"X-Factor" season premiere: Britney Spears and Demi Lovato temper criticism with hugs

Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid in part-one of the two night season premiere of "The X-Factor." David Moir/FOX

Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid in part-one of the two night season premiere of "The X-Factor."
David Moir/FOX

(CBS/AP) The new season of the revamped "X Factor" premiered last night and new judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato wasted no time getting comfortable in their new roles.

Pictures: Celebrity TV judges

Judges Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid are back but with two new additions - Spears and Lovato.

While in Spears' voiceover she says, "I've been doing this business since I was 8 years old," she later expressed some doubt about crushing people's singing hopes.

"To have to sit there and be opinionated on people living their dreams is really hard for me," Spears says on the show.

But when it came to it, Spears had no problem expressing her opinions.

"I want to know who let you onstage," she says to a contestant who insulted Lovato.

"I felt I was listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks," she tells one singer. "You're flawless," she says to another.

Cowell, the show's creator, executive producer and the Scrooge of compliments, practically beamed as he tended to give Spears the last word on contestants - which often is "no," at least as this episode has it.

"You're very good at this," he tells Spears at one point. "Everyone says I'm the mean one," he adds later.


At one point, when a pained-looking Spears joins the panel in rejecting a singer she'd recorded with, and who is attempting a comeback, she hangs onto her composure.

Lovato, who was a former Disney channel star, brings a younger demographic to the show.

The singer-actress looked at ease on "X Factor." The 20-year-old singer showed poise, warmth - and a sense of stagecraft.

A contestant told of being bullied in school and taking comfort from Lovato's own challenges and her anti-bullying efforts. When the young woman, who wowed the judges with her performance, broke down sobbing, Lovato beckoned her over for a long hug.

Live episodes of "The X-Factor" start airing in November.

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