Will Frankie Cocozza benefit from a sympathy bounce?

After his ignominious drop into the bottom two, can Frankie Cocozza avoid this week’s sing-off? If so, it will be a sign of the so-called sympathy bounce. The ladies’ man certainly has tongues wagging in the Sofabet forum – our commenters have been sharply divided on the issue this week.

Those who expect him in the danger zone once more include Simon, who explained: “There is so much negativity… in the media… I can see him in the bottom 2 again.” Donald agreed, saying “Frankie has thrown the towel in really.” Jack put his finger on it when he said: “I just wonder if the public won’t buy Frankie as a credible artist.”

But there were plenty who expect to see the south coast lad safe this week. Rob said: “Sympathy bounce + pimp slot + easier song should keep him safe.” Mark concurred: “Given this rock week and a good slot, perhaps the pimp slot he should be safe as houses.” Henry remarked: “No reason why Frankie shouldn’t get a sympathy bounce, it is a well established phenomenon.”

For every argument, there’s a counter-argument:

History shows us that nearly three-quarters of acts that survive the bottom two for the first time are voted clear of the danger zone the following week: 23 out of 31 acts across the seven series so far.

The sympathy bounce occurs less often for the act that survives the first sing-off of the series. Since 2007, three out of the four acts who survived the danger zone after the first public vote were there again a week later (Rachel Adedeji, Girlband and Alisha Bennett).

Frankie is one of the high-profile talking points of the series – like Katie Waissel last year, the only one of the last four first week sing-off survivors to bounce (and the only one to get any help in the second week’s running order: Katie got a helpful late slot, while Rachel Adedeji, Girlband and Alisha Bennett were all sent out 4th). The show has pushed him from the very start of the series, and this week’s tabloid headlines mean he is the focus of Saturday’s show more than anyone else (indeed, one wonders if the show gave him “a rare night off… and the green light to let his big hair down” precisely in the hope of him getting this kind of publicity). Such attention can surely only help his ability to bounce.

Those stories of his sexual exploits are hardly likely to endear him to the voting public, who clearly failed to be impressed by his arse tattoos and the message this gave. Forums indicate overwhelming negativity towards him.

His profile means he is likely to be highly pimped this week. The theme – rock week – should suit (one might even wonder if it was chosen to suit, following early reports first that it would be Motown and then “Heroes”). As commenter Simon “le chat” points out, his rumoured song choice (on Judge’s spoilers site) of Primal Scream’s ‘Rocks’ demands less vocal range and should thus be more suitable – as well as having lyrics that consciously play up his image. We can expect a better slot in the running order, a bigger production to help hide his weak vocals, and  judges’ comments saying how much he has improved from last week.

Gary has already tried to sell us on the idea that Frankie is “an artist”, and the public has not bought it at all. Frankie’s vocal shortcomings are all too obvious and already manifest to all. Therefore, attempts to pimp Frankie will only look desperate.

Last week was terrible for Frankie, but it wasn’t much better for many of his competitors. With this Saturday’s first act up in the Strictly overlap zone, and a theme less likely to suit others, there is plenty of opportunity for producers to dampen support for those acts they feel are vulnerable and more expendable.

But who? Last week’s least favoured by the running order, Sami, has some regional and niche support, and survived a death slot. Producers have shown plenty of love for the other acts that bookmakers think are most in danger of facing the sing-off: Johnny, Kitty and Rhythmix. (This is a question we’ll come back to in our next post, looking at the elimination market in more detail.)

So there’s the case for and against Frankie being in the danger zone once more. The next question that arises is what the judges might do if he’s in the sing-off again. Boki asked the question, “Could they save Frankie again?” Andrew rightly used the example of Katie Waissel in his reply. The show benefited from keeping this polarising figure in the competition despite multiple sing-offs because it generated much-needed controversy.

The question of Frankie’s potential to bounce may therefore be academic for those looking at the elimination market alone. Or perhaps not: it would put judges in a bind if he was up against an act like Rhythmix, who producers have also shown that they really want to keep around.

All the more reason for them to try as hard as possible to push Frankie into safety this Saturday. I’m expecting producers to throw the kitchen sink in a bid to save Frankie, and I reckon that should be enough. What do you think? Do let us know below.

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41 comments to Will Frankie Cocozza benefit from a sympathy bounce?

  • EM

    From my limited view of the press Frankie is the only contestant putting the show on the front pages and the one people are talking about in anyway. If this was a soap opera they’d be keeping him going as long as they can… and it is. They’ll do all to keep him in, like changing the theme. He will be on near or at the end to keep the audience hooked in, remember this is a show that’s under massive ratings scrutiny, so pimp slot is a double win for the producers.

    If he hits bottom two against anyone who ain’t going to win so most of them he’ll be saved.

    The show is struggling to get its mojo this year and it looks like the opportunity to make series money from the top acts is waning so this will be all about the ratings.

  • Tim

    Daniel, I agree with your conclusion that Frankie is likely to be safe. A passable performance of ‘Rocks’ in the second half of the show should be enough.

    EM, Kitty has also been on the front pages again this week. I don’t read tabloids myself but often try catch a glance of the front pages to see who’s featured. The public are coming around to her, she’s playing piano this week and rock week suits her perhaps even more so than Frankie. I expect her to be safe, and will be laying her again. Question is, in a bottom 2 scenario with Frankie vs. Kitty, would he really survive against her? I think they would vote him off.

    • EM

      Agree Tim, I think they are struggling with the Wagner/Jedward character this year, you know the one you don’t like as a person but get enough credit for being the underdog, doing a big performance, aren’t as boring as the also rans.

      Goldie looked like plan A for this but she pulled out, Kitty could fit the bill a la Katie last year but enough people quite like her and she can sing better than most. Jonny is too like Bambi to get publicly shot down but they appear to have stumbled on Frankie as the headline grabbing but not likeable person.

      I think he won’t be bottom two but if he were he’d be safe against Sami, Sophie, Rhythmix, Marcus, Jonny and maybe Craig in the interests of ratings

  • Simon "le chat"

    Hmm. The show is top heavy with girls and it is time for one or more of them to go. There is a strong positive undercurrent for Sophie and Janet is the most popular by far so maybe MISHA is going to come down to earth with a crash. Of the “olders” both Kitty and Johnny fill the same role of OTT slapstick but while both are better than SAMI for TV ratings Johnny singing “I believe in a thing called love” will be in danger. If MARCUS gets a rubbish song, bad slot and negaive comments then he could be in real trouble but would survive the sing off.
    As for FRANKIE, well he’s totally rubbish as a singer but at the moment he is the star of the show because he keeps it on the front pages. Most people out there seem to love to hate him and rightly so in my view. However the judges will not let him go – they have fed news about him clubbing with 5 girls until 6 am to the media and the whole “get your rocks off” is to showcase his sexuality and hope by doing so to hide his limited talent.
    I belive Frankie will be safe and the bottom 2 will be Sami and one other to be identified after the performances.
    Frankie safe though because the producers need a star until a new one steps from the shadows of the current front runners.
    Cue MARCUS!
    CRAIG is going out in the betting, FRANKIE we all agree cannot win so I’ll be having some more of the CORALS 100/30 as soon as I see MARCUS has a good song and rely on his ability to do the rest.

    • Henry VIII

      No chance of Misha crashing. She’s one of the ones they’re pushing. I agree that Marcus could be in trouble but I very much hope not as I think he has potential.

  • mark the bookie basher

    marcus collings at 11-1 to go and 4-1 in the bottom 2 is a must bet the least most interesting person in the competion mr average and the producers el wont rid asap the only person he might survive against in a sing off is sami brookes – frankie as safe as houses big production last on and sympathy bounce lay him 2 go

  • Simon "le chat"

    I obviously disagree Mark.
    IF MARCUS gets a decent song and reasonable slot he will start to make his move.
    If he is in first two or three with rubbsih unknown song then he might get in bottom 2 but of the three boys, Frankie is doomed, Craig is limited and has reached his peak with “Jar of hearts” and to eject MARCUS will risk Gary having no one in the semis.
    Time for a girl to go – SAMI in botom 2 because she is a good karaoke singer but that’s about it. Who will join her? Possibly Frankie, maybe MISHA maybe JOHNNY.
    This show is under pressure and they will want to make headlines by ejecting someone in controversy. We’ll know what the producers intend with MARCUS by this time tomorrow and the song choice will reveal that. I’d lay him all day to be kicked out- no chance amigo!

    • Rob

      retaining someone controversially is just as good as getting rid of someone controversially. it’s true it looks bad for gary to lose all his guys early but tbh the talent was limited this year and gary/producers made poor choices. i’m sticking with marcus/johnny to go until i see the running order. sami may be used as a hedge if required.

  • Panos

    guys, i think combo bets r best at the mo. a combo of sami-johnny-rhythmix-sophie for elimination with odds 0.91 is pretty decent. craig, marcus and frankie would be saved against all of the above me thinks.

    • mark

      you mean like double chance, betting two contestants to go? as there’s no double chance market, although no need really

      there’s a bottom two combo market at skybet normally –

      • Panos

        i meant, for example, splitting ur stake at approx a ratio 2.5:1.5:1 for the elimination of sami:johnny:rhythmix will give aprox 0.86 for any1 of the 3 going. i reconsidered and I think craig, frankie and sophie would be saved against any of the pre-mentioned. of course, then comes the question, whats the chance of the bottom 2 being comprised by 2 out of the 3 craig-frankie-sophie. i think very lil.

  • Donald

    The producers might throw the kitchen sink at it but what has Frankie got to throw at it?

    Frankie singing “Get Your Rocks Off” to a Saturday night family audience might be the worst that has ever been seen in the history of X Factor and that’s even after last Saturday.

    And how will the public react to being told “Get Your Rocks Off” by Frankie. It not hard to imagine what most will be saying.

    Frankie is not an indie kid so there goes all cred re the song also.

    Johnny’s song another danger “marmite” song.

    So as last Saturday betting in running but being brave last Sat the minute Frankie was crap paid off. He might be saved but at the odds currently available must be worth bit of punt as said yesterday.
    Where’s he going to get the votes from to be out of bottom 2?
    There is so much negativity against him on top of that.

    The more they push him the more the public disliking him, with all the coverage and pimping Frankie has had it will definitely take the kitchen sing.

    He may well get the bounce but he needs it like no one before really.

    Off course he might sing well?

    I have no faith in him to do that hence have got stuck in a bit at the odds but no madness until Saturday.

    Has anybody figured out why viewers dropped so much last 15 mins of the show last week?

  • Henry VIII

    I agree with Daniel that they’ll try and save Frankie from B2. I can just hear Louis – “Frankie you’ve got your mojo back!”

    • EM

      HAHA along with him saying “you’re the next big rock star in this country” and “I want everyone from XXXX to pick up the phone and vote for you”

      • mark

        ‘we were worried last week, but now you’ve come back and showed us we have no reason to’ or some rubbish

        I think Paddys used to offer betting on what the X Factor judges would say – lads offer a market on number of times during the results show dermot says ‘and in no particular order’-cant remember what the line was – anyone have an idea how many times on average id say 2-3?

  • Ron

    Frankie may well dodge the bottom 2 but I suspect it won’t be by much. He appears to be a deeply unpopular contestant and there’s nothing he can do to turn this around – he simply hasn’t got the talent or the likeability to win people over.

    I predict an early exit for the guy. He’s taking a mountain of abuse across the internet and practically nobody is speaking up in his defence, which means he is not a ‘marmite’ contestant. He has managed to unite the viewers in their dislike of him, which is some feat.

    • Donald

      Some feat alright, especially with all the coverage he has had. He has had too much and it totally has not worked, and they’ve added more all week in the tabloids etc.

      With all the negativity and dislike for him producers may just cut their losses and try get more even attention on the rest of the show.

      More in the show than Frankie. It’s going to be interesting to see how it pans out but while he might get the bounce every chance that he won’t and will be in the botom 2 again.

      They then might save him for the uproar it will create. The prices are tempting though.

      Really hard to know.

      Daniel going for three weeks right so I wait and see what Daniel thinks but have had a little on Frankie for bottom two and to go.

  • tpfkar

    This is where the term ‘sympathy bounce’ you’ve coined isn’t that helpful. Frankie is about as unsympathetic a contestant as it gets, but the phenomenon is that knowing your favourite is in trouble might get you to vote when you didn’t otherwise. It’s the number of silent frankie supporters who this will affect (as well as possibly getting his fans to vote multiple times) which should leave him safe given a big production. And the producers will surely have learnt their lesson from last week – they left him very exposed with that song choice and order.

    • Ron

      But his actual fanbase must be very small. To finish in the bottom 2 out of 12 acts in the first week of voting suggests the guy is already in serious trouble. Even if he manages to dodge the bottom 2 this week, he’ll probably land there again next week.

      What’s working against him is that he is not likeable and not talented, making it virtually impossible to stage any sort of recovery.

      • Nicky

        I think his VT will be important if he is to get a sympathy bounce. He’ll need to come across as likeable and to show some humility to get any sympathy. This, combined with heavy pimping and a passable performance, might just get him through if the voting margins are tight.

  • Nicky

    Looking on Betfair, Gary Barlow is 6-1 to be winning mentor – thought this was quite good as you’re effectively getting Marcus and Craig.

  • mark the bookie basher

    youre missing my point simon marcus wont get a decent song or slot because the producers will want rid dont get me wrong i have nothing against the kid he just doesnt stand out and hes forgetable hes not the worst singer in the competition not by any means but hes not a headline maker and his recording voice is average therefore the producers are simply not interested in him thats why i believe 12-1 to go and 4-1 bottom 2 is the bet this week

  • simon "le chat"

    Hi Mark
    My point is that MARCUS will be given a chance this week. The first four favourites are the three girls and The RISK then CRAIG who cannot possibly win. The show is too girlie heavy and one of the GLAM oldies will be surplus to requirements. SAMMI is in danger- good voice but newsworthy? Nope. JONNIE is a good singer but a joke so in danger too. Then FRANKIE is also in danger- who is goiong to vote for him? People out there think (rightly) the guy is a talentless pompous overpromoted dick. He might eb saved over SAMMI but I wouldnt guarentee it.

    I believe this week will be MARCUS’s turn to shine. Why? Consider
    (i) There has always been a boy in the final and a boy has won most of the years. It is therefore inconceivable there will not be a boy in the final three,
    (ii) If that is right who have we got? Well FRANKIE is not going to get that far- people do not like him, he hasnt enough support and not enough talent to turn it around. So that leaves CRAIG and MARCUS as Gary’s remaining horses.
    (iii) CRAIG’s JAR OF HEARTS has been the o/s performance so far and he still trades upon it. It’s all very well Gary telling him he is in a class of his own but the same judge glossed over FRANKIE singing hopelessly out of time and tune. CRAIG is not an appealing individual- he’s not handsome, he makes awful gurning expressions when he sings and appears smug. He sings a good ballad but that I fear is it- one trick pony and why jettison MARCUS and put all your equity on the gurn?
    (iv)MARCUS is talented, he looks good, he puts up a good show and above all he is really likeable. He has more potential than any of the other acts IF -and its a big IF- the producers will give him a chance. If MARCUS is sacrificed this or next week, Garry will end up not having an act in the last6 let alone the final. I still belived the 100/30 offered by CORALS for him to be top boy is stupendous odds, and the only thing that has stopped me filling my boots is because I dont know if MARCUS is going to get shafted with a bad song on Saturday night.
    If it is anything like a decent song I’ll be lumping on.

    • mark

      Simon, it feels like we’re reading from the same book – along with you ive been on the Marcus train since day 1…

      But in response to some others – will he, wont he..sympthathy bounce, well I think he gets the pimp slot and the bounce – but

      surely there’s a chance it wont be enough of a bounce to keep him safe from the b2?

      On the other hand however what with voting numbers so low this early on, it could quite easily make him safe?

  • Ronnie

    Simon – you are wasting your time backing MARCUS at 100/30 at Corals.

    I say that as he is now 7/2 with Sportingbet.

    I’m very tempted.

  • annie

    Frankie will get the pimp slot,or the next best thing, they need him on the show, he’s still the main man for headlines. and he needs to be kept out of the bottom 2, i don’t think another save can be justified. yes, i know katie got saved 4 times, but twice from that was on deadlock, plus she had rubbish song choices and arrangements (don’t speak, saturday night’s alright for fighting…) and then she actually smashed the sing offs, whereas everyone’s ears bled when frankie did the survival song, so they can’t save go on saving him on that for sure.
    I have a strong feeling marcus won’t be favoured and will be bottom2, he just didn’t make sufficient impact on the live shows, craig has gained momentum week one to last a few weeks, and they will loose a boy before the top 8 for the tour is set.
    the girls are looking quite strong, even sophie seems to catch up on fanbase, her youtube video has surprisingly many clicks. tulisa won’t see won’t loose another groups just yet, it would be too humiliating.
    I also think they’l loose either or both Johny and Sami before top 8 for tour, johnie has the big productions, but kitty does them too, one act with flashy staging is enough. I feel sami is expandable, but I felt the same after a few weeks about mary byrne last year, yet surprisingly she was top 5 up to the shameless sing off(and they are a bit similar in the big belting ballad singer sense).
    so I think the next 3 weeks will see the departure of marcus,johnie and sami or maybe rhytmix…

    • Boki

      There is a lot of sense in your post annie. Opinion on Marcus is really divided, we all think he can perform but the bottom line is he’s not done it yet. We can blame the difficult songs but if you look how insecure he was last time while Craig (who irritates me like hell) acts like most confident singer on Earth. I think public will punish Marcus if he doesn’t really smash it this time, wait and see…

  • Boki

    One interesting question: If Marcus and Sami end up in bottom 2 (while both not favored with good slots) who will be saved ?

  • Simon "le chat"

    Oh for goodness sake, ye of little faith!
    MARCUS is not going anywhere near the bottm 2 for weeks and weeks.
    We all agree X factor is a slick money making machine so who are people going to PAY MONEY to go and see?
    I mean which of the acts would the average youngster with Mum and Dad PAY MONEY to go and see?
    THE RISK – yes
    JANET- yes
    MISHA -yes
    KITTY- yes
    FRANKIE -sadly- yes
    MARCS – YES – puts on a great show
    JOHNIE – YES
    RYTHMIX -YES

    These my friends are the tourers.
    Who does it leave?
    SOPHIE
    SAMMI
    CRAIG
    One of these will go this weekend.
    The other two will go in the following weekends.
    Mark my words.
    SAMMI and FRANKIE in bottom 2 methinks and FRANKIE will be saved and saved to the last 8.

  • Simon "le chat"

    Watching US X factor
    Drew got through.
    In adverts plugging JOE McIlderry now rehabilitated as a “serious” singer.
    Do me a favour!
    The lad needs a slap!

  • Ron

    Barlow tells The Sun “I regret picking Frankie”.

    It would be interesting to see what’s going on here, whether he’s genuinely trying to get Frankie voted off the show, or create a sympathy vote.

    • EM

      As you often see with the papers if you read the article he doesn’t actually say that at all. It’s more that he wondered on Monday morning if he’d done the right thing picking Frankie.

      It’s hard to decipher the article with accuracy but it could be read as am attempt to position Frankie’s relationship with Gary to the one he has with Robbie Williams. Polar opposites in character which leads to frustration but ultimately mutually beneficial and interesting.

      Whether by The Sun’s choice or Gary’s the other two boys are only mentioned in passing. “they’re doing ok”.

      Also sowed the seeds for the a vote for Jonny is a vote against Gary that we’ve seen used to success with Simon and Wagner/Jedward etc. Suggests he has little support but they’re keen to keep him in.

      • Andrew

        My favourite Gary quote from that article:

        “Simon said if you can work at the show and make it ten per cent better each week, by the end of the series the show will be 50 per cent better.”

        For a wealthy man, Simon is surprisingly bad at compound interest calculations 🙂

  • Simon "le chat"

    Kitty is singing “LIVE AND LET DIE” by Paul McCartney and Wings.
    It will be fabulous.
    She certainly isn’t going anywhere.

  • Noisy

    Do you think the producers will stick with Janet as Plan A?

    They’ve wanted a group to win to show there’s a point to the category Idol doesn’t have (though not much point entering as none got through to the voting!) so now the Risk are serious contendors to win maybe they’ll dump Janet as she’s their biggest threat? They stitched up and dumped Amelia who was Janet’s biggest threat in week 1. I wouldn’t have thought Rock Week would suit her too much.

    Marcus would be another threat to either of those two and producers haven’t helped him with decent songs yet so I could see him being first on and got shot of. He’s been 3rd boy on each week so far so would be due an early slot. He could have been one of the favourites by now if they’d wanted him to be. (Sorry Simon!)

  • Pete D

    Simon “le chat”.
    Ugh, I can’t think of a worse person to cover a classic by my fav artist of all time, Sir Macca (and of a Bond theme too). To me Kitty is an insecure attention seeking sandwich short of a picnic. The producers only want to keep her in because she is a newsworthy loose cannon with a very short fuse. Nevertheless, great for certain types of fun bet.
    Enjoying your observations, good call.

  • Simon "le chat"

    Hi Pete D
    Macca is my favourite artist of all time too – the greatest living Englishman and his song is going to be interpreted by, like you say, an attention seeking insecure sandwich short of a picnic.
    She could do well. She is playing the piano I belive although I expect that will be the opening few chords and not where the tempo picks up with the octive single notes- if she can play that as well as sing then we have a serious contender because the producers clearly like her. I expect that she will simply play a few notes and then prance around but make no mistake, Ktty has friends out there on both sides of the screen and there is absolutely no chance of her going anywhere this week or indeed for the enxt few- expect a huge production this evening with flashing lights, fire and dancers.
    Couldn’t see JANET performing this song.
    It will be interesting to see what JANET does do – Aerosmith probably or Black Velvet.

    • Nicky

      Or Bryan Adams ‘Everything I Do’, but hopefully not!

    • Donald

      Janet tweeted to say she was doing a song by one of her heros since she was a kid. By all accounts Janet bit of a rock fan and certainly has rock tastes on the web.

      So she could surprise. Surprising Kitty didn’t go for Cher type track like If I Could Turn Back Time but choice is good.

      Be interesting if anyone has the brains to do Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, The Killers Muse, Greenday etc. they are the big mainstream rock acts now and some cracking songs to cover.

    • Pete D

      Simon “le chat”.
      Great to meet a fellow Macca fan, I cold talk all day about THE God of Bass. Just got front-side stage tix to Liverpool and was there in the Liv-Apollo last year and the BBC Roundhouse proms too. I now know Pablo who does his live sound (through a local mate, who’s band I do sound for and who actually once tour managed Macca for a short while in 80/90’s).
      I’ve just got home after a gig and watching XF (with a nice large glass of malt), so will sleep on it and reply properly tomorrow.
      As you may guess, I am in the music biz, ex-pro bass player – solo singer – lately recording/sound engineer and I ran probably the biggest Karaoke show in Cumbria in the early 90’s with pro sound gear/lights FX etc (where I also ran and guest judged large area talent competitions too). I have some interesting opinions on XF (as I even auditioned for it once for a laugh and saw the ‘other side’ to it first hand).
      For what my experienced but humble opinions are worth they may just be useful to throw in the hat.
      There is going to be a twist ending to this comp I think and I have a theory on it.
      Chow for now.

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