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A word to the wise: If you're trying out for The X Factor, it might be smart to avoid "Hit Me Baby One More Time" -- or any other song by Britney Spears.
Fellow judge Demi Lovato advises that singing one of her costar's hits is just too risky. However, she has no problem with contestants covering one of her own songs.
"At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if it’s my song or somebody else's," Lovato tells iVillage exclusively. "If they do a great job on it then they deserve to go through, and if they don’t then it's not meant to be. I think it hurts a lot of the contestants when they sing a Britney song, though. You just can’t do a Britney song. You won’t do it justice. There’s only one Britney Spears and she has a very unique voice. You can't top her."
So what does Britney think?
When shooting first began in May, reports surfaced that Britney "stormed off stage" after a contestant butchered one of her songs. She later denied the rumors -- but a clip from the upcoming season (which premieres Sept. 12) shows that Britney doesn't hold back with her critiques.
Plus, the show's resident bad-guy Simon Cowell even said that Spears is "quite mean." But Lovato is quick to defend Brit-Brit.
"He’s totally joking!" Lovato tells iVillage. "With this show, there’s not really the mean one, the nice one, the funny one -- we don’t have the typical panel of judges. I think we’re all really honest and sometimes it can come off as mean."
"We also joke around, and we like to have a lot of fun," she continues. "There’s definitely been times when me and Britney have said no to people when Simon and L.A. [Reid] say yes. We just have a different view on pop stars and celebrities because we’re in the pop industry ourselves."
Ali Gray is iVillage's Senior Associate Entertainment Editor. Follow her on Twitter: @thealigray