Frankie J. Grande opens up to Big Brother house about sister Ariana, but will it help his game?
Friday night, Frankie J. Grande finally admitted to being Ariana Grande's older brother on Big Brother U.S. Frankie's game play blew up when he so heavily aligned with Christine Brecht and created a target on his back, so he was looking for damage control.
In a bid to save himself from elimination and regain trust, Frankie gathered up some of his strongest allies (Zach Rance, Derrick Levasseur, Cody Calafiore and Caleb Reynolds) and admitted the truth. As a YouTube celebrity, he also noted that he only makes $1,000 a week, living paycheck-to-paycheck.
“I have been lying to you all the entire game. I’m not who I said I was." He prepares the house for the reveal. "My name is Frankie J. Grande." Adding a bit of drama, he said, "I have been hiding this secret everyday and it has been eating my soul everyday.”
Surprisingly, several of the guests in the house are Ariana fans and hadn't put the two together yet. The biggest surprise was Victoria not getting it right away--even though Frankie's pictures from home only showed a very young Ariana, often in costume or disguise.
In the beginning, Victoria was asking him pretty pointed questions about his life outside the Big Brother house and he had trouble dodging them. One can assume CBS had a hand in that as fans have dubbed this the season of production.
Earlier this season, Grande's grandfather died and he admitted to the cameras that his aunt was Judy Grande, a 1980 Pulitzer Prize nominee and former president of the National Press Club. That's a lot of family connects. He also promised to use the $500,000 to help create a school in Africa and would name it after his grandfather, Franke Grande.
The Broadway actor looked for sympathy, using the death, to gain support in the house and the audience when talking to the camera. Interestingly, housemate Levasseur's own grandfather died days later and received less attention since he wasn't so outgoing.
In a desperate bid, Frankie opened up about the goal to house, saying the money wasn’t for his benefit, but a charity. All three truths thrown at once.
"I don't want people knowing that I have a social media following and that Ariana Grande is my sister because I feel like both of those things will put an unnecessary target on my back.
They will assume that if there is an America's vote or America's player that I will win it because I have a viral following."
Before entering the Big Brother house, Grande told People about his strategy, which started since evicted HouseGuests are now on the jury to hand over the prize. Jocasta Odom and Hayden Voss were the first to enter Thursday, Aug 7, and one jury member will have a chance to reenter sometime later this summer.
As for entering and being recognized?
"So if I am recognized as soon as I get into the house, I have to win and I have to do damage control."
Grande didn't have to tell right away, but he did follow his initial plan. "I don't think it is something that will win me points with the jury if I blindside them with it at voting night, so I would probably want to slip it in before the jury starts getting evicted."
Of course even with a famous sister and a personal YouTube account of 10 million hits, cast mates Caleb and Donny Thompson were unaware of the success. At 42, Donny doesn't really fit in Ariana's tween and teen demographic. Caleb just simply didn’t care at first.
Will this bid help him? No one knows, really.
Some of the participants felt betrayed. Zach and Frankie seemingly had a bromance with a hint more romance, and now there's a split in alliance and friendship right now. Meanwhile, Reynolds is hoping for an introduction to Justin Bieber, since Frankie seemingly knows the pop singer.
However, most of the guests spent Saturday feeling dejected, since they don't have the following to win like Grande. Acting as if they're only running for second place or America's Favorite. Mentally thinking no $500,000 prize for them, even if it would drastically change each of their lives.
That’s a fair point since the imbalance pits unknowns against millions of people. Not to mention, getting to join Donny and Derrick in Team America, where completing various tasks nets a hefty $5,000.
Ariana, of course, has been using her social media accounts to talk about her brother, using her audience to help push him farther, as well as manning his accounts. No one can blame her since that’s what any good sister would do, and that's a lot of help for an older brother.
Yet the latest twist of basically letting Frankie save himself on the Battle of the Block seemed to really solidify the disenfranchisement and enjoyment of many. And makes it very easy for fans to move on.
Perhaps his celebrity would have been better off in a celebrity addition where everyone was playing for charity and had an even amount of press to use.
How do you compete against a self-proclaimed “social media mogul” with the backing of a pop singer’s fans and who’ll give the prize money to charity?