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How Real Are Renovation Reality TV Shows?

I know we all knew there was smoke and mirrors used in renovation reality shows, but Stephen Lacey in the SMH The Guide, writes a great article called the Tricks of the Tradies has written about about some of the tricks the reality renovations shows use.

Waz and Gaz from the previous The Block incarnation reveal some of the ruses the producers used to get reactions out of them.

The article revealed:

Gavin Atkins and Warren Sonin (better known as Gav and Waz) featured on series one of The Block. “Honestly, there were no tricks as to the work itself, everything was 100 per cent real,” Sonin says. “There was no Channel Nine fairy helping us behind the scenes.”

Quite the contrary, it appears. On The Block, drama equals ratings. “The producers [Julian Cress and David Barbour] wanted to see us struggle because it makes good TV,” Sonin says. “On day one we needed to find a hardware store and there was one literally around the corner but nobody was allowed to tell us. And so we drove all over the eastern suburbs looking for one.”

Adds Atkins: “The producers loved creating drama. One day we turned up with a floor sander to give us a quote. We opened the door to our apartment and found Channel Nine had ripped up all our floorboards. A camera crew were waiting in there to get our reaction. They were always pulling stunts like that.”

Another trick, Atkins says, was to cut off the electricity supply half an hour before a room was due for completion. “The producers would tell us it was due to a problem but it was just to get that all-important reaction to the stress. Of course, we were naive initially and thought they were being genuine.”

7 comments

1 SteveMolk { 11.22.10 at 1:34 pm }

No way! Producers manipuating the outcome or coaxing reactions for reality television?! Next you’ll be telling me the farmer only really wants a root, not a wife…

I feel so lost…

2 Culinary Boner { 11.22.10 at 2:13 pm }

“There was no Channel Nine fairy helping us behind the scenes.”

This must’ve been a grave disappointment for them!

3 MelbaToast { 11.22.10 at 2:23 pm }

I guess I’m not surprised by this story – but it’s pretty gross behaviour really.

I wonder what ‘tricks’ are going on with the current series of the block. Do you think that Chez’s bathroom was deliberately tiled incorrectly just so we could see them spaz out?

4 Culinary Boner { 11.22.10 at 2:45 pm }

MelbaToast, good theory on the bathroom tiler.

Still can’t understand for the life of me why Nine has backed off taking the tiler on via ACA, as a way of cross-promoting if nothing else. Especially given ACA doesn’t seem to usually need 100% convincing evidence to pursue ‘dodgy rip-off merchants’ and ‘shonky builders’ on behalf of ‘hardworking battlers’, ‘pensioners’ or in thise case ‘exhausted reality tv contestants’.

5 Wurstsemmel { 11.22.10 at 3:58 pm }

CB, you always have the perfect one liner.

6 Culinary Boner { 11.22.10 at 4:18 pm }

Yes wurstsemmel, but brain dead dave remains this blog’s unchallenged master of the pun.

7 brain dead dave { 11.23.10 at 1:06 am }

Scott Cam and a few apprentices took care of the Channel Nine fairy.

Thanks CB. Sworn to pun, loyal to none.