12 People Who Were on a Reality Show as Kids Talk About What Came After

Most of us are guilty of getting sucked into a reality television show now and again. Even if you don’t mean to watch them, they can sometimes suck you in – that’s what they’re designed to do, after all.

Then there are the times when it’s late and you’re tired but not sleepy, and you just need to put something on television that you don’t have to think about – they’re perfect for that, too.

We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what happens after the cameras turn off and the crews head back to the studios, but it’s interesting – and these 12 people have firsthand experiences to share.

12. As long as he was happy.

A friend of a friend’s Mustang was in South Beach Tow.

The business (Tremont Towing I think) is a legit towing business.

One of the director’s came up to him and told him that his car was being towed for some infraction (it was the friend’s fault entirely so the towing business was in the right). But before that, he was told that if he agreed to be in the scene, they’ll have everything set up for his grand entrance and if he acted all surprised / make a scene, they’ll just give him back the car at the pound.

He himself didn’t agree to it because he didn’t want his face shown on TV, and the director was cool with it. He did allow the car to be in the scene though. On the flip of a switch, suddenly 2 actors came out of nowhere (a couple) and they filmed the scene. You had these 2 people freaking out about a Mustang being towed that wasn’t really theirs…

He thought it was hilarious.

Thankfully even though he didn’t agree to be in the scene, apparently he was so chill with the entire thing and with the crew that they just gave him his car back.

He calls it a win.

11. They need a lot of material to work with.

I was on the dating show “Elimidate”. It was setup to the point that the producers did their best to create drama by pushing questions like: “XYZ was really acting like an ass that last round. Tell us about what an ass XYZ is.”

I felt the final show edits were pretty accurate to the real life events though.

10. This is just funny.

When I was in Korea they wanted to film me (some random white guy) eating their traditional foods. They filmed my reaction but I really liked the food a lot.

They had me re-take it and pretend it was too spicy and gross so they could show that foreigners can’t handle it.

9. What was the point?

I was on a dog training tv show when I was 8-ish. The idea was that the dog trainer came in and helped our family integrate our new puppy into our household, to give us training tips and advice, etc.

The whole thing was basically bogus. The ‘trainer’ came to our house for maybe 30 minutes tops and gave us extremely basic advice. The producers also told us we had to get changed and pretend that he was visiting us 3 months later after he gave us the advice and how it had made our life better yada yada yada. It’s so dumb because our puppy was clearly the same age in the ‘before’ and ‘3 months after’ shots and my family aren’t actors so our reactions were really fake.

One of the producers also made me say, ‘I love you, [dog’s name]!’ while hugging him for about 6 takes.

8. This is all extremely icky.

I was on wifeswap when I was 11 or 12. The show gets hours of footage for 2 weeks and then puts in into a 1 hour episode. So you can imagine they can try to make the narrative whatever they want. They really try to emphasize what makes your family different and often exaggerate or encourage the participants to exaggerate.

Due to only 1 or 2 cameras you often enter the same “scene” multiple times, so we actually met the swapped wife for the “first” time 3 times to get different angles.

They also often push the mom to make new rules based on the narrative they want to tell, and ask you questions that could fit that narrative. My family for example was portrayed as uneducated hicks that didn’t take work seriously. It always left a bad taste in my mouth and I think it hurt a lot of my self confidence in high school.

They also hired people to take care of the kids off set and the guy we had was borderline abusive and threatened to throw us in the snow banks when we weren’t quiet and often got too physical. There was little to no oversight on this.

7. Wait, what?

I was a competing realtor on million dollar listing for an episode.

I am not nor have I ever been a realtor.

6. True colors revealed.

A wedding that I was a bridesmaid in was aired on Say Yes to the Dress.

They filmed our initial reaction to the bride walking out several times. They, like, wanted us to scream and cry.

I’ll be honest, the whole thing was incredibly fake and rubbed me the wrong way. Pretty on par for the type of person the bride is, though. I don’t talk to her anymore.

5. At least something good came out of it.

I was on Kiesha’s Perfect Dress, a spin off of Say Yes to the Dress. My cousin was looking for her wedding dress. They would have her come out multiple times in the same dress to get different takes of our reactions. Would tell us to say mean things of we didnt like the dress.

I was one of the people who they did the one on one interview with and they pretty much made me seem obsessed with my cousins breasts looking large in the dress because I cracked one joke in the interview about her being flat chested.

She did end up buying her wedding dress from the show however and it was very beautiful.

4. A happy experience.

My family and our home were on that show “This Old House” in the late ’90s. Norm Abrahms was the host, and they picked our house because of my dad’s collection of Shaker furniture. The idea was that we gave him a tour of the house (while being filmed) and then he demonstrated to the camera how to make furniture like our.

Everything was 100% genuine. Norm and the crew were kind and super respectful to all of us. No second takes. When he explained to the camera how to build replicas of the Shaker furniture, it became apparent that he was a master woodworker. Before he left we all took photos together and he signed some stuff. It was a really special day.

That was right when reality TV was starting to pick up steam. MTV’s The Real World was big at the time. I don’t think Survivor had come out yet. That was the show that opened the floodgates.

3. Good for the kid, I suppose.

I worked with 2 people who were on Teen Mom (grandmother and granddaughter, obv the granddaughter was the Teen Mom)… they told me that the directors would intentionally set up stuff that would cause drama and then start filming.

For example, the directors had them go out to lunch and told the grandmother something she didn’t know yet and filmed their argument for drama, knowing she would get upset that the granddaughter hadn’t told her before (even though she was planning to).

Really dumb, unnecessary drama for TV, but apparently the baby got tons of scholarships and support from the show which is why they did it in the first place, so they said it was worth it.

2. Flat-out hilarious.

Jupiter Entertainment reenacts true stories for shows like For My Man, Vengeance, Fatal Attraction, Homicide Hunters, etc. Much of the acting is filmed with no sound because the voice-over will be explaining the story.

They have filmed many shows at my house. I usually hide in a corner of the kitchen & watch them film. I swear it’s more entertaining the the shows!

One scene had 2 men arguing over a woman. They really got into it with sweat & spittle flying. Then the woman walks down my hallway & confronts them. It’s a big scary screaming fight.Thing is, you don’t know what they are really saying.

Let me tell you, we were all nearly crying with laughter. It sounded something like this…

“What do you think your doing with my woman?” “What do ya mean your woman! I came here to eat some pizza!” “Well I’ll stuff this pizza up your __ ____and you’ll like it!” ” I hate pizza and you can’t make me! Besides that woman is preggers with my baby & we’re gonna name it pizza!” “You can’t do that because MY name is pizza you stupid pretty boy!” “I know I’m pretty! Do you want to go for pizza when this is over?” Woman walks up… “What the hell is the matter with you guys? My poor pizza baby has its feelings hurt because you don’t like it!” “That baby’s father is taco bell & not me! You’re gonna have a burrito, not a pizza!” “Waaaaaa! You are so mean! Can we have salad for dinner break? Oh wait, how about poke bowl? There’s a great place just a couple minutes from here!” “I think that’s a great idea because I hate pizza! ”

….and so on.

Vicious on camera, hilarious in real life!

1. It was a good try?

My dad was asked to be on an episode of TLC’s My Strange Addiction. He runs kind of a niche (small) business. And they were like hey, you’re addicted to this right? And he was like Um, no. And they were like, well can you pretend to be addicted to this and you can be on the show? And he was like Um, no.

Edit: It was a honeybee business. They were hoping he was addicted to bee stings.

This is really intriguing to think about, I think – nothing is free, after all.

If you’ve had an up close look at reality tv, tell us about your experiences in the comments!