*It’s hard to watch any 16-year-old kid break down, even if America thought she was the worst singer this week in a crop of disappointing finalists this year on “American Idol.”

Malaya Watson, the wild-haired tuba player from Southfield, Mich, sobbed her way through a goodbye performance of “I Am Changing” from “Dreamgirls” during Thursday’s live broadcast [scroll down to watch], then, shed even more tears during interviews backstage.

It was like watching an episode of “Friday Night Tykes.” Amid such exaggerated, adult-sized pressure, people forget they’re just kids until one of them gets hurt.

Watson, however, got herself together enough to answer a question about the toughest lesson she’s learned from her “Idol” experience.

As you can see, Jennifer Lopez was teary during Malaya’s performance, too.

jlo crying

And, during the closing credits…

jlo crying 2

“It’s hard, you know, she’s so young,” J.Lo said backstage.

She continues below:

Below, watch Malaya’s elimination and performance of the song that sent her home, “I Am Changing.”