OT: HGTV dream home give away...reaction

graywritingdogMarch 17, 2008

Did anyone watch this year? What did yout hink about the winners reaction?

I know that people react in alot of differnt ways but....

How could someone win almost a $3 million home and new car and just sit there?


I would have been jumping, crying, hugging the host. I would have to be sedated to calm down.

Either she knew (they tell the family so they can all be there when the winner is told) or she was in shock.

I was disapointed in the reaction. I like to see people go nuts it almost makes the months of hard work and millions of $$$ worth it.

My DH said "What would you do if you were watching this live and saw them outside the town house, you open the door and they go to the neighboors?"

LOL, cry.

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Well, seeing as she is now contractually responsible for paying the property taxes and upkeep on a $3M home in a state she does not live in, as well as the income taxes for the gifted property, and if she puts it on the market (as most do) she'll be lucky if it sells before the first bills come due.

I think my reaction would have been more along the lines of "Oh S^$@!"

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:37PM
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I was so surprised and baffled by her reaction ... I don't think it was shock ... she looked very irritated! At one point her husband took the wine glass out of her hand --- maybe that's a clue... lol

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:49PM
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LOL, that's when you contact an invester and let them pay the taxes and such until it can be sold. Then split the proffit.

Just as alot of flippers have an invester
Honestly, I don't think the average person who is suprised with a multi million prize would be thinking about what it will cost them.

If you price a property well enough it will sell quickly. Valued at almost 3 mill I would have put it on the market for much less and that would move it quickly.

I just had an idea (since she clearly knew about the "suprise") maybe she had to take a chill pill, lol. That would explain the non-reaction.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:57PM
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I just watched it on YouTube.
I had to watch it again because the first time I couldn't concentrate on what was being said ---- couldn't stop focusing on the winner scratching her head.
Must've been nerves. Nervous itch, maybe?

Sounds like the folks at Winner's home knew something about it, were told in advance to be at the Winner's home?
Maybe one of those folks let it slip (accidentally? on purpose?) to Stephanie that the early birthday party for her was actually a gathering of friends and family, to be there when HGTV arrived to announce her as winner?

I dunno, just thinking out loud because the whole thing was rather bizarre, IMO.

Here is a link that might be useful: YouTube - Winner's Reaction- Dream Home 2008

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 9:56PM
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Totally agree with dgmarie! This is why I wouldn't even ENTER in that contest. Not one person that has won has gotten to keep the house! Who wants to win a dream house only for it remian a dream?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 10:25PM
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If I would have won it, I would have figured out a way to pay for the taxes and other expences. Sell the new car and the furnishings, a Home loan, an invester. Does anyone know how much the taxes and "cost" of that would be?

I would not have wanted to live there, I would have sold it. But I would have loved to have won last years home, a log house.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 10:46PM
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Wow, she was certainly underwhelmed. I wonder if she had been drinking - she was holding a glass when she first was on camera. Stoned again?

Good thing she won't keep the house -if the number of times she scratched her head is any indication of the time she spends on keeping her hair clean, she certainly couldn't keep that house clean! LOL

You don't enter to keep the house - you enter to win the prizes and the cash, sell whatever you don't want including the house, and take the money. You will come out ahead. Besides, most of the dream houses have been in undeveloped areas and certainly aren't all that attractive - better to take the money anyway.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 10:51PM
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even after selling the house, paying the taxes etc she will still come out a couple of million. I was so annoyed at her thanklessness :(

I think she and her husband were in the middle of a fight :) That is why the sour puss reaction. argghhh...

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 11:24PM
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Poor HGTV, they were treated as unwelcomed guests to a private party. She didn't even get excited when she was told she also won a new car.

She must have known in advance...since when does a film crew just walk into someone's house? Did you notice they didn't bother to knock or ring the bell? Even Publisher's Clearing House waits at the front doorstep for the owner to open the door, these people walked right into the living room!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 11:57PM
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I felt bad for HGTV also since she apparently was plastered and her husband was embarrassed by her reaction and by her drinking too much. I would have been so excited. I would have visited the home and stayed there for a week vacation and then sold it to have the money.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 12:09AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

I didn't see plastered or ungrateful. The poor thing looked totally uncomfortable and like she wanted to just crawl under a rock and die. The nervous head-scratiching to distract. Folded arms and she kept reaching for the baby seemingly in an effort to place something between herself, the camera, and Lauren Lake for safety. She struck me as painfully camera shy, shocked, and overwhelmed.

Instead of handing her tissues, I wish someone would have been able to go stand by her and hold her hand or put their arm around her. But, I imagine her family and friends were probably told to stay out of the shot.

I don't care for Lauren Lake, but I thought she did a pretty good job keeping the seconds moving thru all the awkwardness.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 12:36AM
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I'm glad you posted this because I thought her reaction was weird too -- quite different from what we usually see or would expect. I have no explanation for it, as your guess is as good as mine. But it was weird.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 4:55AM
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I just looked at the video, she said she was overwhelmed ; I guess we expect the winner to jump up and down and act like a "price is right" winner but I could see myself having the same reaction as her, frozen and numb.

If they set it up differently, like having 5 potential winners on a show where they would reveal the ultimate big winner, it would be more exciting since it would have some kind of build up of anticipation ; we had a dream home show where the 5 candidates got a key and only one key fitted, the other 4 won consolation prizes.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 6:29AM
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The sound doesn't work on my computer here, so I couldn't hear what was being said, but from what I could see, it looked like something had happened right before the crew got there - a fight maybe? She looked very uncomfortable, as did the husband.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 7:40AM
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I really can't believe that no one thought Lake was the most OBNOXIOUS, invasive announcer ever seen on TV! First she just strolls into the poor woman's house (doesn't matter that the others knew about this....they were contacted to set up this early "party" for HGTV.) How would you react if some stranger suddenly appeared in your foyer??

Drunk?? Ummmm....the woman has an empty wine glass in her hands and she's called drunk? Extremely SHY yes. Uncomfortable, nervous, overwhelmed....not everyone is a screamer and jumper....me for example. And to keep her husband and baby away.....baaaad stuff.

I know MANY shy people that would have reacted the exact same way with Lake screaming in their face!! I can't believe how poorly HGTV handled that...it was really hard for me to watch that video.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 8:14AM
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Mitchdes....I agree with you about having the final 5 contacted and then have them ready for the final announcement. MUCH more exciting AND it would give them time to think and perhaps even pull out from the competition if they were really then thinking about taxes "etc".

Maybe all FIVE would pull out of it? LOL

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 8:17AM
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I live in SW FL, and out of fun I did look up property taxes of a 3 Million Dollar Home, and I estimate that the taxes would be about $25-30 thousand a year.

It was odd, that they just walked in, and I think her reaction was due to what funcolors posted.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 8:19AM
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meow, ladies.

I agree with funcolors. Or maybe they just got off the phone with their financial advisor who told them they would be hit with a $1.2M tax bill and her DH asked wtf she was thinking by entering right before they walked in.

It does seem like the whole thing was staged as far as "walking in on a birthday party that just happened to be going on" and she seemed really uncomfortable lying about it on camera and pretending like it was serendipity that all of her friends and family just happened to be there. I'm not a good liar either and probably would have come off as shifty and uncomfortable trying to pretend something was true that was not.

I guess this is why they use actors and not real people in general - real people have real emotions and real reactions and do not always put on the best "show." At least she gave the country someone to talk about and make fun of for a little while though.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 8:20AM
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i just watched.

I thought the announcer was the freak here--chill out, lady!

All I saw was one incredibly uncomfortable woman--the head scratching was probably a nervous reaction (I'm thinking sensory issues).

People react differently--I would believe her when she said she was in shock.

Did anyone see the couple who won 270 million in the lottery??--they made this woman look like over the top hysterical.

Here is a link that might be useful: GA couple on Today Show

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 9:03AM
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She just looks very uncomfortable to me. She also looks like she already knew she'd won, which could explain the apparent lack of enthusiasm.

She was more gracious than I would have been if that hostess was yelling and carrying on like that and seemingly demanding more and more enthusiasm from me.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 9:26AM
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To the hosts defence....HGTV had put alot of effort into this whole contest. I think the host was trying to make up for the woman's lack of enthusiasm. I think she failed at this, but I'm pretty sure that was the intent.

I just wanted to see a response that would have been closer to what I would have done. The host would have needed a neck brace when I got done hugging her! LOL

HGTV provides the winners with tax experts and such to help inform them so they can make the right decision. And there is no up front payment before you collect, I went back and read the past winners Q/A. It's clear that to keep the house you have to have money. That's why you sell it pay the taxes and pocket a cool $1,000,000.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 9:53AM
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I'm sure HGTV and their sponcers put loads of money into this project. You'd think they'd want their winning show to come off with a bit more class. Instead it came off looking like a carnival midway. Lauren Lake acted like one of the scruffy men that used to yell at passers by wanting them to play their game. Stephanie seemed completely overwhelmed and almost frighted by all the commotion coming from this small womans mouth.

I hope HGTV gets the hint that "real" people don't like all this pushy pooh that seems the norm with so called "reality" shows that for some unknown reason are so popular today. I'm shy in certain situations and very camera shy. I much prefer to be on the back side of a camera to having one aimed at me. And being an amatuer photographer I've noticed most of my subjects are the same way. In order to get the best shot I certainly don't get in their face and try to force them to smile. I either have a friend of theirs along to stand just behind me and talk to them or I ask questions about things they like. Once they are concentrating on our calm conversation I get some awesome pictures.

I'm sure it's the same way with video. The subject must feel comfortable. And it's very apparent that Stephanie was not. And she wasn't drunk either. For heaven's sake people! Haven't those of you that commented about S being drunk ever had a glass of wine with dinner or with friends before? Even I've done that and I'm so not a drunk.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 1:56PM
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I don't think her reaction was as horrible as some have made it out to be but.....
it did remind me of an SNL skit with NBC Newsguy Brian Williams as the winner of the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes - art imitates life - lol.

Here is a link that might be useful: SNL Publisher's Clearinghouse winner skit

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 2:28PM
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    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 3:04PM
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I don't see why anyone would pull out because of the taxes, you sell it and whatever you get is more than you started out with .

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 3:08PM
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Here's a link to the outcomes of the past dream home winners

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/dream_home_archive/article/0,1783,HGTV_11536_1898730,00.html

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 3:11PM
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To those who think it's easy to sell a $2-3MIL home, especially in areas where there is very litte industry (read jobs or careers!)AND in a horrible RE market currently...think again. And what if taxes are due before you sell it??? Sure you can lowball it but even then a lot of these dream homes are in kinda "funny" locations that have limited appeal to most.

Happy to see more respondents here agree with the fact that she was treated with very little sensitivity. And Lake was obnoxious BEFORE she entered the house...right then I said to myself, "OH BOY....here we go."

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 3:33PM
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I actually loved the winner's reaction. It was obvious that the family knew that something was up. The HGTV lady was obnoxious. She just kept going on and on about how wonderful it was to win not only a house, but flooring from Lumber Liquidators, a pet house, etc. And what was with her just walking into the house? She didn't ring the bell, and actually opened the door before she knocked. I think that my reaction would be who the he!! are you and what are you doing in my house... unless I had already been clued in to expect to have my home invaded by a TV crew.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 3:51PM
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Not to mention that the house is on the Florida Keys. I can only imagine how much insurance will be (friends of mine who don't live in central florida rather inland are paying thousands a year for a $130k house). I wonder if they got hit with an insurance premium bill for tens of thousands of dollars that has to be paid right now. I mean, we are not in hurricane season yet but if a hurricane takes that house out they'd still be on the hook for income tax on the $3M prize and they'd have nothing to show for it.

It will be interesting to see if any of the reporters pick up on that aspect of it.

The market in FL is BEYOND abysmal right now. A friend of mine has been trying to sell her house for well over a year in a much more desirable and accessible location for half the price of that house. I don't think you can give away homes right now in that area.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 3:53PM
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I haven't seen the winner's reaction, and I'm taking this slightly OT by bringing this up, but this thread reminded me of the old "Let's Make a Deal" program that I've been seeing in syndication recently. What a hoot to watch the contestants get sooooooooo incredibly excited over winning $400 in cash, or a console tv, or a pair of Barcaloungers! I mean, these people were stoked! A real trip down memory lane, too, when people guess the prices of items. A 75-foot roll of Reynolds Wrap for 25 cents. How times have changed!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 3:56PM
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Marie, thanks for the link. Interesting but not surprising that nobody kept their homes. Still, they all came out of it with money, so who among us would turn it down?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 4:50PM
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I thought this comment was interesting. Posted a couple months ago on Tripadvisor's Florida Keys forum.

...I think it is going to be much more of a burdon than an asset. The $2 mil values are based on 2006 pricing when Real Estate in Fl were Hot. The Place is likly not worth much more than 1 million. Gift taxes are usually upwards of 50%, real estate Taxes, closing costs, hazard insurance, Flood (why did they put living space on the lower level) as well as Home owners fees are all the responsibility of the winner, (in fine print). If you read the "blogs" on HGTV some accountant estimated you would need to owe about $850,000 after winning it. In years past, you could take out a mortage ( lein) on the property to pay this and Lending tree gave you $250,000 to help with montly payments. But not this year, you are on your own. Every Floridian can tell you it is not Uncommon to see houses for sale in the neigborhood that have been on the market for 2 yrs now. What if it does not sell right away. Why has the developer not sold the other 6 lots ? If you were going to spend 2 million would you want one of the lots closer to the water and one you could customize, without a refigerator in the closet?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 5:01PM
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I think the winner was admirably restrained. I would've slapped the hysterical woman in the red suit and thrown her out of my house.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 5:06PM
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"The market in FL is BEYOND abysmal right now. A friend of mine has been trying to sell her house for well over a year in a much more desirable and accessible location for half the price of that house. I don't think you can give away homes right now in that area."

Actually this isn't true. The only houses that *are* selling right now are high end in this area, including the keys. I'm in Miami and have a ton of relatives down there, all of whom have either bay or ocean front property.

What's going on is that at the million+ price level we're seeing a combination of a flood of European well heeled buyers who are drooling because the exchange value is so favorable and also Latin American wealthy who are seeking safe harbor for not only money but families in property in the US-and they far and away prefer their getaways to be in South Florida. With Chavez in Venezuela, FARC in Colombia, and kidnapping all over the region at record highs, there is no shortage of buyers for houses like that one. On top of that Florida has some of the strongest laws in the country governing bankruptcy protection through real estate (your homesteaded property can't be seized) so every crook who gets in trouble makes sure to lock up a bundle in a waterfront spread in Florida. A lot of masters of the universe who aren't in trouble-yet-buy second or third homes down here just to be on the safe side.

So they won't have a problem selling at least.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 5:24PM
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This discussion reminds me of the backlash Oprah got for giving away cars on her show. And the "winners" only bought a ticket to a talk show, they didn't enter a contest.

These people entered the contest, it was their responsibility to read the fine print, in the event that they actually won the prize.

I do agree her reaction looked weird, probably because she is not a trained actress. But HGTV showed very poor taste barging right into her home. In my neighborhood, that can have serious consequences LOL!

Here is a link that might be useful: Oprah Car Winners Hit with Hefty Tax

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 5:49PM
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I guess if you're a "winner" of something, you can always choose not to accept the prize, right?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 6:09PM
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Call me odd, but I can't say that I would mind someone barging into my home to tell me I won a multi-million-dollar dream home :o) ~ Barge away!

The winner seemed strangely "underwhelmed" as Les mentioned, and if she didn't want the home, with all of the related taxes and insurance, etc., then why did she enter the contest? I hope she was truly just terribly nervous and that she will appreciate and enjoy the fantastic prize.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 7:50PM
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There have been a lot of good guesses here as to what went wrong, although they're all just guesses. The one thing we all agree on (if we watched it) is that something did indeed go wrong. I hope whatever it was HGTV learns from it and won't repeat it.

And Jan, I'm with you. Everything sells pretty quickly if you reduce the price enough, and it's hard to imagine the winner not coming out with something in the plus column.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 8:00PM
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I never watch this show and only caught the youtube video, but I felt really bad for Stephanie. She was so stressed and the hostess person was practically screaming. I was watching it in my bedroom and my 21 year old DD came and got on my bed to watch t.v. She could hear the Youtube video and asked if the lady with the mike was on drugs---she was so loud and annoying. When I told her she was surprising the blonde with a new home, my DD said "Well, she's not doing it very kindly and I feel sorry for that girl!"


    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 9:01PM
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I noticed the head scratching, too- and then if you look closely, it looked like she had stitches there or something. hmm...

she was crying, too, so I'm not sure she can be faulted with not reacting. She seemed like someone who was really embarrassed to be having emotions in front of the entire world. I felt bad for her. I think they should have reshot it, at least a wrap-up sound bite from her after she'd had a chance to grasp everything.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 9:41PM
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I too thought Lauren Lake was horribly overbearing even before she got to the door. I can tell you, if that were my friend and I saw her agonizing that way the HGTV folks could kiss my butt, I'd be comforting my friend. I felt like I was watching the stupid lie detector show on Fox instead.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 9:48PM
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I also think it was horrid what they put her thru. Since I'm one that tends to freeze when I see a camera rolling, I could feel her pain!
The majority of these things are staged so yes she probably knew it was going to happen, but my guess is she didn't know it was going to be that bad!

If any of you here have been in front of a TV camera then you're aware at how bright those lights are. For me, they're literally blinding and if I had been in her position I would have been trying to avoid the lights any way I could.

Give her a break.......she's not there to entertain us.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 11:12PM
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I didn't think Lauren Lake was that obnoxious. I like her, and I assume she was following her director's orders. Anyway, the winners seemed overwhelmed and shocked, especially the woman. Bless her heart. The couple's baby is adorable! I hope it works out well for the family. My sister was convinced that she'd win. Now, I can tell you all for sure you'd have seen quite a show if she had.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 11:33PM
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I have to disagree with all the people that are saying she had no idea what this would be like, that she wasn't prepared, etc. If she has watched HGTV and entered to win the house, she knew what happens, how the house is awarded, and what the commotion will be like.

I don't care for Lauren Lake, but I agree with those who said that she was trying to generate some response from the winner, trying to get some excitement in her reaction, because that is what is normal in these situations and that is what everyone watching is waiting to see. If they weren't, they could just pick a winner and post the name and be done with it.

I didn't see anything wrong with them walking in to the place - someone there knew what was happening - they always have in the past when they have shown up at places where the winner was gathered with others.

Even if the woman was overwhelmed in the first minute or two, at some point she had to realize what was happening and should have at least been more appreciative in some way.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 11:38PM
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I was also very uncomfortable watching the video.
Every one reads people different and my take on her is she would act that way in any situation.

Like meeting people for the first time, she would be one of those who would be nervous and fool with something(scratching her head maybe)or pushing her hair back to have something to do with her hands.
I have been around backward ,non-talkative people and I try my best to keep a conversation going and its hard.

Maybe she knows she is doing it or maybe not.

I'm just sorry a couple didn't win it that would be junping up and down and so excited.

Put yourself in the host place. She was obnoxious but she had to try and make it exciting (which she couldn't)had to try and keep it upbeat (it wasn't).

I thought the whole thing was uncomfortable and embarrassing.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 12:04AM
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I rarely disagree with Les, when it comes to decorating anyway, but this time I'm going to have too. Even if Stephanie has watched all the previous Dream Home Give Away shows all she'd really know about is what happend in FRONT of the camera. Not all the commotion that goes on behind it. It would be entirely different watching it happen to someone else than it would be to have it happen to you in your own home.

Lauren Lake, was so comic in trying to get some big reaction out of Stephanie. Just like the lady in the SNL skit that Joanie linked to. It was down right funny! Yep, life does imitate art!

Whatever the reason for the different reactions, I still think this Dream Home thing is past it's time. I mean what percentage of HGTV viewers could just pick up and leave their homes and jobs and move to "wherever" at the drop of a hat? Not me, that's for sure. Could be that be why not one of the previous winners are living in their "dream home"?

Maybe it's time they changed Dream Home to a series where they could spend the same amount of money, along with the sponcers too ofcourse, and pick a winner before they build. Let the winner have a hand in where and what their dream home would be like. Personally I didn't care for this years architecture. Sorry HGTV....

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 12:33AM
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Have any of you thought before you wrote such terrible things about someone you've never met in person that Stephanie may be a member here?

If she watches HGTV she may very well belong to decorating boards too.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 12:39AM
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Nope, I never thought of that. It wouldn't change my opinion about her reaction, even if she was/is a member of this forum.

Personally I haven't read any "terrible" comments... what I have read was people's opinions. I started the thread, and wondered if people had the same reaction about her non-reaction as I did.

We make assumptions everyday. Without knowing it, you are constantly making unsubstanciated guesses about people.

The other day I was in wal-mart. The woman infront of me in line was dressed in a nice silk blouse, black pencil skirt and nice black heels. She was sleek and professional. I assumed she was a real estate agent or maybe in medical sales.

Well she pulled out a "food stamps debit card". My first thought about her when out the window. I had assumed that she was wealthy and she wasn't.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 2:09AM
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I liked it better when Joan Steffand was the hostess. She's a real cutie pie and so down to earth.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 2:32AM
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graywritingdog, I agree that her reaction wasn't typical. However there *were* many things that members assumed, or guessed if you prefer, about Stephanie that I certainly wouldn't want other's to assume, OR guess, about me. My hubby has a saying that I don't care for, but it's often true. It goes something like this... remove U and ME from assume and what do you have left? I didn't mention who wrote what because I don't want to hurt anyone. I'm just hoping that anyone who writes from now on will think, "would I want someone to say this about me?" before they hit Submit Message. That's all.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 3:42AM
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If she is a member here, we'd love to hear from her. Nothing terrible was said above, only assumptions made on a public discussion forum, on the topic of a nation wide tv event. For me, that makes it open for opinions, and that's all we're doing here.

If she ever googles her name or the name of the show, she might very well stumble upon this discussion.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 5:33AM
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I guess I am missing something. I don't see anything wrong with her reaction. Everyone responds differently to different situations. I didn't see a plastered mom in the video. She did scratch her head a few times but I'm not sure I would not have even noticed the scratching if I had not read about it before seeing the video. It looks like she was nervous.

If it were me I probably would have been nervous and in shock. I may have had an odd reaction too.

I really don't get the reaction to her reaction.

I hope the win will enhance their lives. They look like an adorable family.

I certainly hope she does not read this thread. The comments on the HGTV Dream Home MB are a shame. Knowing she would probably read it - why would people publicly humiliate someone like that? She is a person with feelings.

I don't usually participate in a thread of this nature and I try to keep my responses supportive. I fell strongly that she does not deserve the bashing she is getting.

Here is a link that might be useful: HGTV Dream Home MB

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 7:23AM
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I agree that her reaction wasn't probably what we or the producers of the show would have hoped for when winning such a big prize.

But I would guess she's a pretty unemotional person, and maybe she was a bit embarrassed to have won such an expensive prize and didn't want to gloat and gush in front of her friends. Sometimes coming into a great deal of money (potentially if she sells at a good price!) is uncomfortable for people if the others around you aren't as well off.

I am surprised though at the unkind comments about her obviously being drunk - that wasn't a wine glass her husband took, it looked like a glass of sprite to me. Her voice was clear and calm, not shakey or silly like someone intoxicated. Why would anyone say such a mean thing about a total stranger? Also, I thought the husband was very nice and calm, how did anyone come up with them obviously having a fight before the video started. How could anyone possibly construe that bit of info from a 90 second video clip? If anything, the host was the most obnoxious. Who would ask - " How did you start your day on this most exciting occasion?" Now that was a silly question. What did she want her to say? I went out and did my nails and then visited my decorator to decide how I want to redo the entire house in FL??

She's a normal middle class American with two small kids, who won an expensive home she probably can't afford!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 7:56AM
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Good grief...what a thread on HGTV. Poor Stephanie...a nice, quiet, very shy physician's assistant and mom who's being blasted cuz she "let down" all these sore losers. Interesting to see that all these condemning her think they're "owed" something as they lost. "What a let down!" "She doesn't deserve it!" over and over and over. Crying in their soup.

I LOVE the person over there who said, "SHY?? She's 31 yrs old!" Shy is NOT related to one's age. And most shy people would give ANYTHING not to be! (Having been painfully shy all through my teens I know how hard it is...it actually HURTS)

The envy is frankly downright sickening...especially when people start saying things like "did you see her baby humping the floor?? WEIRD man!"

It might behoove HGTV in the future to demand a video from each entrant demonstrating their ability to jump on furniture, outYELL Lauren Lake (if this is possible!) and generally behave in a manic manner.

I have a feeling Joan Steffand would have handled Stephanie MUCH differently and you just might have seen a different "performance" from Stephanie.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 7:57AM
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The envy is frankly downright sickening...especially when people start saying things like "did you see her baby humping the floor?? WEIRD man!"

I don't think anyone said THAT on here, I think that is disrespectful.

Everyone has their own views/opinion and I respect your's. There was some nasty things wrote about her on other sites and that is a shame.

Honestly, If I won't that house I wouldn't care about what was being said about me, I'd be smiling all the way to the bank. :-)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 8:07AM
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As I stated earlier, I think she was overwhelmed. the people running the show probably wish they had the option to work with her a little, give her some time, but they may need to follow strict instructions about it being "real".

those lights and the crew and all of that can really overwhelm some people. It's no reflection on them as a person! You're not seeing "them", you're seeing a person who probably freezes when they have to give a public talk.

I have to interview people for TV shows sometimes, so I am very familiar with the way some people freeze up, while others eat it up. Luckily, I can work with them before and take a bit of time to let them settle in. During a pre-interview, I'll meet a gregarious, kind, funny person. then, the camera turns on, and it's stone-face, fear-stricken person! Let's wish her and her family well and have a friendly laugh with her about how freaked out she must have been.

And yes, the host was under some serious pressure to deliver a "show". I can just hear the producer in her ear. She did everything she could think of to create a moment. And clearly, it worked, because we're all still talking about it:-) now that's funny.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 8:11AM
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it wasn't the baby, it was the dog, that was funny , I didn't think anyone noticed it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 8:20AM
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"I don't think anyone said THAT on here, I think that is disrespectful."


graywritingdog....I said it was on the HGTV thread.

I guess it's just impossible for some people to understand how frozen many people get with camera lights in their face or in front of a crowd as was mentioned by the poster above. I was so shy I couldn't even practice giving oral reports to my parents for friends...never mind giving them in class. I'd take the "F". Thankfully there weren't many of them required and my grades were very good in everything else. It's really nothing anyone has ANY control over....it's much deeper than any "conscious" behavior.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 8:25AM
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OK....here's a copy of the post regarding the baby that I read. Not HGTV but one of the MANY threads currently blasting her.

Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 11,809
Originally Posted
This is awkward television and, pay attention to the baby doing something creepy on the floor.
This was a response to the above post....

"Creepy? It looks like the baby is just getting to the point where she's learning how to crawl. That's why she's rocking back and forth because she's trying to learn how to get to where she wants to go. That's not creepy."


Somewhere else I had read the "humping" thing too. Lots of angry, unbalanced people in this world.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 8:38AM
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"Also, I thought the husband was very nice and calm, how did anyone come up with them obviously having a fight before the video started. How could anyone possibly construe that bit of info from a 90 second video clip?"

I made that comment and I wasn't saying that it was obvious that they'd had a fight - just that they both seemed uncomfortable, as if they had a fight. I didn't think that I was slamming anyone - just saying that from what I could tell from the video (and it was limited, because there was no sound) that it seemed more discomfort than lack of enthusiasm.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 9:01AM
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Molly Brown

I read almost all the comments in this thread, but not every single one, so I apologize if someone asked this already.
HOW do you win the house?? Don't you have to enter a contest or is the contest open to everyone on earth automatically ? If she DID enter herself into the contest, she should have expected this to happen, maybe a one in a million chance, but at least she had a chance.
It's not like they gave the house to someone that didn't even want it. (I think...)
So her reaction is a little odd, but, to each their own.
I just think if SHE entered the contest, she would have known all this publicity might be happening and should've been prepared to 'act' a little bit for the cameras.
Who knows.........

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 9:27AM
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I am hoping for a rerun after reading some of these posts. Don't want to read any more either. It is very cruel to attack other people's basic personalities. Some have already spoken for those who suffer painful shyness. No one would choose it. It never ceases to amaze me the reactions and types of things people say. And what is the point, anyway. It's simply nasty.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 9:39AM
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It's on Youtube Squirrel.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 10:29AM
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Thanks, jant. I just watched it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 10:43AM
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The thing to remember is that everything on HGTV is heavily scripted. Even the "reality" shows, like House Hunters, aren't really reality shows. Those people aren't really house buyers, and when they talk about "buying" a house at the end... well, they didn't choose to buy anything because they weren't shopping in the first place.

I would bet money that HGTV spoke to both the husband and wife in advance and said "we're going to come crashing in here screaming that you won, and here's what we want you to do". Then they probably instructed the husband to stand back away from his wife (which I found truly strange and obviously scripted - which couple wouldn't want to hug and stand together for something like that).

They probably also did several takes, with the wife getting progressively more annoyed, stiff, and nervous. I think it's just an example of how terrible HGTV has gotten. Like those ridiculously long pauses and facial reaction shots on that "what's my home worth" show, or whatever it's called. And I did notice the wife's tears - probably tears of embarrassment and frustration at the bizarre host screaming in her face and HGTV spoiling the whole winning event for her.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:36AM
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I would bet money that HGTV spoke to both the husband and wife in advance and said "we're going to come crashing in here screaming that you won, and here's what we want you to do".

Of course. First of all, the front door was unlocked (I know I never leave my doors unlocked, and would wager that many, if not most, people are the same way). Second, the risk of just barging into a home unannounced is entirely too great -- armed homeowners vs. unknown intruders? -- There's just no way that the "surprise" was a complete "surprise." This was scripted, in some form or fashion. The winners certainly knew in advance that the film crew was coming, and when.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:46AM
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How many of us have entered a contest and then forgot about entering it? Not everyone is obsessed with the HGTV Dream Home giveaway. I watch HGTV fairly regularly, but didn't know for sure that they were giving the house away on Sunday night. I had even made about a dozen entries. So the fact that Stephanie had entered the contest doesn't mean that she knew what to expect and how to react.

I just found the whole set up bizarre. Lauren Lake walks into the house with a totally fake enthusiasm calling out for Stephanie. Stephanie seems to be by herself in the living room. She keeps looking over to her friends and family, who for some reason don't rush in and surround her, but stay out of camera range at the beginning. It was just weird.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:58AM
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Have any of you met my husband? Well, he would be a ringer for the HGTV winner's husband. Not in looks, but in reaction. He would stand back, smiling a little, looking a bit uncomfortable as he saw my discomfort. He would be wishing hard that he knew what to do. And he might be the one to offer a tissue if one was needed, rather than the friend. But he wouldn't say a word.

I can absolutely manufacture enthusiasm for a surprise, a project, or whatever, if that emotion is called for. But, I'm not particularly shy, and Stephanie was the epitome of shyness. However, once another person succeeds in seriously annoying me, just as Lauren Lake did from the first moment of the video, I rebel and will not respond, smile, or whatever. It wouldn't really matter what she was giving me.

Poor Stephanie. Not only does she have to watch her own reaction replayed over and over and dissected by friends and family, but she also gets flayed on all the decorating boards. I hope she enjoys her house and hope it all works out for her and her family.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 1:32PM
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Some of you are so mean...she's drunk, dosen't wash her hair, fights with her husband, has stitches, and is ungrateful. Sheesh she was shocked and probably scared with that banshee screaming in her face. And nothing would peeve me off more than a freak screaming at me about how I should feel about my great fortune, like some charity case or something. It's cool to win..but sheesh umm to say it in the worst way possible (what I was thinking while watching STFU woman!)

A good hostess would have seen she was overwhelmed; she should have lowered her voice, put her arm around the poor woman and said something about her obviously being in shock instead of continuing to scream in her face. That would have helped the woman calm down and then develop a proper reaction that would make America happy.

Normally for programs like this they call the winners and tell them that they're winning a prize in the show so to be prepared, but not that they are winning THE prize. That's how they get the house staged and the correct signatures authorizing the show (ie everyone in the house had to agree it was ok to be on film).

The hostess belongs on HGTV. She was unprofessional and obnoxious and very low class, much like the majority of HGTV shows now a days. It was actually hard to watch, painful really. I feel for the poor woman. I'd personally like to help her financially if she needs it but I guarantee, she's getting calls like that every 30 seconds (I banked 4 lottery winners...I know the drill). She's probably now more overwhelmed, and depressed after America's beat the he!! out of her. She deserves a hug and some sound financial counseling, and some time alone (and probably not in the US where we beat people up for not acting like Lauren Lake).

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 2:16PM
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My reaction when I watched the show was that Stephanie may have known in advance - possibly her friends and relatives (who left the door unlocked) had to tell her for some reason. It was late and she probably wanted to put the kids to bed. I also think she was shell-shocked by being on live TV while millions of people are watching her. The head scratching was hard to watch. I did wish that she would get it together and appear more appreciative, but Lauren Lake seemed totally insensitive to the fact that this woman was so uncomfortable and she made it worse by screaming. I think HGTV has good personalities, but Lauren Lake and also the other woman on the show at the FL house were terrible and they contributed to making this award show one of the worst shows HGTV ever produced.

As for Stephanie being drunk...if she were I expect that she would not have been so shy and quiet. Obvioulsy, she did not have enough to drink!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 3:01PM
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I have no idea how anyone could've watched that video and concluded that she was drunk. So she had a glass of something in her hand when she first walked into the room ... big deal! Talk about making an assumption and running with it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 3:04PM
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How refreshing are the last 3 posts....and several others before too.

Red, I couldn't have said it any better than you did....I too "rebel" with that type of person. They TURN ME OFF. Mentally I turn the channel and tune them out.

"However, once another person succeeds in seriously annoying me, just as Lauren Lake did from the first moment of the video, I rebel and will not respond, smile, or whatever. It wouldn't really matter what she was giving me."
In other words Lauren, don't treat people like bloomin' idiots... OK???

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 3:06PM
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Simulposting...make that many of the last posts lol!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 3:07PM
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Gosh, I hope my comment about her stitches didn't come off mean. I meant that maybe she had recently been through something traumatic and was possibly recovering, because I noticed that she seemed aware of it.

I hope I made myself clear earlier when I posted that I feel like we shouldn't be dissecting her or the host. No one would like to have others do that to them.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 6:41PM
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