Ariana Grande’s Brother Frankie Lands Spot on ‘Big Brother’
The 31-year-old YouTube star has joined the cast of Season 16 of Big Brother and will compete against 15 people to win $500,000.
“I’ve always said I was funny and I should have my own reality show,” he tells PEOPLE magazine. “And then I thought, ‘Maybe I should be on somebody else’s show!’”
Frankie, who recently performed at DigiFest NYC, has made his fame through his YouTube account FrankieJGrande, and since he began posting videos in 2012, the account has almost 190,000 subscriptions with close to 10 million views, but he doesn’t want his fellow housemates to know that.
“I don’t want people knowing I have an online following because it will put an unnecessary target on my back,” says Frankie. “If there is an America’s Vote or America’s Player, they might assume that I will win it.”
But his star status isn’t the only thing he wants to keep under wraps. Frankie has decided to use his father’s last name, Marchione, on the show and drop Grande in fear of being overshadowed by his little sis Ariana’s success. The 20-year-old “Problem” singer has dealt with the pressures of being in the spotlight, and fears her brother will fall under the same criticism as well.
“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,’” said Frankie.
Once the news broke about Frankie’s future endeavor, Ariana took to Twitter to show her support for her brother.
congrats to my big brother on being cast in season 16 of big brother…… so proud of u / I’m a nervous wreck #bb16 you’re gonna kill it
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) June 19, 2014
“Congrats to my big brother on being cast in season 16 of big brother. So proud of u / I’m a nervous wreck #bb16 you’re gonna kill it,” said the tweet.
And while Frankie’s away, Ariana will be handling his Twitter account and update his more than 544,000 followers.
so Frankie’s on the new season of big brother & I couldn’t possibly be prouder. let’s help the worlds best big brother win ‘big brother’ k?
— Frankie James Grande (@FrankieJGrande) June 19, 2014
Catch Frankie on the new season of Big Brother when it airs on June 25 on CBS.