The real reason Simon Cowell burst out in tears on X Factor

Simon Cowell tears up. (Screengrab: X Factor UK/YouTube)
Simon Cowell tears up. (Screengrab: X Factor UK/YouTube)

Los Angeles - Simon Cowell found it "difficult" watching himself tear up on television.

The X Factor judge was left with tears in his eyes when Josh Daniel's performance of Jealous reminded him of his mother Julie, who had passed away only days before the audition.

He explained: "When I watched it on the show, it was very difficult to watch back, but that's just what happens when you make one of these shows. Of course, it brought it all back.

"It is a very difficult to know what to do. The contestant didn't know the situation. He wasn't doing it to make me upset. He sang the song for his own reasons. It was important that he did a good audition. But it was very raw and it did take me back to the moment, but I think in quite a healthy way. Being upset is a human thing."

However, the 55-year-old music mogul has insisted he didn't want the audition axed from the show but let his fellow producers have the final decision.

He added to The Sun newspaper: "They were very cautious about showing the footage to me in the first place for obvious reasons. But then you've got to take your personal hat off and put on your producer's hat, because what happened happened and it's not fair on the contestant not to show it.

"You can't censor stuff like that. In the end, I kind of just said to them, 'I'm OK with it. But I don't want to approve anything, I'll let you make your decision as to what is acceptable and what isn't."

Watch the performance here: