A few months ago the name Frankie Cocozza could have been mistaken for an expensive London cocktail, but now the aforementioned chap has been left feeling shaken and stirred by the media whirlwind which surrounds his short lived X Factor stint. Not only has he been publicly named and shamed for taking drugs, but he has faced a barrage of media abuse and been subjected to Twitter bullying, with the nickname 'Frankie Coke-Up-his-Nosa'. Yes, this cheeky chappy crossed the line by openly taking class A drugs on a night out, and for that he deserved to go, but should this once-lovable rogue really be made to feel like the biggest prick on the planet? My survey certainly says no.
Let's rewind the clock back to September, where the X Factor auditions were in full swing and Cocozza bounded onto the stage in his signature skinnies and displaying that unkempt barnet of his. After dropping his kecks to reveal six girls' names tattooed on his pert bottom, Frankie then charmed the audience with a kooky rendition of The Zuton's Valerie and the rest was history. He had the public in the palm of his hand, and was one of those X Factor contestants who had a golden ticket to the live shows on banter alone. During boot camp he was seen hooking up with girls, and admitted to working the clubs in Malia prior to his audition, so why is everyone in such uproar at an 18-year-old lad enjoying new-found fame and embracing many a sleepless night.
We all remember what 18 was like, the time when rebelling against the norm wasn't an option, but a way of life; if anyone is pigeon-holed and labelled then the X Factor is the perfect pantomime stage for this. I believe Frankie was fed to the lions way before his drug downfall, and I by no means condone taking drugs, but Cocozza isn't an addict and this probably won't be the last time he experiments on a night out.
Shows like the X Factor were once all about the talent, but somehow Simon Cowell's cash cow has taken a wrong turn into the path of a weekly media storm. Every week the papers and magazines are covered in stories of Kelly & Tulisa's spats, Louis's poor judging skills and the contestant's wild nights out. Each X Factor victim enters for the fame and fortune, yes they love to sing, but they aren't fooling anyone by pretending that premieres and parties aren't the life they secretly dream of. Cocozza took a different approach, one never seen on the show before, and partied like an already established rock star; my argument is if it is put in front of an already confident and decent looking lad then he will eventually start to believe his own hype; add alcohol, girls and a front page on The Sun and the rest is history.
Every piece I read before writing this blog slates Cocozza for giving the X Factor a bad name, but Cowell did that all by himself when he changed the judging panel, who do nothing but construct fake arguments and make me want to start watching Strictly; and that's saying something.
To Cocozza's haters I say grow up, give the poor lad a chance and remember how fickle 18-year-old males can be. He is still human at the end of the day, and his crime? Appearing on a fading 'talent' show and partying a little too hard. What the public must remember is that prior to his departure they still voted him in, and even though he had the weakest voice he still had that cheeky sparkle we all look for in a performer. And to Frankie I say this; thank you for bringing something original to the show, keep on being that loveable cheeky chappy and remember that even the weakest of singers can carve a career out of their charm *cough* Robbie Williams *cough cough*
Follow Kelly Holgate on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Kolegate