Belfast Telegraph

Paije defends Wagner staying power

X Factor reject Paije Richardson said he had no hard feelings towards eccentric contestant Wagner's continued survival in the contest and declared: "He is entitled to be there."

Paije made a surprise exit on Sunday, after losing out in the sing-off to Cher Lloyd, while Brazilian Wagner defied the expectations of many to remain on the show.

"Everybody has their dreams. It's as much of Wagner's dream as it is mine, and he is entitled to be there. He is not voting for himself, people are voting for him. Maybe they just enjoy his performances," he said.

Asked whether less polished performers such as Wagner brought down the show, he said: "It is still a singing competition, but it's also about entertaining people and making a good show."

Paije said his Saturday night performance of the Beatles' Let It Be was one of his best to date. But the singer - mentored by Dannii Minogue - lost his place on the TV talent show after judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Cheryl Cole decided to save Cher in the sing-off.

Paije said his exit was not a complete shock. "I wasn't so surprised, I sort of felt it coming," he said.

"I had a feeling that Cher would get picked (to continue on the show). It's quite weird - you just get a sense of how people are feeling. You just hope for the best and I felt that this week, I didn't have as much support as I did in other weeks."

The 20-year-old added: "This week was one of my best performances. But if it wasn't meant to be my time, it wasn't meant to be."

Paije was upbeat about his future and said he had "only gained by being in this competition".

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