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Remember When Kane Brown Was on ‘The X Factor’?

It nearly feels like a lifetime has passed since Kane Brown announced he’d “probably go clubbin'” to celebrate a successful audition for the U.S. version of Simon Cowell‘s music competition show, The X Factor.

The singer tried out for the reality TV series on )ct. 27, 2013. And while Brown didn’t end up as a finalist on X Factor, it’s still a trip to look back at the video of the burgeoning star reveling in his audition triumph as a wide-eyed 19-year-old from Tennessee.

Above, watch the star-in-the-making recount his X Factor run-through for the show’s judges, which for Season 3 included Destiny’s Child‘s Kelly Rowland. In fact, it seems like Rowland played a large part in Brown’s success regarding his initial selection to compete on the program.

“It didn’t even seem real when I first walked out there,” Brown says. “Then Kelly just started smiling at me, and that’s what got me is the smile. When I started singing to her, she put her leg up on the desk. … I walked down, and I held her hand, and after that, I don’t even remember singing, honestly.”

Alas, as TV viewers might recall, Brown didn’t end up making a big splash on The X-Factor. It was around that time that reports emerged that Brown decided to take himself out of the running when the show’s producers wanted to include him in the lineup of a boy band. Can you imagine Brown performing as part of a One Direction or BTS-styled of outfit? Clearly, that type of trajectory wasn’t part of the singer’s vision for his ascent to stardom.

After his involvement in The X-Factor, Brown started making YouTube covers of popular country songs, and the rest is history.

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