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Thread: Newsflash - HGTV's "House Hunters" is totally staged and fake

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    Elite Member hustle4alivin's Avatar
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    Default Newsflash - HGTV's "House Hunters" is totally staged and fake

    Shocked. I tell, just shocked. [/sarcasm]

    HGTV's totally fake House Hunters is still totally fake | TV | Newswire | The A.V. Club

    Threatening to destroy whatever vestigial rubble of innocence was left standing after Cash Cab decimated your faith in reality TV, the Hooked On Houses blog has posted a story revealing that HGTV's House Hunters is, in fact, totally fake. Of course, it's called the show fake before, beginning its exposé of the popular series with a 2010 post that delved into the producers' own self-admitted revelation that, "for quicker turnaround," they "sometimes" choose buyers who are already in escrow on their chosen property, rather than buyers who are actually hunting for houses, as one might expect from a show named House Hunters.

    Instead, its participants only pretend to consider multiple options, faking a protracted deliberation of fake-weighing the pros and cons, all before fake-arriving at a final decision and making a fake offer that they already made long ago. For their performance—and much of it does involve acting over long hours of filming, until they provide the acceptable fake reaction to a house they're not even interested in or are already partway to owning—they receive $500, and obviously, nothing in the way of actual help finding a house. One former subject went so far as to claim, "They won’t even consider you for the show unless you already have a purchase agreement signed, and have access to both your new home and your former home for the duration of the filming period."

    Anyway, as we said, this is all apparently old news (if not exactly common knowledge), but it all became a little more concrete with this firsthand testimony from one such participant, Bobi Jensen, who backed up those claims by describing how the show faked every single aspect of their story, drafting them to appear only after they'd already closed on a new house, forcing them through multiple takes of fake conversations, and—in one of the most revealing instances of how much the show can often be completely staged—taking them to houses that "weren’t even for sale…they were just our two friends’ houses who were nice enough to madly clean for days in preparation for the cameras." So basically, just assume that everything you see on reality TV, even in its most innocuous and straightforward forms, is totally and completely fake, in case you weren't already doing that.

    The Truth About “House Hunters” on HGTV

    Whenever I mention the popular HGTV series “House Hunters,” I get e-mails from readers asking, “Do you know the truth about that show?” I just got another one from someone saying, “I’m surprised more people don’t know how ‘House Hunters’ really works. I was so mad when I found out!”

    It’s actually not a secret–the show even explained it in a newspaper article a few years ago, but it doesn’t seem to be common knowledge. Here’s what it said:

    For quicker turn-around, producers sometimes choose buyers who are already in escrow with one of the three locations shown. The other two choices that are filmed, are only shown to allow viewers the option of making the choice themselves.

    Did you catch that? The house hunters aren’t actually house hunting in some of the episodes because they already bought one. The producers show them two other houses and they pretend to consider them. Then they pretend to deliberate, and pretend to choose the house that they already chose from the beginning.

    Based on the number of e-mails I’ve gotten from people who have written to tell me that they know someone who was on the show and “faked it,” this must be a fairly common practice.

    It makes sense from a production point of view. It prevents the problem that we see so often on HGTV’s Property Virgin, in which the house hunters don’t end up choosing anything at all.

    According to that same article, the participants get only $500 for being on the show. I was surprised that they earn so little–especially if there’s acting involved! That was a few years ago, though, so maybe they earn more by now.

    There can be long hours of filming each house–I heard that they often have to reenter the same room many times until they get it just right for the camera. (This explains why sometimes the sun is blazing when they enter the house, but it looks dark outside in later scenes.)

    6/11 Update: A reader named Nate tells me:

    It is still $500 for four full days if filming. Furthermore, it isn’t just sometimes fake – it is ALWAYS fake. I’ve just gone through this process. They won’t even consider you for the show unless you already have a purchase agreement signed, and have access to both your new home and your former home for the duration of the filming period.

    Ever notice how the house the participants choose is almost always EMPTY when they walk through it on the show for that “first time” and the other two are still furnished? That is because they have already closed on the home they “choose” and just haven’t moved into it yet. The other two “non-chosen” properties are comparable homes found by the participant’s realtor just for purposes of the show.

    Another thing I get a lot of e-mails about is Suzanne Whang’s absence. Have you missed her? I told you what happened to her in this post.

    So there you have it–a few more insights into how one of HGTV’s most popular series works. What do you think? Does it bother you that there aren’t always real decisions being made? I still watch, but now I try to figure out which couples are faking it.


    “House Hunters:” What It Was Like to Be On the Show

    When a reader named Bobi told me that her family was featured on an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters, I asked if she’d be willing to share her experience on the show and all the behind-the-scenes scoop with you. Here’s her story

    Our episode aired during a special Texas week, and the hosts were the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. That might ring a bell for any faithful House Hunters watchers.

    The producers said they found our (true) story–that we were getting a bigger house and turning our other one into a rental–boring and overdone.

    So instead they just wanted to emphasize how our home was too small and we needed a bigger one desperately. It wasn’t true, but it was a smaller house than the one we bought so I went with it.

    However, when I re-watch the episode I cringe, since we have lived in an even smaller house quite comfortably!

    They didn’t even “accept” us being a subject for the show until we closed on the house we were buying. So then when they decided to film our episode we had to scramble to find houses to tour and pretend we were considering.

    The ones we looked at weren’t even for sale…they were just our two friends’ houses who were nice enough to madly clean for days in preparation for the cameras!

    When I watch other episodes of the show now I can usually pick out the house they were getting based on hair-dos alone.

    There are certain filming days where they shoot your old house and your new one and then months later when they do the other choices and you all moved in to your new one….

    My husband was a Realtor at the time, which was one of the reasons he agreed to do it: free advertising.

    It was also a premise the producers thought was funny. They played up the whole “will his wife be his hardest client?” thing. Which was mostly true, because I LOVE houses and wanted to do lots of house hunting, but instead my husband could just weed them out and I only saw one or two because we quickly knew if something was a good deal financially.

    My hubby hates “being fake,” so the fact that they had us do 5 or 6 takes on each scene drove him nuts.

    He has since left Real Estate and now works as attorney, but we still look at the homes we live in as investments and remodel and sell! It’s become a family hobby that even the kids enjoy.
    Last edited by hustle4alivin; June 14th, 2012 at 12:39 PM.

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    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    ^^I don't care, I still love watching the show, especially the international version, even though I know the decision has already been made. It's fun to try to guess which property they ultimately choose, and sometimes it's the one least expected.
    McJag likes this.

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Reality shows are all fake. No exceptions. And the more contrived they are, the more they suck.
    "If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention," Heather Heyer's facebook quote.

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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm having a hard time getting all outraged about it. Except that the "house hunters" are only paid $500...that's ridiculous. At least on the other HGTV shows they get free kitchens and shit.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    According to that same article, the participants get only $500 for being on the show. I was surprised that they earn so little–especially if there’s acting involved! That was a few years ago, though, so maybe they earn more by now.
    way to get around union fees!

    I didn't know the show was faked, though not shocked. It makes me feel better actually, because when I see some of the scroungy shit some of those people supposedly like the best, it gives me hives.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Grimm already tild us this ages ago!
    *DIVA! likes this.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Now that we are exposing all of this fakery, I hope somebody can find out what is really going on underneath Bret Michael's bandanna/hat combo.
    Laxmobster and angileek42 like this.

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    I don't care... its houses, not folk making decisions about surgery or anything health related!!
    Baltimore O's ​Fan!

    I don''t know if she really fucked the board though. Maybe just put the tip in. -Mrs. Dark

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    fgg
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    Grimm told us this ages ago.
    Posted from my iPhone
    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    But what happened to Suzanne Whang!!!!!!
    RELIGION: Treat it like it's your genitalia. Don't show it off in public, and don't shove it down your children's throats.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Does anybody remember Grimm saying anything about this?
    angelais, Sylkyn and darksithbunny like this.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louiswinthorpe111 View Post
    But what happened to Suzanne Whang!!!!!!
    She developed breast cancer and quit the show to have it treated.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Worked on Property Virgins. The only thing real in that whole thing is that a couple bought a house. The rest, including the "looking" at other houses and even the "yay, we got the house we wanted!" ... faaaaaaaaaaaaaaake.
    *DIVA! likes this.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I don't care. I love seeing all those houses, especially ones is great countries I can usually only see on a tourist level. Houses say a lot!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    I enjoy seeing the homes too; I've known for a long time that it was all staged. Is it too much to want Candice Olson to redo my entire home at no cost to me?
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
    Laugh Uncontrollably. And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.

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