"My aunt and uncle were on 'Love It Or List It' they had them record both endings and the network chose which one they thought was best. They are still in the house and they love it, but the show says they listed it."
"My friend was on 'What Not to Wear,' and I was in the audience of people who were there to react when she came out from behind the curtain with her new look. She came out over and over again, but our cheering was never enthusiastic enough for the producers. After about 10 takes, we were screaming our heads off, totally hysterical, as if we'd just seen her rise from the dead. So that part was fake; I thought she just looked alright."
"Everything on 'Pawn Stars' is scripted. They bought a Jeep from my friend and he was even told when and how to smile or smirk when giving the interview."
"'Say Yes to the Dress' is real. My sister and a few friends have gotten their dresses there, and while they didn't appear on the show (you get asked when you make your appointment), their experiences were the exact same as TV. Yes, the consultants really are that personable. Yes, you sit where the show is filmed. Yes, the people on the show really work there. No, they won't show you anything outside your budget, and yes, they really do bend over backwards to find you discounts if you need one (like on the show). I know there are probably cheaper places to buy a wedding dress, but Kleinfeld's is gorgeous and exactly like it is on SYTTD. The only thing that might be 'faked' is when girl's family is told to be super picky about the dress for dramatic effect."
"My cousin was on a Toronto dating show called 'Matchmaker' many years ago. She said it was completely scripted and she met her "blind date" before filming so the producers could go over the script with them. They were given a list of ridiculous and racy questions to ask each other and encouraged to make out if they actually liked each other or to cause a scene and be dramatic if they didn't really click."
"Just know that sob stories on singing shows are totally contrived and it's not the contestant's fault. I made it through a few rounds on a well known singing show and they BEGGED me for a sob story. On my very first application form, I was asked about the most difficult moment in my life, what obstacles I'd overcome to be there, had I ever experienced bullying, etc. They pretty much make you tell them a sob story. So I wrote all about my heartbreak when I ran out of coffee."
"I was an assistant editor on a few reality shows, mainly about people buying homes and people living in the woods. Those were rigged. A friend of mine worked on P. Diddy's show, and explained how in one episode they had to get Diddy's mom to judge people's cake recipes (or something to that effect) Mrs. Diddy, however, is a kind women and had nothing bad to say about anyone. Because they needed something, they used sound editing to make it seem like she disliked someone's cake more than the others. As for home buying shows (like 'House Hunters'), the people buying the homes typically already owned one of the three homes they were looking at."
"I've worked on several reality shows. Some are more fake than others, but they are all heavily scheduled and formatted, never spontaneous. I worked on a certain MTV dating show where one of the contestants tried to escape the house in the middle of the night, and one of the Production Assistants had to tackle him in the front yard and drag him back into the house. It's like prison, they are completely cut out from the outside world (no computer, books, phones, watches) and they are fed mostly booze. They all go insane. Also, if the show doesn't air, they don't win their prize money. This is a standard for all competition reality shows."
"I have a friend who signed up to audition for a show that she thought was 'The Bachelorette,' or something similar. I guess it's standard practice to not give the actual name of the show and just say, 'We need good looking, energetic young women for blah blah blah.' So she got called back, went through a few different interviews and a screen test. Finally, they tell her that the concept is that she'll be running a pawn shop with another woman. She's a dental assistant with no experience remotely related to the pawn business. 'Pawn Queens' ended up being on for two seasons and they gave her a backstory about how/why she got interested in the pawn business. Not exactly shocking, but it was pretty interesting to see that they basically looked for hot girls first, then put them into a proven concept ('Pawn Stars'-type reality show)."
"A friend of mine was on 'Shark Tank' recently. The episode hasn't aired yet so we don't know how they will edit the story to be, but they did get an actual deal with actual money from Mr. Wonderful. Everything about the show seemed to be a hundred percent real. The only difference is that the actual meeting with the sharks takes hours instead of what it's edited down to (roughly 10 minutes)."
"I had a friend on 'Cash In The Attic' in the UK. The idea is that some antique dealers will scout around in your attic/garage/shed and 'find' valuable items to sell. They found precisely nothing in my friend's house, so they pulled some paintings and a vase out of the van, 'found' them, and then asked him to go and get changed so they could film a segment from 'after the sale.' It was a complete waste of time, aside from the couple of hundred quid they gave him."
"My daughter and her boyfriend were on 'Divorce Court.' They were not married, and the show's producers helped them tailor their story (which was completely made up) to be more interesting. They are now married and since they've already been 'divorced,' it should last forever."
"I was on a show geared towards pre-teens and teenagers that tried to imitate 'Fear Factor' on YTV. They had us compete in various unique athletic competitions and other things. Most of it was surprisingly real! We actually did compete. Our scores were based on our performance in the task. The one thing that wasn't 'real' was that the episode made it look like everything happened in a day, when in reality, it took about five days to film. Overall, it was a really cool experience that I wouldn't trade for the world."
"In the very first episode they ever filmed of 'Top Chef,' Tom Colicchio flipped out because the dishes the contestants had cooked were getting cold while the film crew took 'food porn' shots of them. From then on, all the contestants had to prepare two dishes. One for the judges to sample, and one for the cameras to pan over and show the audience."
"Was on an episode of 'MTV Made.' It wasn't super-scripted, but certain things were added to make the kids look stupid. On our episode, the producers had socks stuffed inside a kid's drums to make them sound bad, even though the kid didn't actually do that. Stuff like that, but the scripts had room for ad-libs, and the show was fine with that as long as nobody said anything too crazy or suggested anything they couldn't deliver on."
"I was on a cake competition show. The judges recorded two takes for every comment, one positive and one negative so the editors could put it together however they wanted. They rolled the clock back an hour so everyone else could finish. We had over three months to plan our 'spontaneous' cake. Oh yeah, and while we won by the judges vote...a producer decided one of the other cakes would film better for the big reveal so we didn't win even though we should have."
"My wife and I were on 'Property Brothers.' The house we "bought" we'd been living in for 3 years already. The entire montage of us looking for new homes (one of which was already our home) was staged. Our design and home selection meeting was staged, the day after our final reveal. Jonathan (contractor) didn't do any work or design, except for on his hair. Drew (realtor) didn't do anything either because we already owned the house and he's not licensed in the town I live in. All the work was done by me and a good friend of mine who was the hired contractor for the show in the city we live in. He took a loss as far as payment goes, and due to time constraints for filming schedules, I had to redo a lot of the "camera ready" work. Jonathan would come in for a quick camera shot with his tailored shirt and pristine tool belt and that's it. Everything is edited to shit and the "reaction" shots are retaken 3 or 4 times with directed responses. The entire process felt very inorganic. The film crew and local designers, however, were very hardworking. I also got some free furniture. The rest of the budget was our own. Those brothers take credit for everyone else's hard work while doing nothing."
"My sister's fiancé was on '16 and Pregnant.' The children are real."
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