Simon Cowell, American Idol

Here’s Britney Spears’ duet with 32-year-old vocal coach and X Factor contestant Don Philip — “I Will Still Love You,” off her debut album, 1999’s …Baby One More Time. Something …drastic has happened to Don’s voice since then. Ugh, life. It’ll getcha.

We didn’t get many details on why current Don is such a mess, but the guy’s clearly been through hell and, thanks to the “magic” of a network television production team in search of a buzzy premiere moment, has made it back to one of the gates of hell — The X Factor audition stage!

Britney was so distraught after Don walked away that Simon had to interrupt his Skittles consumption to come over and hover over/console her.

What a difference 12 years can make. Listen to Britney and Don here:


And here they were on last night’s X Factor premiere:

“You don’t have a good singing voice, honestly,” Simon said after Don’s (bad) raspy and tear-stricken rendition of Beyoncé’s “Halo.” Britney was a little easier on him: “I feel like through the years maybe you’ve gone through a lot of hardships and battles,” she offered, “but your voice really isn’t up to the bar of the standards of The X Factor and what we want.”

According to an on-the-scene report from, before he started singing, Philip announced that he was gay (after a producer over L.A. Reid’s shoulder prompted L.A. to repeatedly ask “Don’t you have something to tell us?”) and then rambled for a few uncomfortable minutes to Britney and the judges about his various woes. The crowd strongly disliked the severely tense energy he brought to the theater and booed loudly as he finished.

I feel creepy even explaining this. This was exploitation of an unstable person to the extreme, and for what? This obligatory blog item because I know people will be Googling “Don Philip”? A chance for everyone watching to feel miserable and suspect that this guy might seriously harm Britney and/or himself? Wow. Thanks.

Ain’t reality TV the greatest?

What’d y’all think of Britney as a judge in general?

Stay tuned for my full X Factor premiere recap later on….

Video reply time! Ask Annie anything about ‘The X Factor’ — or whatever — below.

Episode Recaps

Simon Cowell, American Idol
The X Factor
Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
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