One Direction's Niall Horan and Liam Payne, who are both 19, attended "The X Factor" U.K. concert at the O2 Arena in London on Feb. 8, 2013. Backstage photos from the concert show them both smiling and posing with the former "X Factor" contestant Christopher Maloney, who was one of the seven acts that performed at the show. But a photo that Horan tweeted on Feb. 9, 2013 has caused quite a stir among One Direction fans on the Internet.
The photo shows Payne with a bandage covering most of his face. Part of the bandage covers his left eye and his entire chin. In the accompanying message, Horan tweeted: "Wishin you a speedy recovery @real_liam_payne."
There has been no official word yet about what happened to Payne, but the photo caused considerable discussion on the Internet, as One Direction fans wondered if the photo is real or a joke. And if the photo is real, fans want to know what caused Payne's injury and if he is going to be OK.*
One Direction came in third place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2010. Since then, the group has become the biggest global act to emerge from "The X Factor."
One Direction is due to perform a remake of Blondie's "One Way or Another" at the 2013 Brit Awards at the O2 Arena in London on Feb. 20. One Direction's version of the song will be released as a charity single for Comic Relief's Red Nose Day. The single is set for release in most countries on Feb. 17, 2013, and on Feb. 18, 2013 in the U.S. and Canada. One Direction is nominated for two 2013 Brit Awards: Best British Group and Best Brits Global Success.
One Direction's 2013 world tour begins Feb. 22 in London and will go to Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia for most of the year.
Here's a sample of Twitter reactions to Payne's bandage photo:
"@NiallOfficial @Real_Liam_Payne niall youre trolling arent u cos why would u put a bandage over his mouth when his "obvious"injury was d eye."
"Liam Payne got hurt :( some eye and head injury. Hope he is okay
@NiallOfficial @Real_Liam_Payne WHAT THE HELL HAPPEN? Please tell that is all fake because I am about to cry if it's a real injury."
"Found a pic of liam like was in injury from a bbm group. well OKEY DONKEY KONG WHAT WAS HAPPENED WITH MY CHEEKY DADDY LIAM PAYNE??? D"
"@Real_Liam_Payne You're injury better a joke or else I'll cry."
"@Real_Liam_Payne what happened to you? Your injury on your face:( get well soon."
"@Real_Liam_Payne I'm sorry about your injury! I hope you recover quickly!!"
"@NiallOfficial @real_liam_payne umm.... Is this a joke ?! Or...... An injury from a Niam momment :P."
"@NiallOfficial @real_liam_payne okay guys im acully worried now what happend :p lol it is a joke or an acuall injury:p lol xoxoxoxox."
"@niallofficial @real_liam_payne no it's not real injury omg what breathe.
"Please @NiallOfficial @Real_Liam_Payne is this a joke ? Hahhaha oonly Liam gets a face injury."
*UPDATE: One Direction confirmed that the photo of Payne was "a joke," according to The Sun. One of the indications that the photo wasn't taken recently was that the photo showed Payne with the hairstyle he had before he got his current buzz cut.