Axed X Factor hopeful Frankie Cocozza has admitted that the “Golden Rule” that he broke to convince show bosses to kick him off was indeed drug related as suspected.
In an interview with the Sun, the teenager, who underwhelmed vocally during his time on the show, but whose wayward image was consciously exploited by the show, and by mentor Gary Barlow denied that he is an addict, using the drug recreationally:
I’ve never bought it myself but I’ve done it about six times when I’ve been p***** and it has been offered to me… The most I’ve done is four lines in one go. I’m not an addict — I’m an idiot.
You said it Mr Cocozza – given the opportunity of a life-time, despite having less obvious talent than some of those who have already been kicked off the show but an image that would sell, he blew it.
Reports suggest that the axe fell on Cocozza after he boasted about a cocaine-fuelled romp with a blonde fan, after taking a line of cocaine at a party. Showbiz and cocaine? Who’d have thought it!
Frankie confessed his take on what happened to the tabloid:
I remember having just one line of coke…and then I was massively gone. I knew it was wrong but that didn’t stop me. I will regret this for the rest of my life. I was an idiot, it was stupid. It wasn’t very role model-like. I let the fans down and I apologise. I also want to say sorry to my mentor Gary Barlow and all the people on the show. Basically, I screwed up.
Again, a refreshing moment of self-awareness from the teenage wannabe, who will most likely enjoy some form of fame in the wake of this scandal – and given the fact that acts who don’t win usually have a greater chance of longevity in the industry than the winners, we might yet see a lot more of the big haired “rocker” yet…
The fact that Frankie made a massive mistake is not up for consideration here – boasting to a potential sexual conquest in the age of the tabloid is hardly the best way to keep your secrets (and illegal ones at that) out of the press – but the show makers must acknowledge their own part in escalating his behaviour. Tempted by the publicity (which Gary Barlow has himself admitted), the show saw Frankie’s hedonism as an irresistible commodity to sell the show – yet another example of a “reality TV show” manipulating sensationalist storylines in order to gain more viewers, and sell more column inches in the daily newspapers.
But the show had a responsibility to the teenager – a duty of care that was badly mishandled, no matter how tone-deaf he might have been, or how teeth-grindingly irritating the whole staging was on his weekly performances (seriously, those entrances flanked by screaming girls were a disgrace). And now Cocozza is gone, Gar Barlow’s snow-white reputation is a little grubby and the show faces a PR nightmare that this weekend’s “sensational” Returnees Vote simply won’t fix.
At least now, Amelia Lily, the hugely talented teenager from Teesside will get the opportunity to challenge for the show’s grand prize – provided the audience do the right thing and vote her back in that is. Because along with Craig, Marcus and Mischa, she was easily in the top four in terms of talent of the finalists.