The Backstage Cry Sesh --
Caught on Tape
"X-Factor" judge Nicole Scherzinger claimed she "died inside" when she saw the look on Rachel Crow's face last night ... after the 13-year-old was eliminated -- and TMZ has obtained footage of the emotional backstage meltdown.
Nicole told producers after the show, half in denial -- "I couldn't make that decision on my own ... I didn't send her home. I adore Rachel."
Between tears, Nicole added, "When I saw Rachel's look on her face, I just died inside."