Cowell and Spears. (WireImage)
Britney Spears almost kissed her $15 million “X Factor” paycheck goodbye – on her first day on the job, no less. In May, omg! reported that the “I Wanna Go” singer walked off the Austin, Texas, set on Day 1 of auditions for the show, but producers were quick to insist she was merely taking a bathroom break. Nearly four months later, creator/judge Simon Cowell has come clean: Spears had a panic attack and tried to quit.
"No one is going to admit that on the first day your highest paid star after 20 minutes has walked off set," the former “American Idol” judge told TMZ Live on Thursday. “It doesn’t look great. I kind of guessed that the first day was going to be difficult for her. It’s a lot to take in. It’s a lot of pressure, and she did have a moment on the first day where she said to me, ‘I’m not sure I can do this.’”
Cowell added that after giving Spears, 31, a pep talk, in which he told her she was doing a great job as judge, she began to gain more confidence. “Now, she’s fine,” he said. “She’s absolutely dealing with it, and I think she’s enjoying it.”
Before Spears even began the “X Factor” gig, there was much speculation the fragile singer would not be able to handle the pressure. At the May 15 Fox Upfronts presentation in New York City to announce that she and Demi Lovato had joined the show, Spears was a jittery mess and her nails were bloody from obvious picking. But in recent promos for the new season, she looks quite composed while sitting at the judges’ table.
The second season of “X Factor” premieres on September 12.
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