By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Teacher's pet: Britney Spears has bagged the seat next to Simon Cowell on the new-look X Factor USA panel, seen here in the first official photo of the panel
Britney Spears may be sitting pretty, perched next to Simon on the new-look X Factor USA panel. But the 30-year-old singer is certainly pulling no punches and yesterday laid into her new boss - branding him rude.
Britney, who is seen here sat in the coveted seat next to Simon in the first official snap of the judging panel, hit out at Simon after he admonished a contestant with one of his withering put-downs.
During yesterday's auditions in Texas, Cowell told the hopeful she 'sounded like she was dead,' according to RadarOnline.
It prompted Britney to rip into Cowell, saying: 'You are so rude Simon.'
No.1 girl: Fellow judge Demi Lovato sits in third place, next to LA Reid
The Toxic singer then turned to the contestant and said: 'Actually I think you had a really honest voice.'
Fellow judge Demi Lovato, 19, takes third place on the judges' desk, sitting one up from LA Reid.
It is perhaps a little wonder that Britney is acting so confidently, though.
Casting their opinions: Former Disney star Demi and LA Redi smile for the camera
According to TMZ, Spears - who signed a reputed $15m deal - has the X Factor team over a barrel.
The show was so keen to secure her, bosses bent over backwards to accommodate her, the website claims.
Britney is allowed to take breaks whenever she likes, according to a source.
'Simon is a smart and shrewd businessman who knew Britney could make his show and he was willing to give her just about anything to come on board - and he did,' an insider told TMZ.
Yesterday there were reports she stormed off set after becoming upset at the audience's reaction to some of her comments - and after a contestant murdered on of her hits, Hold It Against Me.
Round of applause: Demi and Britney look on enthusiastically as a contestant performs
However, Britney herself has denied the claims, taking to Twitter to explain why her seat was left empty.
'#Britneywalksoff??? LOL was just taking a little break people. I am having the BEST time!!!' she wrote on her Twitter page.
Britney chose a bright pink mini dress that clung to her every curve and boasted a sheer panel down the chest for her X Factor debut.
The short frock showed off Britney’s slim legs and she topped her colourful dress with a pair of black platform pumps.
Take your seats: The judges prepare to watch some more contestants belt out their audition songs