Ariana Grande may be a burgeoning pop star but her half brother Frankie Grande is staking his own claim to fame by appearing on the upcoming 16th season of the reality TV series Big Brother. I don’t watch the show but I believe Big Brother features a cast of strangers who are locked up in a house together, cut off from the outside world, and they have to vote one another out until there’s a sole winner … or something. On this show, personality and charisma is key to success. Judging by the photos of Frankie that I’ve seen, I’d say he has enough charisma and personality to make the show worth watching … I guess?
“I’ve always said I was funny and I should have my own reality show,” Frankie, 31, tells PEOPLE of what inspired him to audition for the CBS reality competition’s 16th season. “And then I thought, ‘Maybe I should be on somebody else’s show!'” While he initially auditioned for Survivor, a chance meeting with a Big Brother casting director led to Frankie becoming one of the 16 contestants competing for a $500,000 prize this summer. Big Brother has had cast members with notable relatives in the past – former Survivor super-villain Russell Hantz’s brother Willie and Big Brother season 13 winner Rachel Reilly’s sister, Elissa Slater, both competed in previous seasons – but Frankie is actually more worried about being recognized as a YouTube personality than as a Grande. “I don’t want people knowing I have an online following because it will put an unnecessary target on my back,” says Frankie, who has a YouTube channel with more than 185,000 subscribers and nearly 10 million views. “If there is an America’s Vote or America’s Player, they might assume that I will win it.” But don’t expect that Frankie is going to openly admit who his half sister is, either. “I’m going to drop Grande and just use my father’s last name, Marchione,” says Frankie, who only plans on revealing his famous relative towards the end of the season. “If I get recognized, I’m going to have to win Head of Household and do damage control. If I don’t, I plan on flying under the radar the first few weeks.” Regardless of how Frankie does in the three-month-long competition, he knows he will have a fan in his little sister. “I got to call Ariana on camera and tell her what I was doing and she just said, ‘I know how much you love the show. Go make them fall in love with you … but don’t show them all of you because a lot of people will hate you for that, ‘ ” says Frankie. “We both get so much hate online but it is usually about ourselves. I’m hoping there is more love than hate on me while I’m on the show because Ariana was like, ‘I’m going to kill myself if I have to read hate about you too.’ ” As for Frankie’s love for reality competition, he would still jump at the chance to compete on Survivor – but if it is another season of Blood vs. Water, don’t expect Ariana to be competing alongside him. “She could never. She isn’t a Survivor type. She’s a diva,” he says. “I’m a diva too, but I’ve done charity work in Africa and spent weeks in huts without electricity and running water. She’s never done anything like that and I couldn’t ask her to.” “But if they wanted to helicopter her in from a hotel every day for like 20 minutes, I think she’d win.” The new season of Big Brother starts June 25 on CBS.
Hahaha … Frankie looks fun but I’m not sure I’d want to live with him. That said, it might be fun to watch him interact with other people. Honestly, this show has never appealed to me so I’m not sure if Ariana’s half-brother is enough to get me to watch but … I do wish him all the luck in the world. It sounds like he really wants to be on Survivor and that’s a show that I never miss. Hopefully he’ll do well enough on Big Brother to make it to Survivor next season or something. Do any of y’all watch this show? Are you excited to see Ariana Grande’s brother on the show?