How Real is Reality TV? The Dishy Revelations Behind "Real" Shows
Reality TV isn't always real? The devil you say. Next thing you'll try to tell me is that Milli Vanilli didn't sing on their records, or that Martha Stewart doesn't really shop at K-Mart.
1. Shady Deals on The Apprentice
Season One of The Apprentice featured a challenge called "Dupe-Lex." The two teams had to refurbish a pair of New York apartments and then rent them out. The team that achieved the highest percentage of return on what they'd paid for the apartment plus their improvements would be declared the winner. The ProtÃ©gÃ© Corporation was declared the champion on the air, but the person who'd ultimately rented the newly refurbished apartment later admitted that she'd signed the lease before The Apprentice crew had even arrived. She also confided that the rent negotiations were a sham, as a price had already been agreed upon when she'd signed the lease.
2. Making up the Making OutÂ on Joe Millionaire
Remember 2003's Joe Millionaire? The FOX Network passed off Evan Marriott as a $19,000-per-year construction worker. While it's true that Marriott worked for a construction company, he'd also earned some additional pocket change by modeling men's underwear for print ads and appearing in a small role on the soap Days of Our Lives. A year after his stint as Joe, Marriott revealed to the press that much of the series was staged, and that he had made it clear prior to signing on for the project that he had no intention of getting involved with any of the potential "brides" on the show. He admitted that the famous "making out in the woods" scene was completely faked, and that the heavy breathing and other smoochy sound effects were all added in post-production.
3. Finally, Some Honest Casting Auditions!
So as not to quash everyone's hopes for humanity, let it be known that there is a soupÃ§on of honesty behind the casting of some reality shows, such as The Biggest Loser or Nanny 911. Shows like The Biggest Loser send production assistants out to troll the parking lots of Curves and Jenny Craig and similar establishments, where they place promotional flyers on windshields. They also frequent Usenet newsgroups looking for women who confess that they don't feel attractive and are looking for a change. Representatives from Nanny 911 and similar shows will actually approach moms of out-of-control tots in LA-area toy and department stores to see if they'd be interested in appearing on TV.
4. A Reality Double-dipper Gets Carded
A few months ago, TVLand presented a reality series called She's Got the Look, which was purported to be an America's Next Top Model for the over-35 set. However, eagle-eyed reality TV junkies noticed after the series premiere that contestant Paula Thomas looked awfully familiar. Turns out she had appeared a year earlier on the SciFi Channel's Who Wants to Be a Superhero as "WhipSnap." OK, there's no law that says you can't be on more than one reality series"¦ However, on the Superhero show, Thomas gave her age as 31. One year later, on She's Got the Look, her autobiography listed her as being 36 years old. When confronted with the evidence, TVLand officials said simply that they trusted their screening process, but we're thinking that they only shrugged off this potential controversy because they already knew that Paula had been eliminated from the contest.
5. Heavily-veiled Drama
Bridezillas is a guilty pleasure for married women. It sort of makes personal tantrums seem less severe when you watch the brides berating their attendants on TV for having visible tattoos or rolls of flesh protruding over a boned bodice. Sadly, it turns out that many of the hissy fits featured on the show are staged. For example, there was the incident of Lisa and Andrew, where Lisa objected to the plain wedding band Andrew presented to her during a Valentine's Day dinner at a restaurant. Lisa declared it a "piece of crap," and tossed it in his wine glass. This scene was not as impromptu as it appeared, however. The production staff had approached other diners in the restaurant ahead of time and informed them that a TV show was going to be filmed there, with a loud and possibly violent argument involved, and would they like to move to a different table? Also, the production staff informed the restaurant manager in advance that there would be a "cake-smashing" scene, and inquired as to where the best place to film said scene would be, since the restaurant had a carpeted floor and they were trying to minimize clean-up costs.
Now's your time to "˜fess up "“ what reality TV moments are your favorites, and which do you suspect were faked?