“Big Brother 16” contestant Frankie Grande has been sequestered in the reality TV house since June, but on Wednesday he got a bit of bad news from the outside world. Grande received a letter from his family with the news that his grandfather passed away after a long battle with cancer. According to a report on Thursday by Us Weekly, the reality star, who also happens to be the step-brother of pop superstar Ariana Grande, broke down in tears before telling his housemates the news.
But in true Frankie fashion, the fan favorite put on a brave face later in the evening. Grande delivered a 14-minute eulogy to his beloved “grandps,” Frank Grande, in which he described him as his biggest role model. In addition to following his grandfather’s hard working work ethic, the younger Grande credited his grandfather with teaching him the beauty of a good manicure. He called his grandfather one of the “strongest, greatest men to have walked this earth.”
You can see Frankie Grande’s entire eulogy in the video above.
According to TMZ, Grande’s family had considered keeping the news of the grandfather’s death from Frankie so that it wouldn’t affect his game on “Big Brother.” Instead, the family opted to detail Frank Grande’s wishes in the letter, urging him to continue to work hard and win the 16th season of the CBS summertime competition.
In addition to Frankie Grande’s late night tribute to his grandfather (viewers of the “Big Brother” live feeds were able to watch it live last night), the reality star's sister Ariana took to her Twitter page to post a series of photos of her grandfather, some from his younger years in the 1940s as well as several more recent pics. Clearly this was a man who had a profound impact on his family.
The Grande family plans to have a celebration of Frank Grande's life in late September, once Frankie has completed his stint on “Big Brother.”
The next episode of “Big Brother 16” airs on Thursday, July 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET on CBS.