1. Contestants on Cupcake Wars supposedly find out the ingredients months ahead of time.
“I worked for a bakery that was on, and won, CupCake Wars. The premise of the show is to surprise the bakers with a few, more often than not, odd ingredients and see what they’re really made of. In reality, we found out the ingredients a few months before the show. Had we not known, there’s no doubt we’d have lost.
There are definitely people who thrive under pressure, both in performance and creativity, and they have better things to do with their time than crank out cupcakes for Food Network. Tell an unprepared contestant they have 40 minutes to make a delicious cupcake using tater tots and nine times out of ten you’ll have a middle aged woman sobbing into her mixing bowl.” - Sallymoustacheride
2. Sometimes the person on House Hunters has allegedly already bought a house.
“Met someone on a plane once who was on House Hunters. After she purchased her new house, the show came and taped her viewing that house. Then they took her to two other houses to make it seem like she was going to pick between the three. In reality, she had bought a house before they even taped the show.” - hopeuci
“I was on an episode of a show where people hunt. For houses. Internationally. They film the show after the people have already bought the house. They just take everything out and have them walk through it like its the first time they’ve seen it.” -familyorfriends
3. The Voice isn’t as simple as it seems.
“I auditioned for The Voice last year and it is a horribly long process. I was at the audition site for more than 5 hours. But the strangest part is that they put you into rooms by genre, even if you don’t sing that genre. So an incredibly talented ‘pop’ singer won’t get in because they were placed in a ‘country’ genre room. It’s pretty odd.” - youdaftget
4. Guy Fieri allegedly ogles women on his show, and this has to be masked with special editing.
“My sisters friends hubby works on editing a couple of that cook Guy somethingthatstartswithaf. Apparently all he does is hit on the women and stare at their boobs. He stresses trying I find enough [sic] non pervy scenes to put together a whole episode.” - akua420
5. “Restaurant rescue” shows are often scripted.
“I was an extra in one of those shows that take a failing restaurant and bring in a celebrity to fix all of its problems. It was not a fun experience; three things that stand out:
-All of the restaurant’s “problems,” every one, were either made up or things that had been solved years ago but were re-created for the cameras.
-The celebrity host had an earpiece and most of his lines, especially when he got all fired up, were fed to him.
-If the Food Network promises you will get a free meal for two hours of shooting, what they mean is they might give you a granola bar for eight.” - friggidydamn
“Decided to make an account after seeing this post, but my family was on the food network for our restaurant once. Pretty much the entire process is fake. The producers faked scenarios so that there could be more drama and suspense in the episode. Even the portrayal of one “day” was actually spaced weeks apart, having my family members come dressed in the same outfit so that it seemed it was all in the same day.” - dbh42
6. Cake Boss allegedly isn’t quite the same as it appears on TV.
“I have been to Carlo’s Bakery (the bakery from Cake Boss). While there we learned that the “wedding” they were filming in Italy was completely faked, and they never actually got married. Kind of ruined the whole experience for me.” - nicolascage1
“I live 5 blocks away. Buddy is never there unless he’s filming a commercial.” - 4chan4incher
7. The only contestants who appear in front of the American Idol judges are handpicked by producers.
“A friend of mine tried out for American Idol and she said it always seemed like the people wait then they get their big shot in front of the TV judges. In reality it’s a ton of steps, and hours of waiting, to go through loads of intermediate judges who decide if you’re either TV material, the insane or terrible people, or actually good enough to move on.” - ishityounot
“My brother tried out for it with some of his friends a few years ago and he didn’t even make it to an intermediate judge. Screeners were going through the lines sending people home based on appearances. Only one of his friends (out of 5) made it to an intermediate judge before being sent home.” - PeppermintBee
8. Complicated lighting setups make spontaneous moments pretty much impossible.
“Haven’t been on a show, but worked in TV. LIGHTING. Lighting takes forever. There are literally hours between takes. If there aren’t then the lighting was setup beforehand. That means that the “stars” have to stand in a very specific location during those “impromptu” scenes. They aren’t impromptu at all. I saw one episode of the Bachelor where the couple decided to make out/fuck in the shower. It was one of those tub showers with the curtain. Well the curtain was a translucent white with a purple tinted light behind so that the silhouettes could be seen in the act. This was the worst example of a staged scene I have ever seen in a reality show.” - threeironteeshot
9. The Long Island Medium’s house might be staged.
“I’ve known the Long Island medium’s family since kindergarten. A lot of the minor plot is scripted and the house is not in a cul de sac like it appears in the intros.” - Bassdude9
10. Shocking, ghost-hunting shows are often fake.
“My uncle played a ‘Local Native American Historian’ on SyFy’s Ghost Mine. He didn’t know shit about the Native Americans of that area and only lived around there for about 8 years. He just passed away but our family got a hoot out of seeing him bullshit through some t.v.” - _killer
11. Antiques Roadshow seems pretty legit, though!
“I was on Antiques Roadshow, which I suppose is a reality show of sorts.
It’s actually pretty legit, but considering it’s PBS that shouldn’t be surprising. The main thing you don’t realize is how long you wait in lines. Your ticket has a time on it to help control when you arrive so foot traffic isn’t bad. You get there and wait for about an hour in line. At the front of the line you get your items checked (each person gets two) and these tickets direct you to the next line you need to stand in…. If they film you’re taken to a small back room where they’ve got make up and might make adjustments to your clothing (like if you’re wearing a branded shirt they’ll make you change, but they actually advise you to wear neutral clothing if you’re coming to the show). Then they do the interview after you sign the release.
If your item is valuable they actually have security escort you out to your car. All in all it was pretty efficient and none of it seemed fake. It took a REALLY long time (about five hours of mostly standing in lines).” - Xerodo
12. The people on Trading Spaces supposedly had secret help remodeling rooms.
“I was on the show Trading Spaces Family on TLC. If you haven’t seen it, basically you switch houses with a neighbor for a couple days and remodel one of the rooms in their house with a $1,000 budget, a designer, and a shared carpenter. On screen, they show just the families working, but behind the scenes there’s like 6-10 other people that come in the room to expedite the process (i.e. Painting).” - bludgeonedd
13. The stuff in the storage units on Storage Wars is allegedly sometimes planted.
“A friends dad went to storage wars episode, they stage stuff in the storage lockers.” - zombjosh
14. So unsurprisingly, all reality TV is fakeity-fake-fake.
“I used to work in reality tv:
-Almost everything is planned ahead of time, tv is expensive to make and no one has the time or money to make an entire show of real moments
-Some shows are more “real” than others. Cop follow shows are usually pretty authentic. Anything with celebrities is probably all fake.
-Most dramatic phone conversations are fake (I did voice over once as a nurse calling with bad news)
-If you want a free wedding sign up for a wedding show with a host. They have a reputation to uphold so they are invested in giving you a good event and you could get a lot of free stuff out of it.” - imawitchbitch