Being a member of the X Factor family gives you certain benefits and privileges, but it also comes with certain obligations. Even years after that they left the UK version of the talent competition behind, the lads of One Direction still can't gallivant around the world, free from all responsibilities. Uncle Simon has to be paid his dues.

And so it was that, just as they did for X Factor Australia, the toothsome fivesome stopped by the US version of the X Factor Thursday night to play "Live While We're Young" and "Little Things," and just generally be good soldiers for the Cowell Empire. Yes, they've got an album to promote, but does anyone doubt at this point that X Factor needs One Direction more than One Direction needs X Factor?

The boys got things started with "Live While We're Young," a fine upbeat choice for the show's opening. Liam kicked off the song with his usual aplomb, while Zayn gave his best brooding looks and Niall continued to charm the camera as always. The performance climaxed with a load of gigantic bouncing balls dropping down onto the stage, which proves once that One Direction parties are the best parties. Afterwards, the boys sweated through a hella awkward taped appearance by their buddy Drew Brees. Hey, not everyone can be Peyton Manning.

Later, 1D returned to the stage for an intimate performance of their new slow jam, "Little Things." We may have our issues with the song's politics, but the Directioners in the audience didn't share them in the slightest, going crazy, crazy, crazy whenever one of the guys' sultry stares turned their way: