The most compelling thing about this child singing Nina Simone in an X-Factor audition is Britney Spears’ reaction to it.

I have a soft spot for adult Britney because she so clearly does not want to be doing what she’s doing and she has pathos in her eyes always and her human bonsai tree narrative is really tragic in a way that Marilyn Monroe’s never could be because she’s gonna live. She’s gonna age and she’s gonna putter through these weird gigs and she’s gonna collect these sad checks and finance her family for a couple of decades before she peters out long enough to do some comeback work in her middle age — and that’s a strange place to be. Mapped. Diagrammed.

The tenderness in her voice when she sees a little girl walk on the stage is really touching. How quickly she cries is really touching. There’s an adult woman with bipolar disorder inside of that dress and her father has control over her finances and she is looking at a talented child on a stage and seeing herself, kind of. What if she’d just stayed in Louisiana and been a young mom there? What if this girl just stayed in New Jersey and kept doing her homework? Became a doctor. Britney’s vote is going to help shape that and there’s transference and there’s joy at hearing a talented person do their talent, but yeesh. Her emotive eyeballs.

If that’s not compelling, I don’t know what is.

Also her name is spelled phonetically and I think that’s endearing. Britney. Not Brittany. Britney.