updated 07/11/2012 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/11/2012 AT 4:00 PM ET
“Oh, my god, it was just horrible,” L.A. Reid, 56, told a FOX affiliate on Wednesday, of the performance that led him and judges Britney Spears, 30, and Demi Lovato, 19, to storm off the stage. “He thought he was going through. He thought that the cheers were because he was doing such a great job, when the truth is he was horrific. We just couldn’t take it anymore.”
The contestant’s performance was an attempt to cover Spears’s 1999 hit, “(You Drive Me) Crazy.”
“I felt really uncomfortable, and I had to walk away,” Lovato explained. “He [thought] that [he did] such a good job, and I felt so bad. I laughed at first, but I felt really bad.”
Even though Spears seemingly took the heat for orchestrating the walk-off, she actually points the finger at Lovato.
“I was following her,” she says. “I was taking her lead. She was like, ‘Let’s go,’ and I was like, ‘Okay.’ It was our break anyway. It was dinner.”