Britney Spears Tears Up at The X Factor Auditions in San Francisco

Britney Spears

Norman Scott/Startraks

updated 06/18/2012 AT 12:00 PM ET

originally published 06/18/2012 AT 3:00 PM ET

Britney Spears became emotional when a familiar face showed up at the San Francisco auditions for The X Factor on Sunday – and revealed a personal secret.

When a male contestant stepped onto the stage at the Oracle Arena, “You could see that Britney recognized him straight away,” a source tells PEOPLE. “She got this huge smile on her face and her eyes lit up. It was so sweet.”

“I know him,” said Britney, who was sitting on the panel with Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Demi Lovato. “We did a duet together 10 years ago.”


From Our Partners