Cowell: Britney 'mean' on 'X Factor' 0
Judges from the reality series "The X Factor" (left to right): L.A. Reid, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato and Simon Cowell are pictured on a video screen via satellite from Miami, Florida, during a panel discussion during the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California July 23, 2012. (REUTERS/Fred Prouser)
Simon Cowell says Britney Spears is "as sweet as a lemon."
Clips from the new season of The X Factor feature Spears saying things such as "You can't destroy that song," "Predictable," and "Bad to the bone," when addressing presumably crushed contestants.
But Spears, of course, has a different take on Cowell's fruit-focused evaluation.
"In everyday life I'm just very honest person," Spears said. "It's just based on who I am."
Well, all four members of The X Factor's season-two judging team - Cowell, Spears, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid - appeared via satellite at the Television Critics Association tour Monday. If first impressions mean anything, it's going to be a very intriguing conversation when the second season of the show debuts Sept. 12 on Fox and CTV.
"It's different from anything I've ever done," Spears said. "I've done eight tours. I've been in the music industry for a while. But I'm glad to be on a show where I can give something back and help someone achieve their dreams."
Being on these types of shows isn't bad for the careers of the judges either, nudge nudge, wink wink.
"That's not my intention," Spears said. "It's just purely the fact I love the show."
Lovato was described by Cowell as a "brat" both on Monday and a few weeks ago when he visited CTV in Toronto. Lovato has battled an eating disorder and she was asked if that gives her a unique perspective on young aspiring talent.
"I definitely take that into consideration when I judge," Lovato said. "My little sister is in the industry and I worry about her all the time.
"You can't prevent anyone from going down the wrong road. If they're going to have an eating disorder, they're going to have an eating disorder. I don't think fame has a lot to do with it. I think it adds some pressure and sometimes it makes the problem a little bit worse.
"But for me, I had been struggling with those issues beforehand. Unless you're in a good place when you start working, I think it's kind of inevitable for these things to happen."
Pretty insightful for someone who's 19.
"We needed someone younger, because I'm in my 30s," quipped Cowell, 52.
There has been quite a revolving door lately with judges on singing competition shows. Mariah Carey officially joined American Idol on Monday.
"I'm happy for her, I like Mariah," Cowell said. "She's sweet. But I think she's going to find it difficult to say no."
For Spears and Lovato that won't be a problem.
When Cowell accused Spears of being "mean," Lovato jumped in and said, "We're going to gang up on you now. You're going to have two girls."
"I've had it," Cowell snapped back. It took a few seconds for the double-meaning to kick in and laughter filled the room.
"Who's ready for the next season of The X factor?" a smiling Lovato added.