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'Fixer Upper' Contestant Reveals What They Don't Tell You About The Hit Show

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We hate to break it to you, but your favorite reality show isn't as "real" as you think it is.

Of course, we can't stop watching reruns of HGTV's hit show Fixer Upper, and we're even keeping up to date on hosts Chip and Joanna's pregnancy news. But we've also discussed the controversy and lawsuit that followed one of the renovations on their show.

HGTV

Now, we're sharing the sad news that appearing on Fixer Upper as a homeowner isn't everything it's cracked up to be.

Former contestants are revealing what it's like to have Chip and Joanna fix up your house, and it turns out you need to jump through a lot of hoops just to get on the show.

First, you need to be in the market for a home in or around Waco, Texas, because Chip and Joanna don't travel for work. Next, you have to actually buy the home before they'll even tape the show. So any home hunting segments you see on the network are all fake, sadly.

But the most surprising fact revealed by former contestants is you have to cover the cost of your own renovations. Even though you're on a TV show, you have to fork up at least $30,000 for Chip and Joanna to do any real fixing.

And some contestants say they end up paying much more than that.

Chip and Joanna explain that they can't be expected to work without getting paid, and the way they see it contestants are really getting a discount.

HGTV

“The dollars we receive are comparable to what we would see on a project for anyone,” Chip told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “But the exposure is more tangible.” HGTV also covers the fees that the hosts would usually charge to renovate a house.

But that doesn't stop the renovation costs from rising if there's more work to be done. That means many contestants pay way more than the $30,000 which is listed as the minimum cost to appear on the show.

Extra costs are also added after Joanna redecorates the home. While the host is known for  using products from her own Magnolia home decor line, she's not giving them away.

HGTV

Every rug, piece of wall art or furniture has to be paid for by the contestants after the episode is finished, and some pieces cost as much as $2,100.

Plus, you can't put a price on the stress of leaving your newly-purchased home for months while a camera crew tapes in it. And, of course, you're not allowed to make any changes to the home until the episode is finished taping.

After learning all this, it's no surprise Apartment Therapy has caught Fixer Upper contestants selling their new homes, or listing them on rental apps after Chip and Joanna have worked their magic.

I never realized what this show was really like!