The often stoic Zayn
was already hesitant to perform during his season of X Factor UK
in 2010 when One Direction was formed-- so much so that he initially refused to take part in a choreographed dance to Lady Gaga's "Telephone" with other contestants.
"I seriously don't want to do it," a then 17-year-old Zayn says during one memorable episode. "'Cause I hate dancing, and I've never done it before and I just feel like an idiot."
It takes a backstage pep talk from Simon Cowell himself to get him on-stage.
"You can't just hide .. you're ruining this for yourself," Cowell tells him bluntly. "If you can't do it now, you're never going to be able to do it."
The 22-year-old singer eventually does take part in the group dance, and while it's not exactly flawless, he's obviously pretty charming despite a few nerves.
"I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight," he said in a statement. "My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band."