The superstar made her long-awaited debut on The X Factor Wednesday night, taking a spot next to Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and fellow newbie Demi Lovato.
We asked you to judge the judge by Tweeting @peoplemag your thoughts about Britney during the East Coast broadcast – and hundreds of you did! The best Tweets are below. Caution: Spoilers ahead!
The first contestant to take the stage on the season 2 premiere was nursing student and mom Paige Thomas, 21, of San Antonio, Texas, who performed Mary J. Blige's "I'm Going Down."
"You are so bright and beautiful on stage and you exude so much confidence. You're flawless," Spears said. When it was time to vote, she added, "Holy cow, yes."
But it didn't take long for Spears to get sassy. When Shawn Armenta, 50, performed his own song, "Candy Girl," the entire arena seemed to be in disbelief. "I want to know who let you on stage," Spears said. "I feel uncomfortable with you even staring at me."
Then came a montage of comments Spears made to various not-so-talented singers: "You need to practice more," "The singing came in and it wasn't very nice," "You need a new teacher to teach you how to sing," "I felt like I was listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks."
Spears had sweet moments as well. She told a 13-year-old Justin Bieber lookalike, Reed Deming, he was "completely and utterly adorable." And she embraced cake decorator Quatrele Da'an Smith, 21, who sang Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" in a bridal drag. "You were off key a little bit but for the most part you were really entertaining," she said, adding later, "I'm going to say yes. ... I loved it."
In the night's most emotional moment, Spears came face to face with a former duet partner.
"I never thought I'd see you again," an emotional Don Philip, 32, said from stage. When Simon asked him what happened since his duet with Spears 10 years ago, he said, "At the time I didn't feel like I was worthy. I didn't feel like I was okay. This time I want my shot."
After singing a lackluster version of "Halo" by Beyoncé, Spears told him, "I feel like through the years maybe you've gone through a lot of hardships and battles but your voice isn't really up to the bar of The X Factor and what we want." At voting time she added, "I'm going to have to say no."
But it wasn't easy for her. "That was hard," she said. "Sometimes it's hard because I know what they've been through."
So, was she mean? Or was she "honest" with her appraisals of aspiring singers hoping to impress her with their talent?
What are you waiting for? Continue the conversation now by Tweeting @peoplemag – and check back tomorrow morning for even more updates.
Best Comments of the Night:
"OMG! @britneyspears makes Simon look like a kitten!!! I love that she's so honest! She makes this show!!! @peoplemag #xfactor," Tweets Patrick Dizon
"@britneyspears has THE most priceless facial expressions! I'm dying over here!!!" Tweets Kesley Zahn
"Thank God she's not so sweet!," Ghost posted on People.com in the Disqus comment section
"love the new #XFactor! The looks on Demi and Britney's faces tell what everyone else is thinking. Clever Simon Cowell in casting," Tweets Lee Pam Odom
"@britneyspears seems a little nervous, but doing great! So is @ddlovato who seems much older than her age! :) #Barney#Mickey," Tweets Melissa Currah
"@britneyspears she doesn't even say anything!! Why is she even there!!!" Tweeted Brittany Lombardo
"I love that @britneyspears use her honesty by letting every single contestant know the cold and sweet truth and be able handle it," Tweeted Victor Kardashian
"brittany could have been a little bit more sensitive to don phillip.how sad and tragic :'( she could hv gave him a hug!" Tweeted sweetascanbe
"it seems like there may have been something more than a "duet" in the past..That was uncomfortable to even watch !!#xfactor," "Tweeted Christy Spires
"Remember the guy who did the "leave Britney alone" YouTube video? That's who this guy reminded me of. #Xfactor," Tweeted Moriah Danielle
"I think she was wrong ... he made me cry !!!" Tweeted Delilah Malik
"Jillian Jensen was amazing, hard story for a talented girl! Hope she takes the advice and turns it all into a positive#Xfactor," Tweeted Jennifer Bunting