Nicole Scherzinger has said the emotions shown on The X Factor on Sunday night were "genuine".
The show was criticised by the press and on Twitter after contestants cried when they found out if they were successful at judges' houses.
Scherzinger, who is mentoring the girls this year, said: "Obviously they weren't crying the entire time, that's just what makes the edit.
"It shows how much it means to them and how much they are fighting for it."
Viewers saw Hannah Barrett, Tamara Foster and Abi Alton all get emotional as they were told they had been put through to the live shows.
After the show Barrett wrote on Twitter: "OK I think we have all established I'm a big cry baby on the show lool I'm worst than Alexandra and Rylan but I don't mind lol."
Scherzinger added: "I was quite proud of myself, I didn't cry as much as I usually do but it's very emotional. It's real, it's not contrived. "Honestly, this was the hardest judges' houses yet. If anybody saw my six girls audition, nobody made a mistake."
This year's X Factor has seen the introduction of several new twists, including a chair elimination round at bootcamp, which Scherzinger said she found difficult.
"It was just really bad to have to put someone there and then ask them to leave," she said. "Your heart crumbles for them. It was really brutal this year." Finalist Hannah Barrett secured a place in judges' houses after taking the seat from fellow contestant Sheena McHughes.
"When we look back on it, it still hurts because you see everyone fighting for it but then you're like, 'I want that seat as well'." Earlier this week Gary Barlow said The X Factor had got more difficult this year, reflecting how "hard" the record industry could be.
"It does feel tougher this year," he said. "I feel like it's going almost in line with the music business because it's tougher than ever out there.
"We see one, two acts breaking per year now."