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25 Nov 10 | Re: The imperfection of TV talent show voting

It had to happen. Paije Richardson, my fave, has been voted off the X Factor. Sunday’s results show saw two acts who had always been safe up to that point, Cher and Paije, both in the bottom two in the public vote, and Paije was let go just as one would have predicted.

Not that there was anything unfair about it. In previous weeks I’d been pleasantly surprised that Paije was always safe, since I had a sense that he was one of the less popular acts. While some got screams from the girls in the audience, some hoovered up novelty or sympathy votes, and Cher showed flashes of an indefinable star-quality magic (the X factor, you might call it), Paije never seemed to stand out in the same way. It was a great shame, particularly since in all the weeks he was on he never got the chance to sing in the style that, in my view, he was clearly born to: soulful disco house.

Soulful disco house is a fairly niche genre, but a venerable one. It produces a big hit about once every two years. In the days of Top Of The Pops, you could always spot the soulful disco house track even on mute because it would have a singer clearly chosen for his voice rather than his image bopping about in a minimal but oh-so-soulful way with half a dozen far more energetic dancers body popping around him. Paije would have been brilliant at that. He’s the kind of guy who looks better the less effort he puts into dancing - the ideal is just a little shuffle of the shoulders every couple of lines and the rest of the time, just stand there and grin. And of course, he has the voice dead on.

So I’m hoping that somewhere there is a dance producer who has noticed what the X Factor producers (and, bafflingly, Dannii Minogue, who revived her own career through dance collabs in the early 2000s) missed. I’m hoping that Paije’s phone is being worn out by hordes of those producers as I type now, suggesting they wait out his X Factor no-sing period and then unleash a disco house monster on the charts that will make him the new behemoth of British pop-RnB. Craig David, Sophie E-B, Emma Bunton (solo) and Seal all started out guesting on dance tracks and then built successful careers in their own right, so it’s not complete fantasy to suggest that Paije could do the same. Let’s hope.

Failing that, I’d at least like to see him rush out an ultimate disco house covers album with the following track listing:

  1. Love Won’t Turn Around (orig. by Farley Jackmaster Funk)
  2. Please Don’t Go (KWS)
  3. Two Can Play That Game (Bobby Brown/K-Klass)
  4. I Luv U Baby (The Original)
  5. U Don’t Know Me (Armand Van Helden)
  6. Music Sounds Better With You (Stardust)
  7. You See The Trouble With Me (Black Legend)
  8. One More Time (Daft Punk)
  9. Got To Turn Around (Phats and Small)
  10. Make Luv (Room 5 feat Oliver Cheatham)

We will know where the party is. It will be wherever that album is playing.

Posted by ROMANTHONY at 18:34

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