9 Unobvious Requirements 'Fixer Upper' Contestants Have To Meet No Matter What
This year, we said goodbye to the beloved series Fixer Upper, which inspired us to have prettier homes or, at least, dream about better interior designs, because it ended in April 2018. We know that Chip and Joanna Gaines have kept plenty busy since the end of the show with their restaurants, bakery, and design shops mostly located in Waco, Texas.
They also welcomed their fifth child into the world named Crew, and both have released several books. Is there anything these people don’t do? Probably sleep, but anyway, if you miss the reality series as much as we do, then you will get a kick out of these secret things that the contestants had to do to appear, and some of them might surprise you.
1. Applying for the show was really hard
We often dreamed about becoming one of the contestants, but that is actually not as easy as you might think. Before season five, HGTV held an open cast call for anyone, and Country Living said that it included a “71-step questionnaire”. That’s a bit excessive for any show considering the fact that Love it or List it has only 23 questions.
However, that is not all the potential participants had to go through. Jaime Ferguson, from season three, told Insider that the questionnaire was just the tip of the iceberg as there were Skype interviews, phone calls, and they took several meetings before finally landing the part with her husband, Kyle Ferguson. Yikes!
2. If you are boring, you are out!
The best thing about a reality show is discovering the contestant’s personality, and if they are crazy, then it’s all the better. But the requirement they all had to comply was “do not be boring”. At least, they should be lively when the cameras were on. Southern Living revealed that the participants had to be over 21 and “outgoing, energetic, and fun”.
Rachel and Luke Whyte, also from season three, talked to Country Living and said that the conversations on the show were real, but how is that possible when you had to be lively all the time? They then admitted that the showrunners sometimes made them say things several times or shoot from a different angle, but it was not fake.
3. Everything happens quickly
It seems that after the grueling process of applying and interviewing for the spot, things go by very fast for the HGTV show. Jaime Ferguson said that once they were done with the application, the network called them the next day, and Rachel Teodoro, another participant of season three, said that same thing about her experience.
It can take months to film the home renovations, but filming happens just as quickly as casting. Another season three contestant, Jeff Jones, revealed that they got all their shots in only one day, but it was very tiring for everybody. Due to the grueling shooting schedule, most of the people have to take time off work to film.
4. They have to live nearby
If you know anything about Fixer Upper than you know that everything happens in Waco, Texas. Unlike other popular shows in HGTV like Tiny Luxury and House Hunters, this one has to stay near the town where Joanna and Chip live. They had a 40 miles radio limit for the people who wanted to have their home renovated.
The couple is clearly focused on their hometown, and with their many businesses, it makes sense that they could not take an extended trip somewhere farther in the U.S. This means that the town of Waco, Texas, has been beautified by them for several years, and some people call it Gainesville. There is even a tour called The Magnolia Trail to visit all the fixed places.
5. The contestants already owned their homes
Fixer Upper was very real for the most part, but the show had to embellish some things to make it work for television. In each episode, the couple would take the participants on a tour of three houses, and they would get to pick one based on a number of things, but it’s important to remember that buying a home is not easy.
One contestant, David Ridley from season three, had already bought his residence before being chosen for the show. "You have to be under contract to be on the show. They show you other homes, but you already have one." The home is then fixed up by Joanna, Chip and the staff, to start their magic. This takes a bit of the magic away.
6. Big budget
Aside from already owning their homes, the participants had to have enough money for the renovations, and Today reported that it was a minimum of $30,000. The application form also said: “Financial contribution should be proportional to the number of renovations your new home will need." We would not want anything left incomplete.
7. Chip and Jo decided everything
Another part of the application form specified that "while the design team will take your thoughts into consideration, you will have to accept that some final renovation choices may differ from your original decisions or desires." Therefore, people who have control problems would not have been happy with this show. Chip and Jo did take into account some of the contestant’s desires, though.
Rachel Whyte told Country Living that Joanna made her create a Pinterest board so that she would understand her personal aesthetic better. However, she also said that they let Chip and Joanna do their stuff without much interference except for painting the outside white and have a light and airy kitchen with a little bit of ruggedness.
8. The contestants do not get to see anything until it’s finished
Chip and Joanna take the contestants to see their house once it’s finished, but there are always two giant posters of what it looked like before covering the outside. The posters are taken away, revealing the new place. Chip said that they agreed on that when they filmed the first episode, and his friends helped him get things done.
However, many people wondered if that was the first time that participants got to see the renovations, and according to Doug McNamee, that’s right. He told the Waco Tribune-Harold that his family was ordered not to approach the property while they worked in it. "They wanted it to be a complete surprise, and it took discipline not to sneak a look.”
9. No furniture for you
The best part of the show is seeing the new furniture arranged in the home, and if you love the Magnolia style, then it’s absolutely lovely. However, the participants cannot keep the stuff unless they pay for it. Rachel Whyte told Country Living that all the furniture and décor is just staging, and if you want it then you have to pay.
"They give you an itemized list of how much everything costs at the end to see if you want to purchase things at a discounted price. I wasn't really sad to see the staged decorations go. We did buy some of the decors, but I was excited to fill our home with our things and make it ours." That is definitely not as magical as we imagined.
What did you think of these secret facts about Fixer Upper? We believed that everything was paid by the show or the Gaines, but clearly, it’s not, so it’s a little weird. We would like to know your opinion, so leave a comment down below and share this article with all your friends who love interior design.