Exclusive: Paige Thomas talks about her time on 'The X Factor' (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/03/2012
Paige Thomas was ousted from The X Factor Thursday night after the show's co-hosts Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez revealed she was at the bottom of the leaderboard based on home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's Top 8 performance show.
Paige, a 22-year-old from San Antonio, TX, was automatically eliminated without any discussion or voting from The X Factor judges after the singer was declared the eighth-place act with the least amount of votes. Paige was in judge Demi Lovato's "Young Adults" category.
In an exclusive interview on Friday, Paige talked to Reality TV World about her The X Factor experience.
Below is the concluding portion of Paige's interview. Click here to read the initial portion.
Reality TV World: Did the judges say anything to you after you were eliminated. I know Demi joined you on the stage? Did she say anything particular to you that might've given you some hope or inspiration or anything like that?
Paige Thomas: She just said she doesn't think I need the competition to make it big. And [judge L.A. Reid] just said, "Stay in touch." So that was a good thing.
Reality TV World: Simon Cowell has been giving Demi a lot of heat this season for the way she has been developing both you and Cece Frey as pop artists. As we mentioned earlier, you haven't really gotten a lot of praise for your performances until this week. So how did you feel about Demi as a mentor and the direction she was taking you as an artist? Did you agree with everything she was doing along the way or were there specific instances when you argued to do something different but she kind of overruled you?
Paige Thomas: I mean, overall, I think she did a really good job. At the end of the day, I didn't have to do anything that I didn't want to do. My hair is one of the first things that people asked me about.
People like to think that maybe she told me to cut my hair, but realistically, that was my decision at the end of the day. I didn't have to cut my hair if I didn't want to. It's something that I always thought about doing and I wanted to do it. She just pitched it and I agreed to it.
But no, I don't think she was wrong to give me the direction that she did. I just didn't necessarily agree with cutting back and stripping me from my dancers and that element at the end of my journey on the show. That's all. She allowed me to start out like that.
I had the big over-the-top production with my dancers and stuff like that. Unfortunately, that first week wasn't based off of votes. It was based off the judges and so I didn't really see where I placed that week.
And ever since then, it was kind of a gambling game and I just felt like I was kind of in-between a little bit. But, you know, I think I left the show good. I left being myself at the end of the day, and I think that's important. I think that's why I'm able to walk away and say that I'm happy with everything, because I was the one who stood up and said, "This is what I want to do. This way. This is how I see myself as an artist."
But no, she did a good job. I don't really know how Cece feels, but to me, it was just about risks that you have to take sometimes to kind of test them out and see if they work or if they don't. And that's kind of what we did. And I thought she was really -- I thought she was a good mentor.
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Reality TV World: Do you think things would've worked out differently for you if you had maybe Simon Cowell or L.A. as a mentor instead -- one of the mentors with a little more experience? What are your thoughts on that?
Paige Thomas: No, ugh, I don't know. I haven't really thought that over. I would have absolutely loved to work with L.A. just because he signs the type of artists that I am all the time. He works with the type of artists that I am on a regular basis. So I would have loved to have had, you know, L.A. Reid. But I don't know if necessarily it would've been different. I don't really know. That's kind of out of my hands.
Reality TV World: During the week when Jennel Garcia got eliminated, you were in the bottom two with her and Demi actually voted to eliminate you and save Jennel. How did that make you feel? Was that upsetting, or did you expect her to vote that way for any reason? Like maybe she just wanted Simon to choose for her because it was such a difficult decision for her to make.
Paige Thomas: Yeah, I think that might've been the case, but you know, I wasn't too upset because this whole competition, I've kind of had people doubt me. So it was just like another thing. At some point, you just kind of learn to block everything out and just realize the only thing you can do is just be the best that you can be and the rest is out of your hands.
So at that moment, I was just like, "Okay, well, I'm in the bottom. All I can do is sing the song the best that I can, and if I'm going to get put through, I'm going to get put through. If not, then I'm not."
Reality TV World: At the beginning of the season, the show edited you and Cece as kind of rivals -- like you were similar singers who always seemed to be vying for one spot. Could you talk about what your relationship with Cece was like in the beginning and whether that editing was representative of how things really were between you? And how did you relationship with Cece progress if at all?
Paige Thomas: It was definitely how you saw it for me anyways. We wanted that spot and you just don't know what's going to happen. We never knew that we were going to both be together for the majority of the competition together.
So yeah, you're doing the best that you can not to necessarily knock other people out of the competition, but just to make sure that you make it to that next step. So, I think that, for the most part, was pretty much true.
But we learned to respect each other as artists. And once we realized that it's not about competing each other but rather just being ourselves each and every time you go onstage, then things [got better]. That's when we were able to look at the bigger picture and just respect each other instead of compete with each other in kind of a negative way.
Reality TV World: So would you say you and Cece actually developed a friendship or is it now just more of a mutual feeling of respect for one another, like you just mentioned?
Paige Thomas: More of a mutual feeling of respect. I'm definitely friends with her -- nothing too serious -- but you know, I have no hard feelings towards her at all.
Reality TV World: Looking back on all your performances and different looks, if you could do it all again, was there anything in particular you would change? Like for instance, would you have kind of dug right into that street style you featured this week more towards the beginning of the show?
Paige Thomas: No, I wouldn't have done it any other way. The one thing I don't want people to think is that the "over-the-top" look for me [was] not real, because that was the best part of this whole competition, is working with people you guys don't get to see behind cameras. For instance, such as Brian Friedman. He's an amazing choreographer. He's the creative director for the show.
Him and I had a vision for everything. We just saw eye-to-eye on everything. He did things over-the-top and humongous. I'm so blessed to be able to say that I've worked with him. He's choreographed for Beyonce and he put the snake around [Britney Spears]' neck. He choreographed for Britney all the time.
So just the fact that I was able to work with him on a daily basis was amazing. And then [the stylist Maria], she's worked with Carrie Underwood and stuff like that -- and Usher. But those were the -- I loved going to them to see what else we were going to do and stuff like that, because they also had a big say in the direction that I went. Those were the people I got to work with besides just Demi.
But I definitely wouldn't do anything different. I'm glad that I was able to showcase the many different sides that I have. But each and every one of those sides have been true to me. Just maybe, some of those performances, I would've kept more dancers. Because I'm not just a singer, you know?
I do more than just singing. I like to perform and put on a show. That's what this competition is about -- or at least I thought. And yeah, I just went out there every single time and showcased everything that I have because I never knew when it was going to be my last time.
Reality TV World: So based upon what you're saying, it sounds like you kind of think The X Factor is steering away from its initial premise of looking for an overall star with the entire package, right? Like maybe you think the show is becoming more about just the excellent singer?
Paige Thomas: You know, I'm not quite sure. But I don't necessarily think it's "the x factor." It's more about who's voting and what they want.The X Factor is not the one who's making the cuts based off [star quality]. It's more about the people who are watching and voting.
It's just you don't know what they want and I auditioned for the show because it allowed you to do over-the-top [performances]. It allows you to have the opportunity to perform those Grammy-like performances, and I did that. And that's when I placed low. So, it's not necessarily "x factor." It's just more like demographic-wise what the people who are watching the show want.
Reality TV World: Was there anyone who went home already before you that ultimately shocked you? And also, out of everyone who's left, who did you see as being your toughest competition while you were on the show?
Paige Thomas: Well, I didn't necessarily look at people or the contestants as my biggest competition. Obviously everyone there is absolutely amazing. I think it's anyone's game. I can honestly say I don't know who might win it. I don't know. Everyone's so good. Honestly, it's anyone's game.
But I was shocked about David Correy. I was shocked about Jennel and I being in the bottom that time. I definitely think that I deserved to stay, but I was shocked that we were both in the bottom. And yeah, I've grown to respect [Diamond White] and her mother.
I've become really close with them. So I wish her well, and I believe that she deserves every amount of success that she earns in this competition. But I just don't even know who will win it at this point. I really don't.
Reality TV World: What's next for you? What are your plans for the near future?
Paige Thomas: I'm definitely going to start getting into acting more, modeling and I'm currently going to be working on my new CD that I'll be releasing pretty soon. And hopefully, I'll tour after that, and I'll just see where that takes me.
But yeah, my dream doesn't necessarily start and end with music. There's so much more to me. I want to eventually end up in movies and stuff like that, so we'll see where that goes, but I'll definitely get back into modeling and roll with that as well.
Above is the concluding portion of Paige's interview. Click here to read the initial portion.