The music mogul was upset when fellow judges Cheryl Cole, 26, and Simon Cowell, 50, refused to put through a contestant he was championing.
The 57-year-old stormed backstage at London's ExCeL centre and had to be calmed down by host Dermot O'Leary.
After commiserating with the axed contestant, Louis was eventually persuaded to return to his seat.
'He was back in time to judge the next act,' a show spokesman tells the Daily Mirror.
Katy Perry, 25, will join the panel in Dublin on Monday to take over Dannii Minogue's empty seat.
Where to next?
- First pics: X Factor 2010
- Cheryl Cole style gallery
- Top karaoke games