Big Brother has a memorable connection to Ariana Grande. Three years before the Manchester Arena concert bombing killed at least 22 of the pop superstar’s fans and left dozens injured, Grande was a Big Brother superfan, cheering on her brother, Frankie, who was a houseguest on the 16th season of the CBS Reality show.
Now, Frankie Grande’s former Big Brother housemates are showing their support as the Style Code Live host grieves the tragedy that ended so many young lives and put his sister’s Dangerous Woman tour on hold indefinitely.
The suicide bombing took place in England just a few days after Frankie Grande released the music video for his new single, “Queen.” Frankie was spotted out in New York City two days after the attacks as his distraught sister flew home from England and greeted the rest of her family in Florida. Ariana was photographed with her mom Joan Grande, as they landed near their hometown in Boca Raton, according to People. The pop superstar was also greeted by her boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller. There is no word as to why Frankie wasn’t in Florida upon his mom and sister’s arrival, but the Big Brother alum is very close with his family.
After news of the Manchester tragedy broke, Big Brother host Julie Chen addressed the tragedy on The Talk. On Tuesday’s edition of the CBS chatfest, the Big Brother could barely get through a report about the Manchester tragedy. Chen, who is a mom to a seven-year-old son, Charlie, broke down as she read the news report to the live studio audience.
In addition, several Big Brother stars and alums from Frankie’s season of the show paid their respects to the victims on social media, including Survivor/Big Brother star Caleb Reynolds.
“Prayers for Manchester, and everyone at the @ArianaGrande concert! Y’all are all in my prayers hoping @FrankieJGrande and family is okay,” tweeted Big Brother 16 star Caleb Reynolds.
Big Brother 16 runner-up Cody Calafiore wrote that the targeted attack against young Ariana Grande fans was “sickening.” Several Big Brother alums, including BB 16 winner Derrick Levasseur, retweeted Ariana Grande’s message that she is “heartbroken” over the tragedy. Levasseur also posted his own message on Twitter. The Big Brother champ wrote: “F**k terrorists.”
— CALEB REYNOLDS (@CalebReynolds) May 22, 2017
Really… a concert that mostly young kids attend. That's just sickening.
— Cody Calafiore (@Cody_Calafiore) May 23, 2017
Big Brother 16 alum Brittany Martinez posted a Manchester tribute that included photos of herself with Frankie and his famous sister.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Big Brother without controversy. Some fans slammed the reality show’s resident jokester, Zach Rance, for allegedly making an inappropriate comment about the Manchester tragedy. While Rance’s social media accounts are clean of any controversial comments, several Big Brother fans say he deleted posts that made light of the tragedy.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Children died tonight. If you don't know what to say, better to say nothing at all. @ranceypants
— Lisa Bee (@lisabenjamin) May 23, 2017
Diehard Big Brother fans may recall the pivotal moment when Frankie Grande admitted to the rest of the cast that his sister was “the biggest pop star on the planet” during the 16th season of the CBS reality show. Midway through the game, Frankie told his housemates that he had been lying to them the entire time.
“I have been lying to you all the entire game. I’m not who I said I was,” Grande famously told his Big Brother roommates. After revealing that his sister was the powerful voice behind of the then smash summertime hit “Problem,” Frankie told his Big Brother housemates he was only “playing for charity,” explaining that he plans to build schools in Africa if he won the $500,000 grand prize.
The Big Brother houseguests had a mixed reaction to Frankie’s news. Victoria Rafaeli, an Ariana Grande superfan, was star struck, while a few of the other cast members, like Derrick and Cody, seemed unfazed by the news of Frankie’s famous sibling.
At the time, Ariana Grande was vocal about her brother’s Big Brother game, tweeting her support for him after his confession to his cast mates and cheering him on until his eviction on Day 88 of the competition. Now, Ariana needs the support.
Check out Frankie Grande talking about his famous sister to Nicole Franzel on Big Brother 16.
[Featured Image by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images]