One Direction performed their new single 'Story of My Life' on 'X Factor' tonight (Nov. 21) and probably gave the show its best ratings of the season. It was, in a word, flawless.

The boys got their start on the British version of the show, so performing on the ratings-challenged U.S. version for Simon Cowell is just repaying a debt of gratitude. They wore dress pants and blazers in different shades of black, grey and white, showing their uniformity. They performed on a lighted stage, and the crowd was louder than they were.

It's Harry Styles who leads the song, and while they all stood in a circle and took turns with their parts, it was Hazza who was the star of the performance.

Hazza was beautifully disheveled, while Zayn Malik rocked a beard. So did Liam Payne! Niall Horan was perfect as always, while Louis Tomlinson continued to flash his ankles in super short skinnies.

Put it all together, and you have boy band perfection.

1D are growing up, both in their looks and their sound, and you can't argue with the results. It all works.