Being one of "The X Factor (US)" judges, Demi Lovato apparently does not only pay attention to the contestants' singing skill, but also to the message they spread. The former "Sonny with a Chance" star showed her concern about drug abuse during auditions in Greensboro, N.C. on Tuesday, July 10 by saying no to a pair of hopefuls who rapped about smoking bath salts.
"She wasn't having any of it," a source told E! Online about the singer/actress' reaction. "She said, 'It's really irresponsible to be rapping about drugs in front of kids.' Then they tried to make excuses and Demi said, 'You talked about bath salts, I heard you.' "
The "Give Your Heart a Break" songstress, who has made no secret about her personal struggles with drugs and alcohol in the past, told the young rappers to leave the stage. The source said the "rest of the judges completely backed her" and the audience booed the contestants, who were not judged for the competition, off stage.
A day before, it was Britney Spears who got offended by a contestant's performance. The "Hold It Against Me" hitmaker stormed off the stage and joined her fiance Jason Trawick in the production area when a man, who dressed partially as a woman in glasses and a jean jacket, botched her 1999 hit single "(You Drive Me) Crazy".
Fellow judges L.A. Reid and Lovato followed Spears to leave the stage, but Simon Cowell, who covered his face throughout the rendition, stayed on his seat. "I don't think she quite understood your tribute," the British producer told the singing hopeful. "You've got to be able to sing in tune. There wasn't a note in tune."
The mother of two later returned to the stage and said, "I really respect the tribute. It was really nice." She, however, didn't give a pass to the contestant as reasoning, "I just don't feel like it's for X Factor. Sorry, sweetie."
The Monday auditions at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex were halted several times due to thunderstorms. It was reported that the judges had to stop production of the reality show when lightning struck the production truck, causing the power out. "Filming started again around an hour after the truck had been hit because it took while to fix things and get a back up," a source said.
The source added, "But they had to break again after the lightning hit something else. It crashed so loud Britney, Demi and the whole audience were screaming. Auditions resumed eventually but it took them a long time to get things running again."
Meanwhile, the Tuesday auditions saw Ray Charles' grandson among the 5,000 people lining up to sing in front of the judges. "This guy came on and told the judges a story about how his grandmother was in the movies and after they'd been talking for a few minutes, they finally realized that Ray Charles was his grandfather," a source shared to The Hollywood Reporter.
It's unclear if the auditioner went through to the next phase, but the judges "were massively surprised" by his connection to the late soul musician.