‘X Factor’ Judge Britney Spears Gushes Over Simon Cowell’s Stand-In Louis Walsh: ‘He’s Adorable’ (EXCLUSIVE)

'X Factor' Bikinis
Britney Spears vs. Demi Lovato.
The X Factor judge and executive producer Simon Cowell was sidelined from the show’s auditions in Kansas City after being struck down with a bout bronchitis.

His replacement: Irish music manager Louis Walsh, who won the hearts of fellow judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, we can report.

“I love Louis, he’s really fun and I think he’s absolutely adorable. I do miss Simon a little bit though,” Spears, 30, told Celebuzz after the day of auditions wrapped.

Lovato, 19, added: “There is only one Simon… but Louis killed it tonight (Friday).”

As Celebuzz reported, the 52-year-old music mogul pulled out of filming The X Factor audition rounds on Friday and Saturday so he can rest at his multi-million dollar home in Los Angeles.

Walsh, 59, is no stranger to the music scene, though: He helped create One Direction, managed Irish boybands Westlife and Boyzone and worked with Cowell for seven years on the judging of panel the British version of The X Factor.

“I absolutely love working with Louis,” fellow judge L.A. Reid told Celebuzz. “I find him fascinatingly quick, thorough and remarkably entertaining.”

Cowell reportedly persuaded the executives at Fox that Walsh was the right man for the job and convinced them to fly his pal out on a private jet a cost of almost $200,000.

Even before his U.S. debut, there were Walsh fans waiting outside auditions and when he arrived, the crowd cheered as he spent 20 minutes signing autographs before filming started.

He also dished out some harsh critiques and was sending each contestant home at first, until a mediocre Elvis impersonator came on stage and Walsh’s trademark self came out, as he attempted to convince Spears and Co. to let him through to the next rounds.

“It was okay — if you close your eyes,” Walsh protested, as Spears sat next to him and covered her eyes, at one point whispering “Oh my god… I can’t even watch this.”