Frankie and why he is just an X Factor pawn

It is no surprise to me that Frankie Cocozza has walked / been kicked out of X Factor.   What did the bosses really expect?


The competition plucks these kids (I know there is a token nod to the over 25s but the fact they get a separate category proves my point) from obscurity and catapults them into the limelight overnight.    On Saturday night the show on ITV was seen by 11 million people.   11 million.  Frankie sang and yes, I tweeted that I thought he was rubbish, but he got the mother of all character assassinations in front of 11 million people.   Louis tore into him.   Telling him that not only was he not a rock star but that he would “Never be a rock star”.   I was livid and tweeted that you can never say that to somebody just as Kelly Rowland did the same thing.

That bullying is why I never watch this programme and at some point will be the subject of a separate blog post.

But that kid stood there and had his performance destroyed.  He left the stage assuming that was it.   He was going to be booted off by the public the following night.

The shows bosses then allowed him to go out drinking in Funky Buddah.   Why was that?  Why was he not escorted back to the X Factor house and put under a curfew?   I am sure there must be something in their contracts that covers this.

We have already had the kiss and tell stories about Frankie being “in a bad place” when he split from a girlfriend last year and being very depressed.    Well if he was depressed then it would be nothing compared to how he must have felt on Saturday night, I am certain.

Gary Barlow was filmed telling Frankie that “I am not going to tame you” and since then the media have portrayed Frankie as a the “wild child” of the competition.   He was permitted to leave the house on Saturday night and party until the small hours and was almost patted on the back for only having half an hour’s sleep.   No doubt he went out on Saturday night with a mindset of “I am being voted off tomorrow night so what the hell” and therefore did what 18 year old kids do.   Yes, he is only 18.

He was 18, drowning his sorrows in the full glare of the media.   Where were the advisors?    Where were chaperones?

They were nowhere to be seen.   They allowed this to happen.  Why?  Because what are we all talking about now?  What are we going to be doing on Saturday night? It is all a ratings boost.  The old addage of “all publicity is good publicity” is never truer than when something like this happens.

I bet the Beatles never played to 11 million people within three months of being discovered.   I can’t think of anybody who would have done to be honest.   Rock stars and thousands of bands work for years to get the sort of breaks shows like X Factor give these kids.   Do they nurture them on the way up?   Do they protect them?

No they let them make mistakes in front of millions and then they chuck them out.

“You have boosted our ratings now go”.   Yes, he made a mistake if the drug allegations are true.   But did they really expect him to do anything else?

At the end of the day whether you think Frankie Cocozza can sing or not he is an 18 year old kid who is now incredibly vulnerable.   He knows he has destroyed any chance he ever had of winning that competition.

That kid needs a hug, not public ridicule and jokes being RT’ed about him.

And everybody at Syco and X Factor should take a damn good look at how they treat these impressionable kids.

If this is our idea of entertainment now, then forget it.   I am out of here.

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  • Do so agree. These ‘shows’ have become about bullying and giving kids throughout the land unreasonable expectations. No programme like this should be without psychologists, counsellors, mentors and chaperones. He was badly let down.

  • Completely agree. I don’t watch any of these shows (being abroad) but hate reading about them in the press too. These people plucked out of obscurity for their 15 minutes, being promised the world and then dropped. It’s disgusting and exploitative.

    I believe as far as I have heard that they do have psychologists etc on the team, but how much they are used, or if they are influenced to ensure that things go the company’s way? Not sure.

  • Agree completely – and I don’t even watch it.
    Same with footballers. Young lads get paid hundreds of thousand pounds a year – many of them having come from nothing – and we tut and are appalled when they behave badly in nightclubs or smash up expensive sports cars… But of course they are going to do that.

  • MummyB,
    Agree to a point. He should never have been selected in the first place but he seemed arrogant enough to believe the “hype”. His mentor and the team are driven by ratings and nothing else. When Gary turns round and says “Oh Frankie, you’re my little rock star” at Judge’s house what’s the boy to do? However, his performances were shambolic and worse than the worst karaoke. At what point does personal responsibility or even pride kick in? He is making himself a laughing stock. He has wasted the “opportunity”. No one else entered him into this circus. Equally, the media are a self fulfilling bunch of vultures. They feed their egos and sit and pick at them til they fall.
    I would love this this to be last we see of the X Factor.

  • This is one of the reasons I will not watch this trash. All it does is ruin people. If the winner is lucky they may get Christmas No 1 the year they win, but after that.

    As you say a group that has fought its way up the normal route and them being lucky enough to be discovered are usualy a lot more centered and will be around a lot longer.

    Its car crash TV and 11 million people tuen into watch it happen. If more prople tuned out and watched something else then this style of programe would go. But they wont Human psykie (I know its spet wrong) loves to watch others suffer.

  • This is why I won’t watch them. They are ‘bread and circuses’ for the masses. No different than people fighting lions in the stadium.

  • I agree, up to a point. Your general point is a good one, and well made, but I don’t think that Frankie Cocozza would behave any differently were he in the public eye or not. He seems to be modelling himself on Pete Doherty, or at least that kind of mentality, and was a casual drug user before he entered the show.
    Whilst the show, and it’s allied spotlight, might not help it certainly isn’t the one and only reason why Frankie Cocozza is the way he is.

    • I agree Steve. Nobody made him go out and do those things, I grant you that. But the media’s portrayal of Doherty and the way drugs are often glamorised will mean we always get youngsters wanting to copy it.

      What should have happened is that the bosses at X Factor channelled it and protected Frankie from himself.

      • That’s fair comment, too. But, and let’s be honest here, he shouldn’t even have been ON the show because he can’t sing!
        There is always a whipping boy, which is wrong in and of itself, but some form of singing talent should be the MINIMUM requirement, surely?

        Frankie was/is a disaster waiting to happen but I’m not sure I can blame the media for that. Do the media *really* glamourise Pete Doherty. Is it even possible?

        I do think that The X Factor is on seriously borrowed time. I also think Simon Cowell knew it, which is why he jumped ship. It’s toxic TV, that’s for sure.