The 31-year-old claimed that his band had done things "the right way" and had to "work hard" to achieve success, unlike the 'What Makes You Beautiful' group.
"It's a different story for One Direction, Blue came through the right route," he told Yahoo OMG. "We had to work hard to build up our fan base in pubs and university gigs.
"It's a shame now that doesn't happen. It was more about the music for us. I like to say we did it the right way."
He continued: "X Factor is about the contestants not the music. It's like, someone only performs if they have something to promote."
However, Costa did admit that he "probably would have gone on The X Factor" if he hadn't been part of Blue.
The ninth series of The X Factor will launch on ITV on Saturday, August 18.
Watch the X Factor 'Whose Time Is Now?' promo for the 2012 series: