Simon Cowell might be catching on that hiring Britney Spears to judge “The X Factor” may not have been the best idea.
“He wonders if hiring her was a mistake,” a source tells Us Weekly.
Spears got off to a rocky start almost immediately when the auditions kicked off two weeks ago in Austin, where it was reported that she “walked off the set.” Those allegations were quickly brushed off by producers, and by Britney herself who Tweeted, “LOL was just taking a little break people.”
But witnesses continued to report several instances of Britney abruptly getting up from the judges’ table and disappearing as auditioners continued to perform for Cowell, L.A. Reid and Demi Lovato. Additionally, some of Britney’s judging critiques are also being questioned.
“When a contestant botched her hit ‘Hold It Against Me,’ she just left,” a witness said of Spears. “She missed the next four auditions. People weren’t sure if she was coming back.”
The Us Weekly story also quotes an ‘X Factor’ insider, who counters the claims saying, “Simon doesn’t regret hiring Britney, and as a judge, she had strong opinions.”
Is Britney on the Brink of a Meltdown?
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Yet another gossip site claims the “real” reason Spears disappears during auditions is because she has ADHD … and has “the attention span of a 10-year-old.” Due to the medications she takes for her bipolar disorder, Britney is unable to take Adderall or Ritalin, drugs that are commonly prescribed for ADD sufferers.
“Simon was made fully aware of Britney’s medical history before the contract was signed, so this certainly isn’t a big surprise that she needs to take breaks during the audition process,” another source tells Radar. “Look, Britney basically has the attention span of a 10-year-old at times. It’s not alarming to Simon at all and he is fully supportive of Britney doing whatever she needs to do during filming.”
So while Cowell obviously had to know going in to this $15 million investment (that’s Britney’s reported salary for the gig) that working with Spears would be a challenge, it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t be concerned with Britney’s unusual behavior.
It’s been four years since the pop star’s very public unraveling began, and while Spears, 30, is in a much better place these days, she’s still considered by many to be in something of a fragile state. You have to wonder if the pressures of such a high-profile gig, and the nerves that come with performing on live TV, could be too much for Spears to handle.
Certainly, it’s too early to declare that Britney is bombing, and she may yet prove to be brilliantly entertaining, but the allegations surrounding the pop star just weeks on the job still have tongues wagging and fingers pointing from the zillion people in the “I Told Ya So” Department.
We shall see if the diva drama pays off for Simon when Season 2 of “The X Factor” premieres this September on Fox.