Spears shows off her toned bod and hangs out with the little 'uns.
LOS ANGELES – Britney Spears has come a long way since her days as a Mouseketeer, but the pop music superstar turned “X-Factor” judge hasn’t forgotten how hard it is to break into show business.
“I’m a fair judge. Sometimes it is hard because I know what they’ve been through, and been so young,” Spears told FOX411 during the show’s Oakland auditions on Monday. “It’s such a subtle and delicate situation when they’re that young. So you just have to use constructive criticism and be there for them and show them support.”
The pop princess certainly isn’t trying to outdo her often harsh co-judge -- and boss -- Simon Cowell.
“I don’t think I’m the toughest judge at all. I definitely think Simon would have to be the toughest judge,” she added. “But I’m just looking for something that shows spark and spunk and someone that is meant to do what they are doing.”
And it seems there was at least one hopeful that brought tears to Spears’ eyes as she sat alongside Cowell, L.A Reid and Demi Lovato to determine who goes on to the next round. According to People.com, Spears became particularly emotional when a familiar face took to the stage, someone she said she did a duet with 10 years ago.
After telling her he was gay, and that he didn’t think she would view that as being okay, Spears reportedly told the contestant (whose identity remains under wraps) that it was “fine,” and tried to comfort him when he started to cry.
But that’s not where the commotion ended.
Apparently the audience had quite a pull over the powerful judges too, and at one point demanded they reverse a very unpopular decision – which they did.
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay