Perhaps the best birthday present the singer, who turns 27 this week, could receive was the continuing support from her fans - 13 million of whom tuned in to watch her on the X Factor
Photo: Rex
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The judges gave Britney a standing ovation, while the verdict from the hopefuls was: "She's hot, man!"
Photo: Rex

Britney continues comeback in front of 13m 'X Factor' viewers

Thirteen million people watched Britney Spears strut her stuff on X Factor in her first UK performance in five years. On a 24-hour whistle-stop tour the comeback queen dropped in to show the talent show hopefuls how it's done.

Wearing hotpants and fishnet tights, the chart-topping star, who turns 27 on December 2, shimmied her way through a sizzling dance routine for her new single Womanizer. The appearance earned the singer a standing ovation from Simon Cowell and the other judges, while interviewer Dermot O'Leary bowed as he took her hand in greeting before their studio chat.

Critics noted Britney lip-synched rather than singing live like the contestants themselves and didn't meet the would-be pop stars for a mentoring session as fellow big name Mariah Carey had done on an earlier occasion. But the adoring X Factor wannabes insisted their idol's visit had been fantastic.

One of them, 26-year-old Ruth Lorenzo, said: "Britney has a frantic life. I'm sure if she had the time she would have (met us). She is hot, man! She's amazing - she can mime if she likes."

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