Simon Cowell has judged nine seasons of “American Idol,” three seasons of the U.S. “X Factor” and 11 seasons of the U.K. “X Factor” and this might be the first time he has gotten so emotional about an audition.

Josh Daniel, a 21-year-old car mechanic from Manchester, England, took the stage in the Aug. 30 episode to audition with Labrinth’s “Jealous.” But instead of singing the song as though about an ex who has left him, Daniel explains that he sings the song for a best friend who died.

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The lyrics take on a much more poignant meaning and the three judges were visibly affected, but none so much as Cowell. He can be seen wiping a couple tears away and then after the audition is over, he looks as though he’s barely holding himself together — an observation supported by the fact that he doesn’t take the time to try to speak to Daniel about the performance, he merely calls for a vote so that all he has to say in front of the audience is “yes.”

Backstage, Cowell continues to look visibly upset, with fellow judges Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw at a loss for what to do.

Who’da thunk it? Simon Cowell moved to tears by an audition.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."