New judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato had their first X Factor taping yesterday, and of course there were rumors of bad behavior. TMZ reports that Spears stormed off the set upset after a contestant did a less-than-stellar version of her song "Hold It Against Me," forcing the next four contestants to audition in front of the remaining judges while her seat stayed empty. But Spears tweeted a denial, the New York Daily News reports: "#Britneywalksoff??? LOL was just taking a little break, people. I am having the BEST time!!!"
A rep for the show confirms Spears simply wanted a break, and other sources say all of the judges left and Spears was simply 15 minutes late to return. E! adds that she did come back for the second taping, and stayed the whole time, while Deadline notes that Paula Abdul walked off during last year’s premiere—so maybe the whole thing was staged? Simon Cowell was probably hoping Spears would bring some drama, Radar points out—and she did just that, again, when she ripped Cowell as "so rude" after he offered his trademark brutal criticism to one of the contestants. The bottom line, as evidenced by an audio recording of the taping obtained by TMZ: The audience loved her.