Renovate My Family spent half a million to build this house. For the Biggins brood, it was the beginning of the end — d Magazine
Have you ever wanted to be on a show such as, “Renovate My Home” Or “Extreme Makeover” Did you ever wonder how they are able to build a house so fast and what happens after the camera crew leaves? What happens when their home value doubles? Did you ever wonder if they are able to afford to upkeep their “renovated” homes? You’re about to find out, D Magazine followed up with the Biggins Family..
Remember the show, Trading Spouses meet your new mommy ? It made made the top ten worst Reality TV Shows? The Biggins Family and the Nakamura Family “traded” spouses? Al-Mela went to the Nakamuras and Tammy went to the Biggins household.
According D Magazine, The Biggins Family was discovered:
Anthony and Al-Mela got discovered. They went to a dog show at Reunion Arena with their three kids and a litter of nieces and nephews. They were a big, raucous, fun-loving group, apparently hard not to miss. A television producer working for a company called Rocket Science Laboratories approached them after the show and said, “I was listening to you guys. Y’all are hilarious.”
Shortly thereafter, The Biggins Family appeared on Trading Spouses: meet your new mommy. According to D Magazine, Mr Biggins knew his family was cast to be on the show, but he thought, “meh, what could go wrong? We’re getting $50k” If you remember, like all “Reality” TV shows.. Things do not happen as the Participants are told. Look at Dina Manzo, she was told Jacqueline Laurita would not be on, The Real Housewives Of New Jersey. At the end, Tammy got to pick what the Biggins got to do with the money and Al-Mela got to pick what the Nakamuras did with their money – you can read what happened with the money at D Magazine and why it was more important to, The Biggins Family than the Nakamura Family.
What did happen with Fox‘s ratings – they sky rocketed. Rocket Science Production of Trading Spouses knew they had a hit with, The Biggins Family. Despite being sued by the production company that created ABC’s Wife Swap –for ripping off their concept; Rocket Science Productions did not stop there according D Magazine. Allot like Jenn Graziano of Just Jenn Productions, did with the Big Ang overload – Rocket Science tried to make several spin off type shows with The Biggins Family. You would think after being sued for their Copy Cat show, “Trading Spouses meet your new mommy, Rocket Science Productions (the jokes write themselves, don’t they?) they they would not create another copy cat show. Guess what? Rocket Science Productions created another copy cat show of Extreme Makeover, “Renovate My Family“.
According to D Magazine;
The idea was so elegant, so Fox: build a new house under an impossible deadline, just like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, but also fix whatever personal problem(s) the residents might have. Enlist as your host Jay McGraw, son of the famous television doctor who strains bromides through his mustache. Give him a construction crew led, in theory, by the December 1998 Playboy Playmates, a set of identical triplets. Dress the sisters in hardhats and Timberlands.
The concept was; “Renovate My Life”, I am sure production had the Biggins best interest at hand (sarcasm) and to avoid being sued again, the show would focus on what the family who they were renovating would “fix” Rocket Science focused on the Family and their weight. According to D Magazine;
In an interview for the syndicated Gannett News Service that ran the day the show aired, Jay McGraw said: “They’re a great family. But the family is 80 percent morbidly obese, and that needs to be dealt with.” The Bigginses endured a patronizing speech from a nutritionist and suffered through a Pilates class. The best line about the makeover experience probably came from the oldest child, 14-year-old Chrishara. After being subjected to an eyebrow wax, she said, “I will never, ever, as long as I am black—and I am not going to turn another color—I will never do that again.”
I will cut to the chase and tell you some of what happened. I do urge you however to read the entire article over at D Magazine because I am not covering everything, including, Biggins Wood.
“Renovate My Life” Should have been called, “Speedy Renovation“. As with all “makeover” shows, they rebuild the homes in a record times anywhere from a week to a month.. When they Biggens home was “renovated” according to D Magazine lights could not be shut off, there were leaks, their electic bill nearly tripled (as expected)
Here’s what happens at the end, at least for the Biggins family: rather quickly they noticed problems with the house. The Jacuzzi in the master bath upstairs leaked onto the first floor, so they had to stop using it. One of the kids’ rooms leaked when it rained. At one point, he couldn’t turn off a hallway light, and it was too high for him to unscrew. “We had to live with that fucking light on for a whole month. It just finally burned out.” And all that extra square footage generated nasty bills. Where an electric bill in their old house might hit $120, the new place ran about $400.
Then there was the problematic layout of the house, whose design had been forced on Murray, the contractor. Downstairs, the home theater and the living room were the same space, which made it difficult to entertain company if the kids wanted to watch a movie. The second floor was occupied entirely by the master bed and bath—but there was hardly any closet space.
The Bigginses received a nice surprise in the mail: A 1099-MISC Form from Rocket Science for earnings of $510,000, $50,000 of the family was paid to appear on Trading Spouses. The remaining $460,000 is what the production company figured the house and all its appointments were worth. Now, The Bigginses knew they would have to pay taxes on the cash and had set aside some money, but the house was a surprise to The Biggins. Perhaps, “Rocket Sceince” should have educated The Biggins, oh that’s right, the lengthy contract they went over, Rocket Science insisted there was no time for the family to get an attorney to look over the contract. Bastards!
Please go to D Magazine to read the rest of this nightmare including; if the couple’s marriage lasted, how D Magazine got the chance to speak to Anthony and what happened to the house!
When it comes to Reality TV: Be careful what you sign up for!