Liam Payne singlehandedly inspired the despairing #OneDirectionIsOverParty hashtag last week, when he upset optimistic One Direction fans everywhere after announcing he’d signed a solo deal with Capitol Records. And based on recent comments, former mentor Simon Cowell appears to be one of those deeply spurned by Liam’s new musical venture.

During a recent press conference for America’s Got Talent, Simon commented on One Direction as a whole but conveniently omitted Liam’s name when addressing their “loyalty,” a quality 1D fans hold very dear to their hearts. Hmmmm.

“We’re in touch with them,” he said via the BBC. “The great thing about all these boys — well not all of them but most of them — they are incredibly loyal and you don’t always expect that. Niall, Harry, Louis — amazing.”

After successfully planting seeds of doubt into the minds of Directioners everywhere (not sweet, paternal Liam Payne!), Simon then expertly deflected, switching gears to talk about Louis’ time as a guest judge on the show, instead.

“Louis is great,” he said, as though there were ever any doubt. "It was so funny and so, kind of odd, because he had auditioned for me five years ago and now he's sitting where I'm sitting, judging other people and doing it well. I was really happy for him. He loved doing it."

Payne made the announcement he'd signed a deal with Capitol last week (July 21) in a series of tweets accompanied by the sound of a nail gun, closing One Direction’s coffin shut for good.

"One Direction will always be my home and family but I’m very excited to see what this chapter brings,” he wrote, which elicited thousands of tweets from fans who finally came to the realization that One Direction is likely never, ever getting back together.

One Direction Through The Years