updated 06/09/2012 AT 7:55 PM ET
•originally published 06/09/2012 AT 8:15 PM ET
All four judges of The X Factor walked out of the Kansas City auditions at the Sprint Center on Saturday after a vocally challenged contestant faced away from the panel as he sang.
“It was really awkward,” says an audience member. “You could tell the judges were done.”
Spears, Demi Lovato, L.A. Reid and Louis Walsh, who was subbing for an ill Simon Cowell, chose to leave in the middle of the audition rather than remain in front of a contestant who refused to look at them.