Mid-Michigan resident contestant on Big Brother - WNEM TV 5

Mid-Michigan resident contestant on Big Brother

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The latest season of the CBS reality show Big Brother is well underway and a contestant from Mid-Michigan is still in it to win it.

Ubly's own Nicole Franzel has so far survived this year's show competing with 15 other house guests for the $500,000 prize.

Weeks into the show's 16th season Franzel remains a top competitor and some in her hometown said she's putting Ubly on the map.

Franzel has also been seen representing her alma mater on the show, wearing Saginaw Valley State University apparel.

Back in Ubly, Franzel's mom Jeni is easy to recognize throughout town, sporting the same blonde hair and glasses.

"She's told me since she was 14 as soon as she's 21 she's applying and she did it at the very last minute and got picked the next day. So it was crazy, I didn't expect it," Jeni Franzel said.

She said she hasn't heard from her daughter since the season started in June.

For now she has to keep up with her just like the rest of Ubly residents on CBS and online.

"We talk all the time, 20 times a day so this is really hard," Jeni Franzel said.

Along with watch parties and signs posted all across town, Nicole's family is also selling t-shirts in Ubly.  

So far they've sold more than 500 to people across the country.

"The community gathered fast and they've been wonderful. They come in here and everybody always has something to say or something to share it's been great," Jeni Franzel said.

She said she's especially grateful for everyone's support this week as Nicole and her big brother roommates face a nerve-wrecking double eviction round.

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