Simon Cowell: ‘Britney Spears Was Uncomfortable On The X Factor’

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September 8, 2013 | 6:25pm EST

Simon Cowell has opened up about the reasons behind Britney Spears’ departure from The X Factor, revealing the singer found her job as a judge “very uncomfortable”.
Spears joined the panel of the hit TV talent show, but quit after just one season on screen.
Cowell has now revealed he made a mistake hiring the singer, because she hated interacting with contestants and voicing her opinion on the acts.
In a taped interview with Ellen DeGeneres, he says, ”I didn’t realize that (she was not good at talking)! I kind of booked someone who couldn’t talk, which is a bit of a problem when you want someone to judge… She wasn’t comfortable being negative, she didn’t like it when the contestants spoke back to her, so she was just uncomfortable. I liked her. So we decided to change it this year.”
Cowell also admits he became obsessed with chasing star names for the judging panel in a bid to keep up with the show’s rivals, American Idol and The Voice.
He adds, “There was a time I think everyone was trying to up themselves in terms of who could find the biggest known star to be on a panel. And in terms of a pop singer? Jennifer Lopez and the other one on The Voice… I can’t remember. Blondie. Christina (Aguilera). And we said, ‘We’ll take Britney’. She was fine, but I think she found it very uncomfortable.”
The interview will air on Tuesday.