As The X Factor's new crop of judges travels the country in search of talented singers for the competition's second season, Britney Spears has proved to be a tough judge who isn't immune to the intense moments of emotional auditions.
"I think I'm a fair judge," says Spears, 30, who spoke after the show's San Francisco stop. "Sometimes it's hard because I know what they've been through and being so young and [wanting to] achieving their dreams."
The superstar says she tries to be honest yet gentle with contestants, whose musical aspirations are on the line.
"It's such a subtle and delicate situation when they're that young," she says, "so you just have to use constructive criticism and be there for them and just show them support."
As for her tough side, Spears says "tough" is a relative term.
"I don't think I'm the toughest judge at all," she says. "I definitely think Simon would have to be the toughest judge."
So what does it take to impress Spears? "I'm really just looking for [someone who] shows spark and spunk and someone that's meant to do what they're doing and it shows."