In the weeks leading up to the stateside launch of x factor season two, the reports have been coming thick and fast about how mean new judge, pop superstar Britney Spears is, and after seeing the first show featuring her last night, boy were the media right. Simon Cowell is usually the judge giving out the verbal tongue-lashings to contestants, but even the show's creator had to take a backseat as Spears ripped through sorry competitor after sorry competitor.

"I think you need to practise a little bit more, the Daily Mail reports her telling 31-year-old salesman Chad Mosby, before later turning on 41-year-old fitness instructor Amy Gibson and saying dully "I thought it was just kind of bad." The abuse didn't stop there; 21 year-old Josh MCCoy was told "The singing came in and it wasn't very nice" and other contestants were compared derogatively to anyone from Alvin & The Chipmunks to, in one hopeful's case "Vanilla Ice meets Lauryn Hill meets Westside Story."

So with raging Britney on the loose, did anybody get through? A few, actually. Top of the heart-wrenching back-story pile was 19 year-old Jillian Jensen who explained how she'd had to overcome bullying to get to this point. Her performance made firm fans of Demi Lovato and Cowell in particular. 13 year-old Justin Bieber lookalike Reed Deming also made it through, as did boy band Emblem 3 - a flirty Lovato particularly taken with the trio.