Frankie Cocozza axed from X Factor

 

Frankie Cocozza, the party-loving X Factor hopeful, has been axed from the ITV competition.

The teenager had "broken competition rules", according to producers of the show.

Cocozza admitted: "I no longer deserve my place in the show."

His antics have already prompted an Ofcom investigation into the series.

The young wannabe has been pictured on a string of nights out since finding fame in the contest.

He made an impact in the early stages when he boasted that the names of some of his many lovers were tattooed on his bottom.

He said today that his life had "gone out of control" while taking part in the show.

As he left, he said sorry to his mentor, Gary Barlow, and fans who had been voting for him.

Many viewers were astonished that the singer remained in the competition following a below-par performance at the weekend.

Other acts were advising him to curb his behaviour to concentrate on the contest.

Andy Merry, of boyband The Risk - who were voted out on Sunday - said: "We've said to him 'You've got a great opportunity here, just calm down a bit'."

Cocozza said today: "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.

"My life during the show has gone out of control and my behaviour off stage has overstepped 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."

A spokeswoman for The X Factor said: "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."

Just moments before leaving the show today, Cocozza boasted to fans on Twitter that he was shooting the video for an X Factor charity single, Wishing On A Star.

Programme bosses said they would make an announcement tomorrow about how the Saturday show will pan out.

It is the latest drama to engulf the show this year as the programme struggles to match audiences in previous years.

Little over a week ago one group member walked out on the show, leaving The Risk to recruit a new member from another act which had already been given the boot.

And the programme has had to contend with an on-air spat between judges Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos.

Days later Rowland failed to return from a trip to Los Angeles, claiming she had a virus which prevented her from flying, and she had to fire one of her singers by phone during a live results show.

Cocozza's behaviour has led to two investigations by Ofcom into possible breaches of its programme code.

It is looking into whether he fell foul of rules about swearing after he was seen to shout "f****** have it - get in there", when he learned he was through to the next round during a results programme on October 23.

And the regulator is also looking into whether footage of him during a night out with friends may which may have breached the code's rules on glamorising alcohol use.

Ofcom is also looking into a problem with an on-screen contest when multiple choice answers appeared in a different order during the programme.

It is not clear which programme rule had been broken by the 18-year-old from Brighton, and a spokeswoman would not elaborate.

Bookmaker Paddy Power refunded bets on Cocozza to those who had backed him, with stakes amounting to more than £10,000.

Paddy Power said: "Frankie punters didn't get much of a run for their money so we're only too happy to have a decent excuse to give their money back."

The firm has Marcus Collins from Liverpool as favourite to win the show.

Another bookie, William Hill, has Collins as favourite to win, with Kitty Brucknell favourite to be given the chop this weekend.

Barlow said he was "hugely disappointed" that Cocozza had "thrown away" the opportunity.

He said: "Frankie has apologised publicly as well as personally to me and the producers for his actions that led to him leaving the show.

"I'm hugely disappointed that he's thrown away an opportunity like this after working so hard to get here.

"I'm sorry to see him go as we've been through a lot together in such a short time.

"I hope Frankie continues to look to me as a friend and supporter and works it all out, picks himself up and somehow tries to turn this into a positive."

 

PA

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