The two pop stars - who helped form One Direction with Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson - auditioned for the singing competition in 2010 where they were put together to form the boy band.
And Liam has now said Zayn's mum Tricia had to convince him to audition for the show, which the 26-year-old singer believes contributed to him eventually quitting the group in 2015.
Speaking to the Daily Star newspaper's Wired column, Liam revealed: ''I remember Zayn telling us the story that it was his mum got him to go to the audition. On the day he didn't want to go and that was literally what we saw all the way through One Direction.
''We always kind of knew that there were moments when One Direction was really Zayn and then there were moments when it really wasn't.''
Zayn abruptly quit the band after the boys suspected he wasn't very happy in the group, and their friendship with the 27-year-old musician has since deteriorated.
One Direction carried on performing without Zayn until late 2015 when they decided to take an indefinite hiatus to focus on their own music, but have recently sparked rumours of a reunion to celebrate their 10th anniversary this year.
What's more, fans are hoping the boys will reunite with Zayn after they re-followed him on Twitter, but Liam thinks it is ''premature'' to expect them to reconcile.
He added: ''I think it is a bit premature [to think us re-following Zayn means he's back]. Look at it this the way, every time one of us releases an album it is another two years and now with this [coronavirus] on top of it everyone has had to backlog tours almost and cancel things.''
Meanwhile, the 'Strip That Down' hitmaker recently confessed it would be unlikely for Zayn to rejoin One Direction as he never enjoyed the spotlight, and joked he could be replaced by his 'Midnight' collaborator DJ Alesso when they get back together.
Speaking on Instagram Live with the latter, he quipped: ''You can come in and fill in for Zayn and join the band.''
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