If you think what you see on reality television is crazy, just imagine all the craziness you're not seeing behind the scenes. When the Lifetime scripted show UnReal aired in 2016, the internet was abuzz with whether or not the crazy (and often shady) shenanigans of behind-the-scenes production life are really how things go down when making reality television. And while the scripted cable show might be exaggerating somewhat, there are some wild and wacky things that go into the making of reality television, no matter what network it's on or who's in charge. The casting process, specifically, involves some ridiculous rules and eligibility requirements, and what you have to agree to before appearing on a reality show can be truly mind-boggling. Once you learn just what makes these programs tick, you may view the entire show much differently.
But one thing is certain: all the bizarre rules for appearing on TV try to ensure that viewers get the most entertaining experience possible. All those reality television stars you love, or hate, or love to hate had to agree to some outlandish terms in order to make their dreams of fame and fortune a reality. The things people go along with just to get on television illustrate what seems to be the universal desire for 15 minutes in the spotlight and the chance to be a part of popular culture.
Read on to discover a few crazy reality TV show rules — would you have what it takes to be a cast member? Vote up the most shocking reality requirements!
- Photo: HGTV
Fixer Upper may make run-of-the-mill houses into dream homes, but to get on the show, you'll have to meet some very specific requirements. First, you're going to pay. Applicants should have a renovation budget of at least $30,000; if your goals are more ambitious, your budget should be much larger. Second, your house must be within 40 miles of Waco, Texas, where the show is based. And third, you must be willing to relinquish all creative decision-making and hand the reins over to the show. So, to recap: spend your own money, move to Waco, Texas, and have no say at all in how your own house turns out — and you too may make it onto Fixer Upper!
- Photo: CBS
Big Brother applicants are reportedly asked to take part in some truly unusual casting exercises. Broken into small groups and herded into conference rooms, applicants are instructed to "warm up." Somehow, to the producers of Big Brother, "warm up" translates to, "Dance like a ballerina, roll on the floor, be angry at someone, yell at the other group, cluck like a chicken, howl like a wolf, 'strut at me like you’re on the cat walk.'" This is just the first step in a three-round elimination process. But, thankfully, it's the oddest step in that process.
- Photo: E!
When it comes to crazy reality show requirements, Botched may have some of the most unusual qualifications in the industry. E! pays contestants to take part in the show, but they expect contestants to use a portion of the payment to contribute to the doctor's fee — since a television network paying for medical bills creates liabilities nobody wants to botch. Applicants must also undergo physical and psychological evaluations. And don't expect the show to pick up the tabs for incidentals, either: for instance, you will not be reimbursed for your food or other incidentals while recovering from surgery.
- Photo: Lifetime
You're an aspiring fashion designer. You land a coveted spot on Project Runway. All you want to do is create and design and sew and tailor. But don't expect to do these things just anywhere if you're lucky enough to make it onto the show. As part of your agreement to be on Project Runway, you must agree that you will never work on your projects away from the cameras. And, yes, producers are serious about this. One Season 16 contestant got the boot after a retractable ruler was discovered in her hotel room.