I'm sure everyone knows that reality television is basically fake. i knew this but I didn't realize quite how fake until I went with my sister, Regina, and my grandma to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. We were there for about eight hours. You know the scene near the end of the show where they reveal the house to the family? How long is that scene? Five minutes? Well, it took them about three to four hours to film! The family was only actually there for about an hour or hour and a half!
Regina woke me up at about nine thirty that morning (September 12, 2009) saying my grandma would be there at about ten thirty. We weren't even sure if we would be able to get to the house, but when we pulled into the church (they were taking people to the house on buses) we got on a bus straight away.
When we got there and walked into the area where the crowd was. We stood toward the back of the crowd for a while until my sister started pulling me toward the fence a little bit away from the house. I asked her where she was going, but she wouldn't answer. I followed her anyway. When we got to the edge of the fence, you could see a tent. There were a few other people standing over there and they said that Ty Pennington had walked in there earlier. We stood over there for a while, but he never came out. We did see a cute goat that was chained up to a tree by the tent. It was apparently the family's goat.
My grandma came over to us and told us she was going to go get some food. we decided to go with her, and we started to walk toward the tent where they were serving food. When we got there, it was blocked off. Then all of a sudden, people started screaming. We turned around to see Ty walking down the hill. Everyone started taking pictures like crazy. Then, the bus pulled up and Clint Black got off. It was about that time that my camera suddenly went dead. So, the only pictures I got were some of the house and Ty. Ty greeted Clint and they started walking towards where we were standing. They waved at us, and then started walking back towards the bus. They proceeded to film the same thing about four more times. After they finally finished filming that and Ty and Clint had walked back up the hill away from the crowd, my grandma went to get food and Regina and I walked back down to the crowd.
We were able to get in the front row, but we were on the side of the house and couldn't see where the bus was going to be. My grandma came back with food for us, and we each ate a hot dog while watching them finish up work on the house. My grandma eventually said that she was going to go towards the back of the crowd where there was shade, but Regina and I decided to stay by the fence. We just stood there for a while and talked while watching people working on the house.
I don't know how long we were standing there until one of the volunteers walked by caring one of the cutest puppies I have ever seen! She stopped in front of us and sat the puppy down. She told it to go to the bathroom, but the puppy started walking toward us instead, She tried to get it to go for a little bit, but eventually picked it up because it wouldn't go. She started walking away when a lady standing next to us asked what the puppy's name was. She stopped and walked over to us while telling the lady that the puppy had had many names and they hadn't picked on yet. The lady asked if it was a gift for the family. The lady said no, it was already the family's. There other dogs had apparently had puppies and this was one of them. (They gave the family three small dog houses and a bog one. We think the big one was for their goat.) She even let us pet the puppy! If they show the puppy on the show (which I bet they will) you'll see just how cute he is!
After a while, my grandma called my cell phone and told us that she was further back in the crowd, but she could actually see the front and where the bus was going to be. My sister and I decided to go up where my grandma was at. We turned around and started walking. We'd walked back a little bit when all the sudden a camera was in front where we'd been standing and was filming the crowd. We stopped and started waving at the camera and cheering. I'm pretty sure we were on camera even if we weren't in the front anymore!
When they finished filming, we walked back up to my grandma. I have no clue how long we waited until they finally parked the bus in front of the house. The then pulled a limo up with a "fake family" in it and practiced what to do when the family actually got here. Then, they filmed us cheering for a limo with no one in it and even a person pretending to be a limo. After that we had to chant move that bus so many times I lost count. They told us that if we looked at the camera we wouldn't be on TV, but I glanced at it a few times because I couldn't help it! After at least an hour of doing that, they started filming the limo even though no one was in it.
Then, we had to wait a while while the limo went to go pick up the family. When they came back with the family, we started cheering again. They pulled the limo up, but no one got out of the car. Eventually, a camera guy got out of the car from one side, but they wouldn't let the family out. It was actually kind of funny because Ty was standing by the limo and was making faces through the window at the family. After a while, they finally let the family out. Then, they had to film Ty talking to them a couple times. Eventually, they had us chanting move that bus again. We had to to it about five times again, so it really was a surprise when they actually moved the bus because I think a lot of us had lost hope that they would even move it. You could see the family crying and hugging each other.
Ty started talking to them again and a lot of people started leaving. We were able to get to the front again. This time we were even at the front of the house. It took at least half an hour for the family to get in the house because they filmed them walking to the door at least five times. After they finally walked in, Ty ran into the back yard. Two of the cast, Michael and Didiayer walked by. They were only about five or six feet away from us, and people started yelling their names. Michael turned around and sayed they would be back later, but they had to go do interviews. By the way, Michael apparently broke his wrist at the local skating rink, so when you watch the show and see him in a cast, that's why. They may even include it on the show. Xzibit, the host of Pimp My Ride, and Clint Black also walked by. We wanted to stay, but we were so tired that we decided to go home. We had to stand in line for about an hour to get on a bus to take us back to my grandma's car.
If Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ever comes to your area, I would recomend going, but I would take a chair and something to do. We could barely stand at the end of the day, and there were long periods where there was absolutely nothing to do. I think it was worth it in the end though. Even if I felt pretty horrible at the end of the day.
This experince completely changed my view of reality TV especially Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I still think it's an awesome show and it's great what they do, but whenever I watch it and see the scene were the family comes home, I'm going to be thinking how many times they actually filmed everything.
I don't know when the episode is going to air yet, but I'll let you know when I find out!