“Big Brother” fans watched Frankie Grande go through a tough loss on the CBS live feed on July 23. The contestant received a letter from his family that told him his grandfather died from stomach cancer.
While “Big Brother” rules strictly forbid communication with the outside world, producers allowed the family to send a letter. Grande was surrounded by his housemates after receiving the notice. He shared memories of his grandfather, who was also named Frank.
The letter detailed what the family was doing to get through the loss. They said that they were all together and a funeral would be held Saturday. “I’m jealous that my whole family is together? Is that weird?” Frankie asked.
Frankie will not be attending his grandfather’s funeral since his last wishes were for the former Broadway actor to finish the show. Frankie’s fans knew that his grandfather had passed after hearing the news from his sister, singer Ariana Grande, on Twitter. Ariana kept fans updated on her brother’s position.
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The singer has since deleted a tweet that read, “asked grandps last week if he wanted us to pull frankie off bb & he said ‘no way! he's gotta play the game even tho i don't understand it’,” according to TMZ.
A shocked Frankie told his fellow housemates, “It wasn’t an option that he was going to die. It wasn’t even an option. It didn’t even occur to me that it could possible happen. I mean like part of me did. When I was saying goodbye to him in person, you know, I was like, ‘I wonder if this is the last time I’ll see him.’”
The “Big Brother” contestant seemed to want to lighten the mood after a while. “He overcame cancer two and a half times, so I can get through this house with you guys,” Frankie joked.
Watch Frankie talk to his housemates about his grandfather’s death below.
“Big Brother” Season 16 airs Sundays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 p.m. EDT on CBS.