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'Storage Wars' and other shows accused of faking it
As with pro wrestling, you suspect they're faking it and
Reality shows are like pro wrestling: You suspect they're faking it and don't
If you're like most viewers, you probably watch reality TV for a silly
distraction, and don't worry too much about what's real and what isn't. But this
week, one show hit a legal snag. Thanks to a lawsuit from ex-star David Hester,
courts may soon decide whether A&E's biggest hit, "Storage Wars," is real or
The lawsuit, if successful, might force reality shows to be more careful
about keeping it real. Here's a look at "Storage Wars" and four other reality
shows accused of -- gasp -- faking it.
1. "Storage Wars": Hester -- known for saying "yuuuuuuuup"
-- alleges he was fired from the show after complaining about a series of fake
outs. The show features people bidding on mysterious storage lockers, hoping to
discover treasures amid trash.
But Hester says the show rigged auctions, added prizes to the lockers and
even paid for one star's plastic surgery. A&E declined comment. Will Hester
find a big payout under a messy pile of legal motions?
2. "The X Factor": Say it ain't so, Simon. "The X Factor"
has been accused of using more than treacly tunes to toy with our emotions. Last
season, a contestant's groin was blurred to make him appear to be nude -- though
he was actually wearing a thong. Another contestant was caught lip-syncing. And
this season, FOX conceded that episodes filmed at judges' homes weren't
necessarily filmed at judge's homes. Maybe they were worried about more indecent
3. "Breaking Amish": The TLC show -- which some skeptical
viewers dubbed "Faking Amish" -- contained enough misrepresentation that the
network aired a two-part special to address the allegations that its stars were
not always as sheltered as they claimed. The show purportedly followed young
Amish and Mennonites as they left their strict, isolated communities for the
first time. But the New York Daily News noted that one cast mate "had
already lived outside the closed community, got married, had children and was
divorced." OK, but aside from that.
4. "House Hunters": You may want to sit down, assuming your
house has room for a chair. One participant on the show says its producers found
her house search so boring that they made her concoct a story about her old
house being much too small. You know how you scream at the screen "THEN PAINT
IT!," every time some house hunters pass on an otherwise perfect home because
they don't like the color? That may not be the most unbelievable part of "House
5. "The Hills": Past cast mates have conceded that the MTV
show's producers just may have staged relationships and fights to make the
docu-soap more interesting. But at least MTV gave us a wink to let us know not
to believe every vapid exchange was real: The show ended with the camera pulling
back to reveal its final scene was shot on a studio back lot. Wait: Does this
mean Justin Bobby maybe wasn't the genius we thought he was?