Mild-mannered comic Michael McIntyre admitted he found it "very difficult" to be nasty to some of the dreadful acts on this year's Britain's Got Talent.
The funnyman, famous for his family friendly humour, had to be encouraged by fellow judges Amanda Holden and Baywatch star David Hasselhoff to use his buzzer to get some contestants off the stage.
He said: "It is very hard when you've got people in front of you.
"It's fine when you're watching the TV, I mean the things you must all say if you watch the show when someone's awful and you turn to whoever is with you, but I'll be perfectly honest, when someone's actually staring at you and they believe they are very good, I found it very difficult."
This year's series of the ITV1 talent show, which goes out on Saturday night, visits Liverpool for the first time and things get off to a bad start when the first contestant mistakes Holden for Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley.
Things get better at the Birmingham audition when 19-year-old shop assistant Michael Collins takes the stage.
The scruffy teenager, who lives in a caravan park in Saltash, Cornwall, wows the judges, who admit they were wrong to judge him on his appearance.
Holden said: "It's a difficult thing, it's like the Susan Boyle thing, somebody walks on stage and you completely judge them as you see them and it's always a surprise and it's always a bad thing for us to do but it's human nature."
Other acts that catch their eye include a dog handler, some bell ringers with a unique spin on the soundtrack to Titanic and an unlikely 50-something dancer.
The judges are keeping tight-lipped about who they think will win the show, although Hasselhoff admitted being moved to tears by a dance act that will be seen in an upcoming show.