The mother-of-two was tested in her debut alongside fellow newcomer Demi Lovato, and incumbents Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid, when she assessed the talent of Don Philip, a 32-year-old vocal coach who sang a duet with her on the track I Will Still Love You from her breakout album, 1999′s …Baby One More Time.
Don, who was very emotional on the big night, told Britney, “I never thought I’d see you again,” before detailing his battles with self-esteem that have stalled his singing career.
“At the time I didn’t feel like I was worthy — I didn’t feel like I was okay — this time, I want my shot,” said Don, who took said shot singing Beyonce‘s Halo, a complex song selection which was clearly his first mistake.
After Don delivered an, at best, mediocre performance, Simon Cowell told him gently, “You don’t have a good singing voice, honestly.”
Don turned to Britney for a more positive appraisal, but there was none to be found.
“I feel like through the years maybe you’ve gone through a lot of hardships and battles but your voice isn’t really up to the bar of The X Factor and what we want,” Britney told him, later saying that rejecting Don “was hard.
“Sometimes it’s hard because I know what they’ve been through,” said the sexy Britney, who herself was publicly lambasted after her infamous performance of Gimme More at the MTV Video Music Awards five years ago.
In an exchange that did not make the air, Don told Britney, “I didn’t think you thought it was okay that I am gay,” to which she responded, “I think it is fine you are gay.”
Don was upset that his candid admission was edited out of the broadcast, telling a website, “Is Gay bad for FOX? I didn’t do anything bad. They edited the gay out of me. I don’t understand it. Aren’t they a reality show? Is it too real?”
Don said the editing sent “the wrong message — it’s like gay is being censored.”
Part two of The X Factor‘s season premiere airs on Fox Thursday at 8/7c.
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