Essay question for the fans of “Big Brother”: How did Frankie Grande become so easy to dislike? Is he the most annoying competitor left on “Big Brother 16”? I'm using all my “social media mogul” cred to figure it out.
The reason it's a weird question is that compared to last season, “Big Brother 16” is positively placid. On “BB15,” Amanda, GinaMarie, Aaryn, and Jeremy all seemed to be competing for the title of Most Incendiary Shrieking Lunatic On Television, and Julie Chen did not look thrilled to pick a victor. You can tell this year's houseguests are afraid to resemble that crew, but “BB16” still has its share of kooks: Devin was hotheaded and delusional; Zach flew into egomaniacal Kanye-style tantrums; Caleb practically stalked and hunted Amber. But are Frankie's crimes worse?
The Wire surmises that Frankie Grande, the brother of noted zipper aficionado Ariana Grande, is now the most disliked houseguest remaining in the game. His worst crimes include referring to himself as a social media mogul, calling non-celebrities like Nicole “normal people,” making rape jokes about fellow houseguest Victoria, and driving onetime cuddle-buddy Zach out of the house. Only one of those strikes me as rancor-worthy, and that's definitely the Victoria component. I understand needing to, I guess, “let loose” and say vile things just to entertain yourself in the BB house, but those kinds of comments are totally irresponsible and gross and unamusing and hurtful and, uh, lame. No two ways about that one.
Yes, Frankie's fanciful notions of his own fame are pretty obnoxious, but how lame would “Big Brother” be if you weren't annoyed with a few houseguests? It doesn't help Frankie's case that he's become more grating and proud as the season has progressed, but face it: He is the closest thing this season has to a Rachel Reilly. Consider all of his groan-worthy showboating in that meaningless character voice; Rachel practically invented that. Though I believe BB13 was set up for a veteran like Rachel to win, she played from Day 1 to victory by using actual negotiation tactics and sly intuition. And so has Frankie.
Ultimately, I can't sign on to the Frankie firing squad because he is one of the three best players remaining in the game, along with Derrick and Christine. (The runner-up is Cody, by the way, whose best days are probably yet to come.) For being such a performative imp, he knows how to appeal to people and even fly under the radar if need be. In his obnoxiousness, there is guile. I like that about him and think it justifies his casting in a major way. Plus, I don't care how docile Caleb's become, the Amber situation was terrifying. I can't imagine ever being terrified of Frankie Grande, though I'm willing to bet he'd be up to take the challenge.
Who's your least favorite player at Chenbot Manor?