So, it turns out that if you perform like a "little Lenny Henry" the nation loves you. However, if you become comparable to one of the greatest soul singers of all time, like say Marvin Gaye, well you're probably going to be out on your ear come Sunday night. Unfortunately, Paije Richardson learnt this lesson the hard way at the weekend, giving his best performance of the series, only to find himself cast aside by Cowell, Cole, Walsh and the Great British Public the following evening. In his post-show interviews, the chubby-cheeked cinema worker proved to be just as lovable and warm-hearted as he came across on screen, refusing to play the blame game or munch down on some sour grapes. Take note Storm Lee.
Paije knew as well as everybody else that from week one he never stood any chance of winning the competition. The judges were either non-plussed or daft in their comments about him and it always felt like he was making up the numbers. But he seemed to enjoy the ride while it lasted and at least he won't have to go back to sweeping up popcorn. Well, not for a few years anyway.
The 'shock' (these are pretty much weekly occurrences now) of the weekend was that neither Wagner or Katie were in the bottom two, which meant that one of the show's five big guns found themselves singing for survival. It came as no surprise to Reality Bites that Cher was that act, because much like Danyl Johnson last year, the public believe that mini-Chezza is being forced upon them without much merit. She has proved she can rap, she has proved she can sing, but it's impossible for her to live up the hyperbole that's being thrown at her by the judges week after week.
Why didn't the public take to her rendition of John Lennon's 'Imagine' on Saturday? It might have been the dodgy staircase staging that Simon Cowell got a bee in his bonnet about. She may never have been that popular with punters in the first place. But more likely, it was the fact that nobody could quite take 'Get My Swag On' Cher purring out a hippy-dippy, peace-for-the-world, anti-war 1970s tree-hugging anthem. It was like watching Dizzee Rascal doing the 'Birdie Song' or asking Rebecca Ferguson to cover the Sex Pistols. It just didn't make sense. None of the judges appeared to understand that and Louis Walsh even suggested that she should have brought some hip-hop style to the track ( "Imagine no motherf***ing guns, yo, get your swag on, ring-a-dingin' Lennon"). Re-arrange the following words and you'll get our thoughts on the Irishman's suggestion: Spinning, John, Grave, Lennon, In His.
If any of you chose to stick around for the Xtra Factor this weekend, you'll have been introduced to a caller called Vicky in the judges Q&A. She phoned up on Saturday and Sunday to bad-mouth Katie Waissel and ended up in a war of words with Louis Walsh. This is of course the same Louis, who was brandishing around comments such as "style over substance" in reference to Katie earlier in the series. However, there were some interesting points raised in the heated exchange that are worth pondering. Louis's main argument appeared to be that Katie Waissel was a really nice girl and he'd spoke to her in his dressing room, so he had first-hand experience. Vicky's point was that it didn't matter what Waissel was really like because we'll never get to meet her. And if we keep voting her in the bottom two, then she's failing in her efforts to show us the...*vomits little bit in mouth at reality TV cliché*.... "real Katie".
Don't get us wrong, we actually thought Katie's rendition of 'Help!' was the best performance on Saturday night. Plus, now Nicolo and Aiden have gone, she's the most intriguing act left in the competition. Obviously Matt and Rebecca could mop the floor with her vocally, but great popstars aren't always great singers. But sadly for Katie, she could go out and perform a composition by Bach, a pitch perfect Pavarotti cover and sing the Alphabet backwards while gargling some water and she'd still be called a faker, a wannabe and various expletives by the general public. A combination of honesty, desperation, bad press, some unhelpful early VTs, a precocious performance style, an ever-growing list of dodgy barnets ("this week Matthew... I'll be Frodo Baggins), a tendency to forget her lyrics, Gamu and a sexual history with The Apprentice's Michael Sophocles have ruined her X Factor chances. Her fans shouldn't get too downbeat about this. We suspect her showbiz career is just getting started.
Were you surprised to see Paije go? Who were you favourite acts on Saturday night?