Today in HGTV scandals, a homeowner who appeared on Fixer Upper claimed the show’s opening scene is fake. David Ridley — a former Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie model who left New York for a quieter life in Waco, Texas — was the first single guy to appear on the show. Last Friday, he told Fox News he purchased his ranch-style house before he went on Fixer Upper. Meaning: The beginning of every episode, when adorable hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines choose three potential houses to renovate, is a lie.
“You have to be under contract to be on the show. They show you other homes but you already have one,” Ridley said. His claim became headline-worthy news over the weekend — reminiscent of the same HGTV House Hunters drama a few years ago. Fox News even “corroborated” its reality-TV investigation, pointing to Fixer Upper’s 71-question application as evidence: The detailed questions imply applicants already have a house (question No. 20: “What is the purchase price of your new home?”).
Because so much TV is fake, does this “lie” actually matter? In a statement, HGTV didn’t seem to think so:
‘Fixer Upper’ fans enjoy the series because it focuses on the playful banter between Chip and Jo, their home renovation expertise, innovative design tips and families who get the help they need to transform a fixer upper into the home of their dreams.
In fact, Ridley’s choice to tell Fox News this “open secret” is less interesting than his initial rise to fame: After appearing on season three as the show’s first single participant, he gained 8,000 followers on social media and apparently became the hottest bachelor in town: “I’ve had moms, grandmas who write in or call my office and want to set me up with their daughter and granddaughter,” he told Country Living last September. In the same tell-all interview (“What It Was Really Like Being the First Single Guy to Appear on ‘Fixer Upper’”), he even revealed the opening scene was fake. Country Living wondered: How did you wind up on this show?
This part I have to be careful about because the show sets it up where you look at the house, but anybody who reads the blogs know that you kind of have to have the house set up.
Anybody who reads the blogs!