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    Posted: 07 Nov 2011 at 09:44

Fury as wild Frankie Cocozza cheats axe after X Factor flop

Ring pull ... Frankie Cocozza with can of lager during night out
Published: Today at 01:29

X FACTOR favourites Johnny Robinson and The Risk were AXED last night — as tuneless party animal Frankie Cocozza SURVIVED.

Stunned viewers were left checking their hearing as 19-year-old Frankie, who spent much of last week out on the lash, escaped the sing-off and claimed a place in next week's show.

And last night many reacted with fury to the astonishing events that saw him stay despite a dire performance of Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling on Saturday night.

Boy band The Risk, one of Tulisa Contostavlos's groups, were the first voted off in the ITV1 show yesterday.

It had been thought they were safe, but acts criticised by the judges pipped them to be taken through to next week.

Votes on the night left Johnny and flamboyant Kitty Brucknell to fight it out for survival.

Johnny, 45, sang the Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody using his unique falsetto to great effect. Kitty, 26, looked sombre as she sang Kelly Clarkson's Beautiful Disaster but belted out the tune confidently.

Bust-up ... Gary Barlow raps rival Louis Walsh

In the end the first three judges saved Kitty, sending her through to next week's show.

But anger over the eliminations saw the phrase "Fix Factor" start trending on Twitter — with a string of celebs furious at the decision to keep Frankie.

Tears ... Kitty Brucknell

Wayne Rooney tweeted: "Just turned X Factor off. Disgraceful. 1st time I've ever refused to watch it."

Cricket legend Michael Vaughan tweeted: "That's it. My X factor watching career is over. Joke." Viewer Paulie Fenty said on the microblogging site: "It's unfair that real talented people are losing the chance to get their dream while Frankie stays in."

Furious ... Louis Walsh hit out

Ellie Marie Young posted: "Cannot believe The Risk have gone over Frankie."

A poster calling herself Persian Gal said: "This is an unacceptable result. Frankie can't sing and has no charisma."

But Frankie's mentor — show judge Gary Barlow — refused to apologise for Frankie's success and said it was not sympathy votes that got him through.

He said: "Frankie had a tough night last night, he really did. He's had great weeks previous to this — there's a fanbase out there for him."

Eccentric ... Johnny Robinson

Frankie had earlier seemed resigned to leaving The X Factor, admitting beforehand: "I'm ready for the worst tonight."

But last night he revealed his delight at being kept on, adding: "I literally could not believe it."

On the Sunday night show, host Dermot O'Leary told viewers that pale-faced Frankie had managed only half an hour's sleep on Saturday night.

After singing, the wild wannabe had headed straight from The X Factor studios to an off licence with pals.

Shock ... The Risk get booted off

He then went to a private house party before moving on to Mayfair's Funky Buddha nightspot, where he met up with a fan before heading home with several girls in tow.

A source said: "At one point Frankie was seen at a window in just his boxers. The party went on until 7am. Not the best preparation for Sunday's show."

Last night Frankie pledged to stay in for the next six days. He said: "I'm not going to go out this week. That's it."

Last night's shock eliminations saw the X Factor odds slashed on previous favourites.

Frankie was 100/1 three weeks ago, but is now just 8/1.

Beauties ... blondes at house

David Williams of Ladbrokes said: "Nobody expected The Risk to be packing their bags. It was the biggest shock of the series by far. Frankie really is the croaky cat with nine lives."

Earlier judge Gary was blasted by fellow judge Louis Walsh after making Kitty CRY with a withering rant.

Louis, 59, laid into the Take That star backstage after he slammed Kitty's singing and dancing on Saturday's show.

The Sun can reveal Kitty "went berserk" after listening to Gary's critical comments and charged off the stage in tears.

She dashed straight to mentor Louis' dressing room, where the shocked Irishman later found her crying on the floor, screaming: "Gary's got it in for me."

Angry Louis then blasted Gary for his treatment of the shattered wannabe, asking: "Happy now you've made a girl cry?" Sources said Gary, 40, was "stunned" by his reaction and asked flunkeys to find Kitty and bring her to his dressing room so he could apologise.

An insider said: "Gary didn't want to be responsible for making someone cry so he asked to see her. She was convinced he'd got it in for her as part of his ongoing feud with Louis.

"Gary was trying to tell her he was only speaking his mind and giving her tough love as he thought she had potential. He seems to be struggling to balance being Mr Nasty and giving constructive criticism.

"He's lost the plot a bit and the feeling is he's only doing it to impress the show's boss Simon Cowell."

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