What does a girl in the industry do who’s done it all? Find a new challenge she can conquer, and that’s exactly what Britney is doing.

“It’s the most different thing I’ve ever done in my career,” Britney says in a new interview to the DailyHerald. “I’ve done six or seven tours and a bunch of albums, and I know how all of that works. Actually doing a television show and being a judge is just so new for me, that’s why I like it, because it is so different … but I can bring a lot from my experiences.”

Britney and her fellow judges watched auditions from contestants in San Francisco, Providence, R.I., and Austin, Texas. Though she has her feet wet as a judge, she confides she’s got a ways to go.

“We find our niche as we’re doing it,” she says. “I have a great team around me with Simon and L.A. and Demi, and we just kind of vibe each other out and see what the others think.”

Britney, who revealed to Elle magazine she had a panic attack the first day, says Demi Lovato’s been a huge comfort.

“I was extremely nervous the first day. I felt like I was going to come out of my body, but having her there and knowing it was her first time, too — just that girl power and everything — really helped.”

Even though she’s a little out of her comfort zone, Britney says she wouldn’t have stepped up for the challenge if she didn’t feel she could be an asset.

“I’ve been in show business since I was a baby,” she said. “At a recital when I was 3 years old, I went to the top of the stage, turned around and told everybody they were doing it wrong. I feel I can bring a lot from my experiences of knowing what it takes and what you have to go through, the whole process of the entertainment industry.”

“I can bring a lot of support for these artists and really spot the ones who are the best and do have the potential to fulfill their dreams. A lot of people have amazing voices, but it takes that ‘Je ne sais quoi’ (I don’t know what) quality to make them stand out and make us want to watch. I think the most fun thing about this is finding that.”

And Britney knows what it’s like to sing your heart out and face judgement.

“It’s the hardest thing ever,” she says in recalling her “Star Search” days. “I won my first audition, then the second one, I lost to a guy who was actually my friend. I was 8 years old, and I was completely devastated. I just thought the world had ended, I cried so hard.
“It’s really hard for the people who come on this show, even the ones who really believe in themselves and are just average, because they have to have that spark. It’s a hard place to be in, to give constructive criticism, but you just have to do it.”

But it wasn’t something Britney jumped into. She had her reservations, and credits Simon Cowell for sealing the deal.

“At first, I really wasn’t sure,” she says, “and skeptical about the whole thing. I didn’t know how it would be perceived, but I talked to Simon on the phone, and he is an absolute doll. His being so nice and kind influenced me a lot.”

It’s also helped Spears deal with those moments thus far when an “X Factor” hopeful has used one of her songs. She deems it “really kind of flattering. They usually come with an outfit (like the ones in Spears’ music videos) and the whole thing; and a lot of them don’t really sing, they just perform. They’re very interesting to watch, but most of them don’t have the kind of voice we want. A couple of them have done Demi’s songs as well, but those are hard to copy.”

Britney’s plan is to stand out and be a unique judge and find her own approach.

“I try to be an individual and have my own perspective on things, but Simon will throw you off sometimes,” she says. “In your head, you really think someone has potential … then he’ll come out and say something like, ‘That was horrible. Really, really bad.’ And you realize his point after a while. He really breaks it down, and that’s what I find so interesting.”

“Sometimes the audience will boo you, and you feel like such a loser, but you have to stick to your guns.”

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