"SNL" producer Lorne Michaels told the Los Angeles Times he debated whether Simpson should come back -- after a technical mistake made it plain that her performance last year was not live, as advertised, but prerecorded.
"Look, she really screwed up and it had a profound effect on her career," Michaels told the newspaper. "To me, it seemed it wasn't fair for someone that young to be that severely beaten up. So we're letting her come back."
Simpson -- who celebrated her 21st birthday this week -- said after last year's fiasco she went for the prerecorded performance because she was suffering from a case of acid reflux. A publicist for Simpson told the Times she was unavailable for an interview Wednesday, but the singer told MTV she is excited about getting a chance to redeem herself.
"If she's good, it'll be good for her career. If she's not, then it won't be good," said Michaels. "One thing: I can guarantee it will be live this time."