If it’s possible to own social media, Frankie Grande does.
He created a YouTube channel in 2012 that’s now pushing 20 million views. Stints on TV (Big Brother 16) and on Broadway (Rock of Ages and Mamma Mia!) have built his following, and he’s now amassed millions of followers on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, etc., etc., etc.
This social medial emperor knows what makes post good and, more hilariously, what makes them bad. And for this reason, Oxygen has created a special for Grande in which he “lovingly” looks at what we’re sharing. This special puts Grande both in a studio, looking at strangers’ posts, and on the streets, where he commandeers strangers’ phones.
WORST.POST.EVER: With Frankie Grande (#WorstPostEver) premieres on Tuesday, August 18 at 9pm ET/PT on Oxygen. Grande chatted with us to teach us what makes a worst post ever.
Interview by Matt Gurry
METROSOURCE: So what is Worst.Post.Ever?
FRANKIE GRANDE: Worst.Post.Ever is a special on Oxygen, and it’s a show that finds the best of the worst posts on social media. So kind of like those things that — they’re so bad they’re good. You love to hate it. We lovingly poking fun at the people who post them and actual results of the post. It’s funny.
I tweeted earlier today that I was going to be talking to you, and a bunch of people threw questions back at me, so I’m going to work some of them into our chat. The first is from Sizzle McGrizzle. I don’t know if that is the person’s Christian name or not—
—but Sizzle McGrizzle asks what makes a really terrible social media post? What are the key elements?
Pride is a big, big factor in what makes a worst post ever. It’s pride and terribleness married in one. It’s just like, “I cannot believe you posted this, but you are so proud of it.” And it’s terrible, but at the same time, it’s unbelievable, and that’s why we love it. It’s just got to be complete ownership over a horrific situation. That’s the worst post ever.
So there’s the picture you’re looking at with the girl with the watermelon, and when you’re looking at it you wonder why she—
Why did she post it?
I mean, I’ve done so many ridiculous things on social media that my friends have posted. At this point, in this society that we live in it’s kind of like, the more media, the more attention, the more likes are better, so it’s very possible she posted it because she might want to be the worst post ever one day.
You know, I mean, I have so many people that are like, “Can I post that?” I’m like, yeah, sure, go ahead. Why not? What’s the worst that’s going to happen? Somebody’s going to say it’s awful. Well, it is. Great!
Who are the people we see on Worst.Post.Ever? Are they all just people off the internet?
They’re all just people off the internet. There are moments of me doing a man-on-the-street or me with a hidden camera, and those people are real people where like, I’m actually talking to people on the street about their worst post ever, so those moments… Actually, my favorite part of the whole show is just meeting complete strangers and just being, “Give me your phone.” So I look through their phones and I’m like, “Whoa, did you post this?” Or like, “This would make the worst post ever.” That’s probably my favorite part about the show — getting to interact with these people who are making these posts.
And people were cool handing you their phones?
So cool. Everyone did. I was so shocked, like, unbelievably surprised that every single person was just very willing to give hand it over. I think it’s because I am really friendly and I’m wearing glitter and I have pink hair. So they’re like, “Oh, well, this is probably fine.” [Laughs]
I have a question about your glitter, actually. Chelsea Handler once said that glitter is the herpes of the craft world because, you know, that shit does not come out.
It gets everywhere!
So I’m wondering, are you always finding glitter on your clothes and orifices three days later?
So I was at LA Pride, and I got a text from my friend: “I’m covered in your glitter and I haven’t even seen you.” And I was like, “That is amazing.”
So like, it spreads. Yeah, that’s the best thing I ever heard and glitter is the herpes of the — what’d you say?
“The herpes of the craft world.” That was Chelsea Handler.
That’s fantastic. Yeah, it gets everywhere. You know, all the toilet paper, it is just — it’s on the tissue paper. It’s in my socks. It’s on my shoes. Where there’s Frankie, there shall be glitter, period.
Excellent. Now back to the show. In the in-studio parts, you’re sort of making fun of how ridiculous these posts are. Is that mean?
No, it’s very loving. Extremely loving. ‘Cause it’s me and that’s the thing. If it wasn’t me, then it would be mean, but it’s Frankie! Like, I’m making fun of myself just as much as I’m making fun of anyone else and I’m saying how much I love the fact that these are such horrible posts and we need to keep doing it. Like, the more you make fun of yourself, the more you embrace the ridiculousness that is you, and the beyond apologetic-ness that is you, then the greater the post is. Like it’s actually encouraging people to just continue to give zero fucks about what anyone will think, and that’s what I love about it.
Fair enough! So let me ask, what is your worst post ever?
Oh my God. So someone was asking at a table — like, so many people come up to me in a day and ask me to take pictures with them, like so many people. And there was one couple at a restaurant who was like, “Will you take a picture of us?” And I was like, “Oh, absolutely.” And I took four selfies with them and then walked away. So then they asked my friend, “Um, will you take the picture of us?” ‘Cause they didn’t want me in the picture! [laughs]
Oh! They just wanted you to take the picture, not to—
Right, but I took like 80 selfies with them and then left. [laughs] I want to see those pictures because they have to be a worst post ever. They must be looking at me like I’m a crazy person. “Why is this person in my family photo?”
So the flip question about your worst post ever — and this is another one that came from Twitter, from Lisa Bee — she asked if you have a post on Twitter and or Snapchat that you’re the proudest of. Is there a best post ever?
Well every photo that I post I’m the proudest of in the moment; I feel like all my posts are my babies. I’ll love all of them equally, but then maybe down the line, I’m like, “Ah, maybe that wasn’t the greatest.” But when I’m in the moment, I think everything is the best. I really do.
Do posts surprise you? Will something fall flat that you thought would be huge? Or conversely, will something you thought would be a throw-away blow up?
Absolutely, yes, that happens all the time. Like, I’ll tweet “heart” emoji and that’s it and it’ll have like 3,000 re-tweets. So like, apparently people are in a loving mood today. Or I remember one, it was Christmas Eve and I posted, “Re-tweet for a follow.” I got 33,000 re-tweets in like, two minutes. Never in my life have seen that kind of traction on my channel and it was just like, “Oh, wow, that’s amazing.” You know, like, people really want a follow.
Did you follow the 33,000 people?
I didn’t follow 33,000, but I followed quite a lot. A couple of hundred.
What does it take to get a Frankie follow?
Some people are really witty. So say something more than just, “please follow me.” I won’t follow them unless I’m in a follow spree because, you know, those are calculated times when I like want to give back to my fans and stuff like that. But if someone just says something really funny, or sends me a really funny GIF, — if I laugh out loud literally at a person, most likely I’ll follow. ‘Cause I’m like, “Good for you. You made me enjoy my day a little bit more.”
Your whole brand is on social media, so I’m wondering where you draw the line for your own privacy.
I have none.
I have no privacy. Zero. After Big Brother, after people were able to watch me shit, eat, sleep, not sleep, roll onto the floor, be a crazy person, I really gave up all my individual privacy as a human. And I understand that and, you know, it’s — it is great and it is absolutely terrible all at the same time. So, yeah, I would literally post absolutely anything.
I think there’s things that I don’t post because of you know, just being more…not wanting to… Like, I haven’t put up an ass picture. I would, but I haven’t done it. There are pictures of me completely naked online from Big Brother, but like, I get it: That ship has sailed of me having privacy.
Has that had a reverse effect, where you start living your true day-to-day life according to what’s going to do well on Twitter or Instagram or whatever?
Hmm. It’s not that because that’s never been who I am. I’ve always been this person; this personality has always been me. I’ve never had to heighten it or amp it up to succeed on social media or succeed on YouTube. That is Frankie all the time, 24/7.
But I do look at the world through a filter and through editing equipment. Like, I’ll be like, “Oh, that would be a great six-second video. That should be a Vine. That should be on Instagram. I should probably snap that. I should definitely use low-feed onto this picture of this flower so that it will pop the pink.” I literally look through life through social media filters.
Is that tiring? Because for everything you experience, you’re sort of doubly experiencing through these filters.
Well, I don’t know what the alternative is. I— It is tiring because I’m never allowed to turn off, you know? But it’s also just my new reality. I guess that’s just the way it is. So I’m constantly posting, and that’s just the way it is, and I love it.
Will you be live tweeting, live ‘gramming, whatever, Worst.Post.Ever?
Absolutely and in every time zone. I will be live tweeting.
Cool. Anything else you want to get out before we go?
Just shine like a Frankie! Exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point.
That was three exclamation points, right?
Yep, three. Like in Worst.Post.Ever!!!
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Last modified: July 30, 2019