“Big Brother” contestants are usually cut off from all news from the outside world, but in this case CBS made an exception. “Big Brother 16” Contestant Frankie Grande has received news that his grandfather passed away, and the sad moment was captured on the live TV feed, according to a report on Thursday by Us Weekly.
Grande, who, unbeknownst to his housemates is actually the half brother of pop superstar Ariana Grande, was given a letter from his family that detailed the news of the death of his beloved “Grandps.” His famous sister even took to Twitter on Wednesday night to post: "Watching @frankiejgrande talk abt grandps after reading our letter on the live feed. Sobbing / laughing hysterically. love u frankie so much.”
TMZ previously reported that the pop singer had planned to keep the news of her grandfather’s death from her brother so he wouldn’t be tempted to leave the “Big Brother” competition. The celebrity gossip site also revealed that one of the grandfather’s last wishes was to keep his death a secret from his grandson, and he didn’t want the family to pull him out of the “Big Brother” house.
But something clearly changed. Producers gave Frankie a note from his family on Wednesday night and he reportedly broke down in tears before sharing the news with the rest of the houseguests.
“Big Brother" rarely shares news from the outside world with its contestants, aside from periodic trivia games that give minor details about news events. The one exception was after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. That season, producers did tell the final three contestants about the tragic real life news, and contestant Monica Bailey learned that her cousin was missing and later died in one of the World Trade Center buildings.
“Big Brother” will be broadcast live tonight, so it’s likely that host Julie Chen will mention the news of Grande’s grandfather’s death.
“Big Brother” airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET on CBS.