Polished To A Sheen
Drew and Jonathan Scott may be the well-coifed twins for whom Property Brothers is named, but their tag-teaming of real estate deals and renovation projects has been raising questions about the methods they employ behind the scenes of their TV show.
For The Camera
The more reality shows proliferate, the more obvious it’s become that there’s little reality involved in the shows in question. Renovation shows, however, seem to be harder to fix for the purpose of entertainment. After all, the couples who appear on the show either have their home renovated or they don’t. While Property Brothers may seem straightforward, there’s a lot the two brothers have kept hidden from their audiences behind their well-polished onscreen personas.
Picking And Choosing
The two charming hosts may seem to be the driving force behind the show’s success, however, as every producer of television knows, the many different contestants who appear on these shows need to be equally entertaining. When choosing families to appear on Property Brothers, there are a number of criteria to check off. Being entertaining, opinionated, or even zany will definitely help your chances of appearing on the show. That’s not all the requirements of participants, however.
Attached At The Hip
Though neither Drew nor Jonathan will mention this outright, in order to appear with them on the show, you can’t be applying alone. Those interested parties who aren’t house hunting with a romantic partner will have to prove to the producers that they have someone equally entertaining in their lives in order to bring some drama to the table. Without that second opinion, it seems like the show’s formula can easily become too stale for viewers to enjoy.
Primed For Performance
The Scott brothers also weren’t simply chosen via an audition for their roles as the eponymous hosts on Property Brothers. The two may have begun flipping houses for their own gain, but they only began doing it in service to their aspirations to be in show business. Long before they were TV stars, Jonathan and Drew began earning a meager income as clowns, a gig they began when they were just children. It calls into question just how genuine they are on Property Brothers.
A Surprise Finish
Jonathan and Drew may be some of the most famous twins on TV these days, but their parents had no inkling that their family would be growing by two, rather than one until Jonathan was born. Shortly after his birth, they discovered that a second baby would be making its way into the world mere minutes later. It seems the luck of their birth has helped them to build their brand throughout the years, as they’ve been rewarded with an increasing list of shows.
Behind Closed Doors
Both Jonathan and Drew went to great lengths to conceal their pasts from the public, but like most secrets in the internet age, someone always manages to discover a celebrity’s less than stellar moments. For the Property Brothers, the subterfuge they’ve engaged in goes far beyond what is necessary in order to make their show entertaining. Some of the secrets will have you wondering why the brothers even bothered trying to hide them in the first place.
Trick Of The Eye
Before Jonathan was the rugged TV contractor beloved by men and women alike, he was interested in pursuing a career that on its surface seems entirely different from his day job as TV home renovator. As a college student, Jonathan began to pursue work as a magician, but found despite the effort and money he invested in building his “illusions,” he was blindsided when the majority of his creations were stolen, saddling him with debt. Instead of rebuilding what he lost, Jonathan declared bankruptcy.
Reflecting On Loss
The months following Jonathan’s bankruptcy were some of the worst days he can remember, at least when he thought back to his young adulthood. He shared in an interview that declaring bankruptcy was “the worst mistake, financially, of my life because I think I really could’ve held out and over maybe five or six years paid that off.” It was Drew who had to coax Jonathan out of his depression, convincing him to take a job with him as a flight attendant for WestJet.
Fortune Comes Knocking
Oftentimes, fate works in mysterious ways. In addition to earning a meager income as a flight attendant, Jonathan decided to shift his focus from becoming a magician to becoming more adept at home flipping. Instead of continuing to study for his business degree, Jonathan transferred to Calgary in order to learn more about construction. Though he’d shown early promise, it seems the misfortune he worked so hard to hide led directly to the success he’d enjoying today.
Following His Footsteps
Drew and Jonathan didn’t come to home renovation by picking a lucrative profession out of a hat. It turns out they had trained with their father during their childhoods, as he also engaged in the hobby of house flipping. Even once the brothers began putting more of their efforts in their real estate business, it was still intended to finance their artistic careers. In a sense, their plan worked, as they head up a production company of their own.
Taking What Pays
Jonathan may be the brother with more skeletons in his closet, but Drew has also suffered some of his own embarrassing moments. In his quest for a career in show business, Drew followed the same route many aspiring actors do, which generally involves taking any role they’re possibly offered, even when they recognize that there may be little to no production value to the piece. For Drew, however, the embarrassment went beyond being in a sloppy film.
Baring His Soul
In one of his earliest roles, Drew found himself cast in the sort of B zombie movie that gets ridiculed for years to come, should the public ever catch wind of such a homegrown effort. Complete with shaky camera work, Drew agreed to appear in the film, hoping it could be a springboard to bigger and better things. There was a catch, however. Not only was the film’s budget nearly non-existent, but Drew would be required to appear without clothing in one scene.
The Windfall Of Despair
Jonathan wasn’t the only one to suffer from financial disasters. As the brothers continued to expand their real estate business from Calgary to Vegas, the money just wasn’t rolling in the way they needed it to. Jonathan may have recovered from bankruptcy, but this time Drew found himself deep in debt. On the cusp of financial ruin of his own, Drew opened a Vancouver branch of Scott Real Estate, and began actively seeking a network who would give the pair their own show.
Losing His Cool
Despite the clean-cut image the brothers work to cultivate on their show, Jonathan seems to have a far more rugged demeanor than even his sweat-soaked tank tops let on. In 2016, reports leaked that Jonathan somehow managed to become involved in a bar fight in North Dakota. Though he escaped unscathed, at least legally, once TMZ leaked the story, Jonathan was instantly sent into damage control mode. It would seem he is more frequently than not on the defense.
Asking For Favors
The fight is would seem began when the staff at the Fargo City bar where Jonathan was relaxing with some friends insisted they were closing up shop. According to TMZ, Scott became irate when the bartender removed his drink from the bar. The media agency also released footage which appeared to be of Jonathan being held in a headlock by a bouncer as the incident was continuing to evolve. This continued deception seems to be a pattern for Jonathan.
Springing A Leak
Despite being a fixture on American television sine 2011, there was much Jonathan was still hiding from the public, both as a reality show host and with regards to his personal life. It wasn’t until last year that he finally shared with the public that he had been married a decade prior. Jonathan felt shame about the union, given that it ended in divorce. Jonathan had kept the relationship under wraps for years, but there was a good reason why he finally decided to reveal it.
Blowing Their Cover
The brothers were prompted to reveal more of the secrets they’d managed to keep private as they continued to capitalize on their popularity by releasing a jointly written memoir. Though Jonathan continued to keep his ex-wife’s identity a secret, he knew if he left any major gaps, their writing would ring false to their fans. Thus, he decided to share this bombshell about the past. The revelation, however, left many fans asking why he hadn’t said anything before.
Waterfall Of Emotion
After the release of their book, the reason Jonathan had kept his marriage under wraps for so long with finally public knowledge… “I’ve never shared much about the impact divorce had on me, because why put something so sad out there?” Jonathan described. “The pain ended up outlasting the marriage. The split isn’t something I dwell on anymore, but for one too-long, too-dark period of my life, that’s practically all I did. It shook me right to the core.”
Host Versus Host
As amiable as the Scott brothers may seem, rumors sprang up about a possible feud between them and two other HGTV heavy hitters, Chip and Joanna Gaines, who headline another home design staple, Fixer Upper. The battle seemed to have started when the Gaines’ declined an invitation to appear on Property Brothers, prompting an New York Times article to be written about the snub. While it was unclear how either party truly felt about the incident, the brothers were quick to issue a statement.
Responding To Rumors
Drew responded to the allegations of a rift by saying, “We’re one big family, which is why we love bringing [fellow HGTV stars] in to judge us… We know a lot of the [HGTV] talent really well. Our show started airing in 2011 and over that time we’ve met [Chip and Joanna] once or twice. They were really nice.” Who knows if this apparent reconciliation will result in a crossover episode of the two shows in the future.
There are a lot more secrets to the production of Property Brothers that go beyond the personal lives of Jonathan and Drew, however. As each episode goes to pains to depict, Drew brings his couple of prospective homebuyers to see several houses. Without fail, each couple is shown a ‘perfect’ house, that Drew will then reveal is out of their price range. Participants may act shocked by the price tag, but the truth is, they knew from the start that the house wasn’t in the running.
Presenting Their Choices
As much as the start of the episode revolves around couples seeing a range of houses, the truth is, most of them already know they’re buying the house that they renovate before they even apply for the show. Drew’s participation in the show seems almost obsolete in this light, considered the homeowners have generally done the heavy lifting before being accepted onto the show. The brothers may have real estate licenses, but their use on Property Brothers is just a farce.
What’s Left Behind
Although it might seem that show participants are rewarded with a fully funded, renovated house, reality is more complex. As each applicant is informed upon application, they have to pick only four rooms in the house to be renovated. While this doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable, the show goes to pains to hide any rooms that haven’t been renovated from the viewer. There’s also a catch when it comes to the rooms couples can choose for renovation.
In Or Out
When participants agree to be on Property Brothers, they have a big choice they have to make with regards to the spaces they chose to renovate. The show will only allow couples to have either their kitchen or their bathroom redone, but not both. This means that even if those are the only two rooms a couple wants done, the show will only provide Jonathan’s help for one of them. It can be a tough decision for anyone to make.
Fans of Property Brothers will know that it seems to be an inevitability in each episode that the homeowners will be told that there’s some sort of big problem with their house about midway through the episode. These sort of twists are par for the course when it comes to construction, but the reliability of them occurring is a little too uncanny. Not only that, the production team requires participants to build in a ‘contingency’ budget just for these moments.
Alternative Means Of Construction
No matter how many minutes the camera spends on Jonathan hard at work in the middle of the renovations, he’s only peripherally involved in the actual construction work that takes place. According to a Reddit thread about the show, the producers employ local contractors to do the bulk of the work, Jonathan just happens to show up to film big moments. Even if he isn’t personally flipping the houses, he does have major say in the design elements that are installed.
On The Sidelines
While it may appear on the show that Drew and Jonathan are holding participants’ hands every waking moment during the construction phase, that couldn’t be further from reality. As early as the application phase, participants are told that they’ll only meet with the brothers between six and ten times during the eight weeks of construction. The brothers apparently stop by once a week in order to mug for the camera for a day before heading out again.
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Another indispensable element of any reality show is conflicts that can get blown out of proportion. Given the big decisions involved in home buying and renovation, one would think that there’s plenty of real drama for the show to mine. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, however, that most of the arguments that occur on screen have been created through various tricks of cinematic magic. Some may be prompted by off screen questions, but most arguments are easily controlled through editing.
It’s not just arguments that are created for entertainment purposes. While it might be billed as a reality show, and participants really do get some home renovations out of their appearances, much of the work the two brothers do is staged for the camera. Often the most dramatic moments of each episode are painstakingly filmed until they have the perfect take. That the brothers are adept actors shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, it’s the career they always dreamed of.