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Britney Spears has a tearful reunion on The X Factor

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Don Philip breaks down during audition

Britney Spears got emotional when she was reunited with former duet partner and tour mate Don Philip. Did he make it past his audition? The shocking answer.

Don Philip breaks down during audition

Don Philip was on his way up in the music world in 1999 — he had a recording contract with Jive Records and recorded the duet "I Will Still Love You" with Britney Spears. And then he let it all fall apart.

Fast forward to 2012: Spears is a judge on The X Factor and Philip is trying to crawl his way back into the music industry via the show. He was visibly nervous before taking the stage — and it only got worse once his old friend recognized him.

"Where have you been?" judge Simon Cowell asked. It turns out Philip went through some emotional problems over the past few years.

"The secret I have is that I'm gay — and it's the answer to everything," he told the judges. "It's what’s held me back!"

Simon Cowell was surprised at Britney Spears' personality >>

We were expecting a triumphant return to the stage for Philip, but — spoiler alert! — he was awful.

"It seems like you might have been through a lot in the last few years. But your voice isn't up to the level of The X Factor," Spears reluctantly told him. He was heartbroken when all four judges — including Spears — told him no. He broke down backstage, saying he had disappointed Spears.

Uh, no — he disappointed himself. He has talent, judging from his recording with Brit Brit, but the weight of the moment ruined it.

"I just had this 'Aha! moment' — I had nothing left," he told RumorFix after his botched audition in June.

Britney Spears' demands for The X Factor: No booze! >>

"I've never been able to give an answer until now," he said of his troubled past. "It may sound like a small reason, but it's a big f*****g reason — being gay and scared. The scared part never leaves."

He's at peace with everything now.

"I feel good. I feel free."

Listen to Britney Spears' "I Will Still Love You," featuring Don Philip

Image courtesy FayesVision/
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