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As such a huge trend, reality shows are now everywhere. From home renovation shows to Pawn Stars, you name it. However, as much as they want to make the show real, they aren't. If you have the chance to peek behind the curtain, you will find staged scenes, written scripts, and even hired actors. Here are facts about 20 popular reality shows, and prepare yourself because your favorite may be fake too!
Although some of the obnoxious incidents may be real, many eyewitnesses have claimed that things are exaggerated for effect. You know what? Most of the cast aren't even from New Jersey, not to mention actually have such 'interesting' lives there. And those who stay at the house aren't randomly picked by a nameless club but by producers. Well, how real do you expect their lives are?
House Hunters get everyone to relate to the experience of finding the right place to live. However, the core of the show is set on a lie since those families have already purchased their houses by the time of filming their episodes. Still believe they struggle to make up their minds after visiting other fake homes? The huge budgets are also made up if you haven't guessed that yet.
If you have the chance to have a look at the Duck Dynasty stars' pictures before the show hits the air, you'll find a group of shaved and sharp-dressed guys who may usually go golfing but appear in the woods. Just to remember, those are characters, and they only need to find ways to solve tense situations scripted by producers. Their absurd arguments are also scripted, and some "beeps" are even inserted to make them look like swearing.
To begin with, most families never truly want to move out, and probably no one will if HGTV is going to renovate the house for you. Arguments between couples are staged by producers. Well, you listen when someone agrees to put you to TV. What's more, those alternative houses aren't even for sale. The more disappointing truth is the two hosts, Hilary and David, are basically actors who have little to do with the renovation process.
Pawn Stars is no more realistic than any other show on TV. Although people who really run the pawn shop are real, the customer interactions aren't. Not only stars like Rick Harrison have never worked the actual counters, but all the customer interactions are carefully arranged beforehand. To make things work, customers simply need to sign a consent form. It may not be that surprising since why would you trust a TV show like this when you don't trust a real pawn shop in real life?
As people say, don’t drink the kool-aid. There has been a long history of fake psychic mediums on TV, and Theresa Caputo is just another example. Researchers have dug deep into her methods and only found that she does a lot of research on people before “reading” them. Well, the truth is she spies on their social media. Combine that with some misdirection, and voila, “psychic” readings. It doesn’t mean real psychics don’t exist, and if they do, she probably isn’t one of them.
The good news is that Fixer Upper is less staged than some other shows on the list. The bad news? It’s still very much staged. Do you know the moment in the end when the family sees how amazingly Joanna and Chip Gaines have renovated their house? All the incredible furniture, and the accompanying decorations, are just for the show and go right back in the moving truck once the cameras stop. What's more, conversations and reaction shots are filmed live only after guests are asked to repeat things for better angles. So, basically, this show is “based on a true story” at best, rather than “documentary.”
Isn't it a bit suspicious that the couple seems insanely picky about that house they just turned down? Well, it turns out they’ve already made the deal on their real home purchase, so they’re simply walking through fake “potential” homes to pad out the TV show’s format. One realtor who appeared on the show indicated that the requirements for a client were that they had to already be under contract for a home or a new homeowner. No real house hunters allowed then?
To criticize History Channel’s Mountain Men, exaggeration is the word you need. The show stars have all admitted their rough personas are set for TV act. Also, they have a lot more money than the way they act as they do on the show. Furthermore, some seemingly dangerous incidents on the show are scripted like in one episode, and they depicted a close call with wolves that were actually just filmed with friendly dogs.
Where does that leave “renovate and sell your house” reality show when the guest isn’t actually planning on selling the house for a year or more? Well, HGTV did that without blinking an eye. For the show Designed to Sell, they just staged a fake home and filmed some friends and family walking around pretending to be potential buyers. They also ask guests to film multiple endings for different scenarios.
To begin with, Kris Jenner’s Meditteranean family home that we see in exterior shots in Keeping Up With the Kardashians isn't really hers. It was actually empty and repeatedly used as a stand-in until it was sold in 2018. However, that's not the only thing they altered reality for the show. Many fights occurred in the show as well as two marriage proposals are also staged for ratings.
You may believe that producers are contacted by the victim, worried they might be getting catfished, if you watch Catfish, and it’s the do-gooding hosts who seek out the truth. In fact, it is the catfisher, not the victim, who comes to the producers. After being investigated, made to sign release forms, agreed on having heavily edited storylines, any catfisher who acts surprised to be found out only means they’re just playing another role, which is something they're already good at.
According to guests who have appeared on American Pickers, a show about haggling, the prices are actually set in advance. The rundown locations where they find all the great deals are also located by producers, not the pickers themselves. They send representatives to investigate almost a month before filming. What's more, “Hobo Jack,” a.k.a. Jack Sophir, isn’t actually a hobo, but a successful collector who owns multiple buildings, and never called himself Hobo Jack before the TV show started.
The fact that there’s a reality show about cake is already quite suspicious, but a lot of people do like Cake Boss. Sadly, the show’s storylines are heavily staged. Every episode presents customers who appear to be surprised by the incredibly creative cakes they get from the team, but in fact, these customers have discussed what they want beforehand in detail. It makes sense since they pay hundreds of dollars for a cake.
There is a lot of doubt that the medical staff on The Biggest Loser are not professionally trained, which would explain all the rumors about them feeding contestants illegal drugs. What's faker, though, is the famous scale that contestants weigh in on: it’s actually just a prop that doesn’t do anything, and customers do their real weigh-ins two days beforehand. Lots of the show’s drama is also created by editing to make contestants look lazier than they actually are.
To be fair, HGTV does actually give away a huge, fancy home to somebody every year, which isn’t made up. However, the show doesn’t inform you of the real consequences of this dreamy prize: painfully high taxes. If you do get that prize, you owe 40% of the prize value to the IRS, which is why almost none of the HGTV Dream Home Giveaway winners have been able to actually keep their homes. Imagine it as a nice vacation that suddenly turns super stressful.
Deadliest Catch not only has some fakery going on, but its methods for creating dramatic TV are causing actual problems for the fishing industry. Since the TV fishing crews are making money directly from producers, rather than the industry, they don’t need to make fishing quotas. It means they’re able to price out regular fishermen, which makes it harder for everyone else to make a living. Besides, the show creates dramatic storylines by editing, and sometimes they spliced together footage from two separate storms to look like a big one.
Don't doubt yourself when you think there's something unreal going on between those overly dramatic women on Bridezilla. They seem fake because, according to several women, producers are constantly pushing them to be more dramatic, more teary, more angry, even doing multiple takes on the same moments until they can get the best shot. The more curse words they use, the better results they get.
Do you know the very opening of the show’s first season, featuring a truck dropping through the ice into cold water, was created through miniature models? What's worse, cast members have gone on record as saying that the show is scripted, and then further edited to make regular people look like heroes and villains. Although ice road trucking is already quite dangerous, the series goes even further to make situations look riskier than they really are.
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have been on for a long time. As you’ve probably guessed by now, this game show format doesn’t tend to discover true love, and most of the couples created by the series end up divorced if they even get married in the first place. Quite a few sequences are scripted or edited into dramatic storylines, but that’s acceptable for the course. Since the producers have been doing this show for so long, they’re pretty good at picking the right fit they know that will be popular on TV, not to mention the situations they carefully arranged to make sure they end up as the winner or a runner-up.
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