Reality TV contestants reveal exactly how fake those shows actually are
Much like pro-wrestling, we all know that reality TV is fake. Sure, some of it did happen, but even if the producers weren’t telling the stars exactly what to do and how to react, then the shows can still be completely re-written in the editing room. A few crafty cutaways and the right emotional Boyz II Men song on the soundtrack, and they can tell any story they want.
A Reddit thread has asked for people who’ve appeared on shows like Pimp My Ride, Pawn Stars or Britain’s Got Talent to come forward, and explain exactly what bits were real, and what things were faked to make better TV. And their responses are very interesting.
They explained how reaction shots can be re-used for completely different incidents.
My boss was on America's Next Top Model as a guest judge. In the episode, one of the models sprained her ankle. He was nice and all concerned, but they edited in a shot of him laughing, that was actually laughing at someone's joke from earlier. The filming session for that scene was 10 hours long. They edited it down to about 5 minutes. With that much footage, you can edit it into just about anything you want.
And if your reactions aren’t exactly what they want, they’ll make you do it again and again.
My mate was on Tattoo Fixers if you don't know what it is, basically they get people in with tattoos they regret and make a design they don't tell them about, tattoo it on and cover the old one up and "surprise" them at the end. He filmed the "big surprise reveal" like 5 times because he wasn't surprised enough.
Some producers just flat make-up stories, and get the ‘real people’ to go along with them.
My dog was on Animal Planet's Bad Dog. For a 20 minute segment they spent 9 hours at our house filming. Super nice team. They created a story to suit their own purposes. Back story: My dog would get in the trash, inside a cabinet secured with baby locks. We set up camera to see how. Turns out he would open the cabinet the inch it was allowed and put his little paw in and push the baby lock down to open the cabinet. AP found it on youtube, etc, etc. But we also had ferrets at the time so they pieced together this phony story of how my dog was raised with the ferrets and acted like them and learned from them how to get into cabinets. They actually told us what to say/do, had me get our dog to do stuff that made it look like their story etc. Totally ridiculous. But they paid us so that's cool.
And another example.
I was on an Australian reality called Surprise Chef. The premise of the show was that the celebrity chef would meet someone at the supermarket and then cook dinner for them. On my episode I volunteered at an Aquarium. The story in this episode was the chef met my boss at the supermarket, then cooked all the aquarium volunteers a nice surprise dinner.
Of course this was all pre arranged. There was no meeting by chance. We all knew what was happening so for the scene we all got surprised in the shark tank, we knew what was happening and did 7 takes of fake surprise. The celebrity chef cooked nothing. He went in for a few takes and an actual chef cooked all the food while the CC stood outside chain smoking. The food was average, basicaly local RSL quality, chicken parmy and profiteroles.
Some of those heart-warming moments turn out to be completely fake as well.
My dad volunteered as a carpenter for Extreme Makeover Home Edition awhile back when they came to our area. He had the same story. They would film what they called "camera ready" volunteers for a bit during the day and then a crew would come in and do all the real work.
They also confirmed that those ‘hilariously bad’ The X-Factor no-hopers have already been through several rounds before getting in-front of the judges, and hand-picked by producers to get laughs.
My brother was on X-Factor UK. There are several rounds before the televised rounds, so all those rubbish acts you see on TV have been picked by producers to go through.
But some people did say that broadcast shows did reflect their experiences.
I was on a European version of Survivor where we went to an island and had to survive for 2 weeks. Whatever was seen on camera was what actually happening.
The only fake thing is that we got some food to maintain a somewhat healthy diet.
Don’t believe everything you see on TV.