extra competition might send them over the edge!

Go angsty
Everybody does it. N'Sync got mad at their haters with "Pop" and exposed the harsh side of adoration with "Bye, Bye, Bye," while BSB did it with "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." Even Justin Bieber's doing it now with his alleged-baby-mama track on his upcoming album "Believe." Fame can be tough, so be angry about it! We know the stress is already getting to the boys, with fans threatening their girlfriends and being generally overwhelming. So stop singing about how a girl's hair plucks at your heartstrings, and start singing about how you want to tear own your hair out!

Learn from their elders
One Direction are still new in the world of boy bands. So, why not learn from those who have come before them? It looks like Niall has already begun doing this, meeting up with the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block after their London on April 29. But this picture from Niall's Twitter account got us thinking: Could a turbo-mega-boy-band-super-group extravaganza be on the horizon? As the saying goes, "if you can't beat'em, join'em."

Embrace the "power couple"
Not that we want to pry into the 1D's private lives -- well, we don't want to pry too much. But everyone does love a good Hollywood power couple, and the fun name acronyms that go with them. How about a combination of Harry and Carly Rae Jepsen -- we could call them Harly Rae! Or Zayne and Taylor Swift (Zaylor), or maybe even Niall and Rihanna (Nianna). We bet the "Directioners" wouldn't have the guts to harass those leading ladies on Twitter.

If the lads of One Direction listen to our advice, then no one, not even Simon Cowell's future pet projects, can touch them.

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