In an audio clip acquired by The Hollywood Reporter, the two judges square off during Thursday’s (May 24) auditions in Austin, TX. It is here that Spears and Lovato couldn’t have disagreed more over one of the entrants in the “Boys” category.
“I think that you have a great voice and your tone was great,” Lovato says to the reportedly 14-year-old contestant. “But, I don’t really know where you fit. I don’t know what’s going to set you apart from other musicians who are boys. So, I think you just have to find out what makes you special and what separates you from all the other teenage boys in this industry.”
Spears countered by comparing the teen to one of pop music’s brightest stars.
“I think you can be bigger than the next Justin Bieber,” Spears says. “I feel like your runs are amazing…You’re very gifted.”
This wasn’t the only excitement that emerged from the auditions either.
TMZ is reporting that Spears has already walked off the set of the singing competition. The incident happened after a contestant’s performance of Spears’ song “Hold it Against Me” left much to be desired. She split and didn’t immediately come back, letting four performers sing to the three remaining judges, Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Lovato.
Spears explains the incident on Twitter saying, “Was just taking a little break people. I am having the BEST time!!!”