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Britney Spears and 'X Factor' Judges: Why We Walked During Drag Performance

'The truth is he was horrific,' says L.A. Reid

July 12, 2012 10:10 AM ET
britney spears
Britney Spears arrives at the taping of 'The X Factor' in Providence, Rhode Island.
Ray Mickshaw / FOX

During a July 9th round of auditions for The X Factor in Greensboro, North Carolina, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid left the judges' table during an audition, a Spears tribute by a man in drag, because they just couldn't take it anymore, Us Magazine reports.

Spears herself was the first to get up, though she says that she was just following Lovato's lead: "I was following her. I was taking her lead . . . She was like, 'Let's go!' And I was like, 'OK.' It was our dinner break, anyway."

According to Lovato, the hopeful's emotional performance was too much to handle: "I was really uncomfortable because I was like, 'Oh my gosh, he's on the floor crying because he thinks he's done such a good job.' I felt so bad . . . I laughed at first, but then I felt bad."

"It was just horrible," added Reid. "The truth is he was horrific. We just couldn't take it anymore. But Simon [Cowell] has a little more tolerance and more patience than we do."

"I usually can't look when they're bad," added Spears of the auditions as a whole.

Still, as Us points out, while Spears looked slightly uncomfortable during the man's performance of her 1999 hit "(You Drive Me) Crazy" while dressed in cat glasses and a bedazzled jean jacket, she did return to the stage, unlike Reid or Lovato, to offer a critique.

"I really respect the tribute," she said. "It was really nice, but I just don't feel like it's for X Factor. Sorry, sweetie."

This wasn't the first time Spears has left the X Factor judges' table during auditions: Back in May, during her first day on set, Spears got up to leave towards the end, missing four auditions.

A representative, however, responded that Spears was only taking a routine break: "There was nothing wrong, she wasn't upset – she just asked if she could take a short break and that's all it was."

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