The X Factor 2011: Frankie Cocozza booted off after “breaking rules”

"My life has gone out of control," says the teenager amid speculation over drug use

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X Factor tearaway Frankie Cocozza has been axed from this year’s programme.

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“I’d like to apologise to Gary, my fellow contestants and everyone who has voted for me, but, as of today, I will no longer be in The X Factor,” Cocozza is quoted as saying in an announcement by the show’s producers. “My life during the show has gone out of control and my behaviour off stage has over-stepped the rules of the competition. I no longer deserve my place in the show, so I am therefore leaving. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me.” 

An X Factor spokesperson added: “Frankie is leaving the show today after breaking competition rules. He is going to take some time out before continuing his career as a singer. We wish him all the best for his future.” 

The statement gives no specific details about which rule in particular has been broken.

A further announcement about Saturday’s live show will be made tomorrow, the spokesperson said – sparking rumours that a recently eliminated contestant, such as Johnny Robinson, could be reinstated.

Cocozza’s behaviour had been attracting adverse headlines for some time. Yesterday, Ofcom confirmed that it was investigating two complaints regarding the Brighton 18-year-old’s appearances on the show. The first incident occurred during the 23 October results show, when Cocozza – perhaps not realising his microphone was switched on – was heard to shout “F*****g get in there!” after it was announced he’d survived the public vote. Ofcom received 102 complaints.

Then last weekend, 28 viewers told Ofcom that the teen lothario’s nights out – as reported during the Saturday performance show – glamorised the abuse of alcohol. In the Sunday results show, Cocozza was quizzed about his behaviour on Saturday night, before it was revealed – by host Dermot O’Leary – that the youngster had had only half an hour’s sleep.

Ejecting Cocozza now for any of the above would, however, seem rather harsh. Much of the focus on Cocozza’s carousing has apparently been part of a publicity drive orchestrated by the show’s producers. On Sunday, for instance, Frankie was visibly reluctant to discuss his personal life.

Unconfirmed speculation is now centring on the rule-breaking in question pertaining to drug use. 

Whatever the reason, Frankie’s exit will not be a disappointment to many viewers. His survival of Sunday’s double elimination was greeted with dismay by RadioTimes.com readers, 82% of whom had said in our weekly poll that he should be voted off.

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