14 May 2009

Reader Question: How do I get on TV?

Help! How does one get chosen to be on a kitchen remodel show?
I have no idea, but I would like to acknowledge your use of "one" as a substitute pronoun in that sentence. Bravo!

Now, why on earth would anyone want to be the victim of one of those TV shows? The makeover programs you're aspiring to are where we get garbage like this:

Really, is that the sort of thing you want for yourself? Granted, that's a bathroom and you want to be in a kitchen show, but the point remains the same.

Makeover TV shows exist for one reason, to make compelling TV. It may be hard to believe, but they don't exist to make their participants' dreams come true. Everything about them serves the camera, first and foremost. If it makes for compelling television to take your wants and needs into consideration, then they will. If your wants and needs don't jive with the producer's, guess who's going to win. The same thing goes for the finishes. If they decide that hot-gluing corrugated cardboard and hay onto your back splash would look great on camera, you're getting a back splash made from hay hot-glued to corrugated cardboard. If the show's sponsors are providing orange counters that week, what color do you think your counters are going be? The TV camera rules. Period.

The TV cameras and the producers and the sponsors are going to decide for you what your kitchen should be. Then they are going to require that you like what they do. At least while the cameras are rolling. After a week of strangers tracking mud through your living room stinking up your bathroom you'll be ready to flip out. And rest assured, they'll capture that special moment for the world to see when it happens. Screaming mad homeowners make compelling TV, not quiet and content ones.

And if all that weren't enough, you might be asked to pay for your project after all. Or you might be required to do some of the work. Or maybe they'll leave it half done and you'll have to finish what they started. Please remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Beware anybody who offers you a free lunch, because there's no such thing. Now please stop watching HGTV. All it does is fill your head with crazy ideas.

Save your money and renovate your own kitchen according to your own tastes and on your own timeline. It will mean more to you and it will be yours.


  1. OUCH! Okay...."sometimes the truth hurts". You made some excellent points, however anyone who has taken on a renovation will tell you, "it is no picnic"!

    If one wishes to be on a T.V. and keeping in mind it is their choice to do so -- Do an online search: HGTV.com/link Be On HGTV (USA) HGTV.ca/link Casting Call (Canada) and....

    Remember Paul warned you. :)

  2. Thanks Brenda! Maybe it's just me, but when I'm going through an ordeal, be it a long renovation or something more personal; I prefer to endure my trials privately. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to broadcast themselves to the world under what are at best, trying circumstances.

  3. Paul, there is an old saying, "some people are just beggars for punishment". :)

  4. I guess I just don't understand masochism Brenda.

  5. Yup, make-over shows are for ratings and just serve to confuse the public as to what actually happens when you work with a designer, contractor, the remodel process, costs and budgets, as well as realistic timelines. (i.e. "But they did a whole kitchen in 2 days on the tee vee?!?Tell yer guys to hurry it on up!")

    But can we get back to that picture? The flamingo toilet paper holder is just .... soooo .... um .... whimsical. Well, maybe it's just sick. :)

  6. That was an actual bathroom pulled of in Trading Spaces according to my sources. Can you imagine?

  7. Trading Spaces is FOUL. I'd pay to keep the show out of my house.

  8. I can't believe you said I should get on HGTV for my kitchen!!! I bet you just wanted to laugh later at my hay back splash!! I'm on to you...

  9. Now a hay back splash is something I'd love to see.


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