Politics

The X Factor stars who left fame to return to normal lives

X Factor has produced some of Britain’s biggest stars over the years, from One Direction and Little Mix’s global stardom to today’s TV personalities such as Stacey Solomon and Olly Murs.

From the contestants’ heart warming and often sad real-life stories to Simon Cowell’s notoriously harsh criticisms, there’s a good reason why millions of viewers tuned in to the reality show every Saturday night – it was the hottest ticket in town.

But not all those who make it to the coveted live shows remain in the spotlight forever, and some have even had to return to their day job after their singing career flopped. How gloomy.

Here’s some of the X Factor contestants who returned to their normal lives after the show, and what they are up to now.

Frankie Cocozza

If you were an avid X Factor viewer back in 2011, you may remember teen rock and roll star Frankie Cocozza.

Brighton born Frankie auditioned for the show when he was 18, causing quite the stir when he revealed his bum is tattooed with the names of seven girls he slept with.

In one of the show’s biggest scandals, the star was booted off the show after boasting about using cocaine in front of production staff, saying his life has “gone out of control”.

He admitted he’d blown £200,000 of his fortune on booze and left fame to work on a building site for just £7.50 an hour.

Frankie appears to live a calmer and quieter life nowadays and married Bianca Murphy in May 2018, and the pair live in Australia.

He became a father in 2019, naming his first born child Frankie Cocozza after his own father and grandfather (and also himself!).

Katie Waissel

Katie Waissel featured in the 2010 series of the X Factor, making it to the live shows and finishing in seventh place.

The now 35-year-old from Harefield in London abandoned her singing dreams to become a health and fitness specialist and mental health campaigner, after starring in Celebrity Big Brother in 2016.

Same Difference

Original X Factor fans will remember cheesy pop duo Same Difference, who finished in third place in the show in 2007.

Siblings Sean Smith and Sarah Smith from Portsmouth had a brief and successful music career, announcing they would be disbanding in 2014.

While Sean went on to have a solo career and even appeared on ITV Loose Women, Sarah took a step back from the spotlight and opened a performing arts school in her hometown of Portsmouth.

Same Difference finished third in the 2007 series of the X Factor

Andy Abraham

Andy was the runner-up of the X Factor when the show was in its infancy, losing to Shayne Ward.

After representing the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 (and finishing in last place), he revealed he had returned to his pre-X Factor day job during the pandemic of being a bin man in North London.

The X Factor stars who left fame to return to normal lives
Andy has returned to collecting the bins of North London.

He said he had returned to help the community, telling Metro: “I’m literally singing out there as I was during the X Factor show. I’m back to being the official singing binman, which is kind of cool.

“I’m just enjoying keeping my feet on the ground.”


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