The biggest talking point ahead of Saturday night’s X Factor live show is of course centred around who will take Frankie Cocozza’s place on the stage, with Ladbrokes indicating increased betting and free bets on the show.
The 18-year-old was booted off the show during the week after bosses revealed he broke a ‘golden rule’ of being on the show, thought to be related to drug use.
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It was then announced that his place on the show would be taken by either James Michael, Amelia Lily, 2 Shoes or Jonjo Kerr, the four acts that were kicked off after the first live performance of the series.
Because none of the above were subject to a public vote – they were dismissed by their mentors in week one – X Factor bosses believe that this is the fairest way to make up the numbers.
An ITV spokesperson said: “In these unprecedented circumstances I’m pleased that we are giving viewers the opportunity to vote for one act to return to Saturday’s show and that all profits from this vote will be donated to Help for Heroes.”
The phone lines will close during Saturday night’s live show, with Amelia the favourite to win the chance to return to the stage to perform. Whoever does return is back in the competition properly and could in theory become the 2011 X Factor champion.
As for Frankie, his mentor Gary Barlow has admitted some of the blame for the 18-year-old’s behaviour, saying: “I am the only judge on the panel with kids and I have to take responsibility for what happened with Frankie.”
“He’s got to live with this for the rest of his life and that’s where I feel bad for him. In our own ways, we all encouraged Frankie not only to be good, but to be bad as well.”
Although Frankie is bound to remain the papers for the next few weeks, X Factor bosses will be hoping that the live shows this weekend provide plenty of talking points, including some memorable performances from the remaining contestants.
Saturday’s live show gets underway at 8.15pm on ITV1.