When I told my story about what it was like to be on the show, another show participant came forward to share the following with me.
Their words edited for grammar and privacy:
Sorry I'm so late to the party in writing this, I guess it's taken me a little time to gather the courage to speak up. The timing of your story hitting the press was a godsend for me. our episode aired in (month) of (year) and like you, everything was fake. We already owned the house, they thought our apartment was boring so they changed the story to say we were living with my in-laws. The worst part about it was that my husband and I were portrayed as spoiled rich kids who were unrealistically picky and who were rude to our Realtor. All of the houses featured on our episode were beautiful, and I would have been happy to live in any of them, but you would never know it by watching our episode. You'd think I was some high maintenance wife where nothing was good enough.
It was our fault for being so naive and being so willing to follow the instructions of the director of the episode. He thought it would be great if I flipped out over an outdated bathroom, and convinced me to oblige him with an over-the-top performance. I was so naive about it that it actually took a while for me to realize that we had been demonized. I could tell that the director knew exactly what he had done to us, because after the show aired, he said something like "I'm glad you like the episode and that you're not mad at me." When our episode first aired, I was amused because the way we were portrayed was so ridiculous, but then I realized that most viewers took it very seriously.
There were the comments on local message boards that we were such an "annoying couple" and that I need to take a "chill pill." We even received anonymous hate mail (sent to my husband's workplace, which was featured on the show). How stupid of me to not realize that people would believe the whole thing was real! I was both hurt and shocked that people would react that way and also stunned that my acting was actually believable!
We live in a small state, where I think only two episodes of HH have ever been taped, and it feels like the whole state watched our show. So when we talk to people about our episode, the first words that come out of our mouths are "it was all fake, and we were acting the whole time," but nothing corroborated my story more than when your account hit national headlines, so thank you so much for that!
The whole fakeness has ruined the show for me, and I simply take no pleasure it watching it or any reality TV show, for that matter. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't.