Remember the good ole' days when you'd come home from school, grab some Dunkaroos, and turn on an episode of Room Raiders? No? Just me? Cool. Although MTV's hit show is no longer on air, people are still wondering if the reactions from contestants were real or if it was all a sham. Turns out, it was a little bit of both.
Room Raiders, which ran from 2003-2009, was every teen's guilty pleasure — it was silly, at times raunchy, and was on pretty much all the time. Before social media all but squashed the idea of TMI, this show pushed boundaries. Cough, cough, the infamous blacklight! According to Google, the description states, "This reality show puts a new twist on the dating show where contestants choose a date not by looks or charm, but by what's in their bedrooms. The catch: These unsuspecting singles have no idea their rooms are going to be raided until after they're kidnapped from their house." Yet some fans weren't so convinced that the so-called singles were always caught off guard.
In an interview with Van Winkles in Nov. 2016, Noah Harlan — who was a senior field producer for seven of the nine seasons — said, "The show was called a 'strip,' so it ran five days a week. The full three-day shoot worked like this: Monday and Tuesday, the director would reach out to all the kids. On Wednesday/Thursday, we'd go visit all of them… We'd still not tell them what show it was." Michael Swanhaus, a showrunner who started at the end of season two added, "We left it really generic, like, 'We'd love to tell you, but for the element of surprise, it works best if we don't tell you if it's a show that's on MTV already or in development.' A lot of them would just be like, 'Okay.' As seasons went along, you got an idea of like, 'I’m going to be on MTV.' MTV used to be so different." However, Sara Nichols, a showrunner for first 66 episodes admitted that, as the seasons went on, it became "much harder to surprise people."
In the same interview, Yuffie Bunny, a first-season contestant, confessed, "They had to give us some heads-up because we had to remove photos of ourselves, even as kids, because they didn’t want anyone to get an idea of what we might look like. Me and my friend purposely left a few things out, like as a 'what-if.' The one anime or manga I had — the quote-unquote 'porn comic' under my bed — stayed out. But we didn't know the guy would be going through our rooms like that." In other words, the show was fake — sort of. But we all probably assumed that already, no?
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