Response to comments regarding Room Raiders participants
I was somewhat involved in a Room Raiders shoot here in Atlanta. Up until then, I thought the same things about the participants; i.e., how could they not know they were going to be on Room Raiders? Here's how: MTV holds a major casting call for what they call a "New Reality Series called Living Single or Single in the City." People turn up from all over and they tell you if you're selected you will have a short filmed about you and it will be cut together with shorts about other singles in the city. So, the people being cast believe it is a totally new show and therefore have no reason to think they will be cast in Room Raiders.
One of the conditions of getting through the casting process is that you must be single to participate, i.e., not married and not seriously dating anyone. Once you meet that requirement, it's all about looks and a short interview which includes a small film crew coming to your house to see if it's interesting enough to be on Room Raiders. Once they select you (and your house), they tell you they will be by to do your shoot between the hours of blank and blank and to be home and dressed a certain way. So, the participants truly are surprised when they're grabbed and told they're on Room Raiders. In fact, many individuals decide not to do the show after getting all the way through the interview process because they never would have agreed to/interviewed for a show like Room Raiders. It's very invasive and rude to the participants not to let them know what will be going on in their own home while they're taken away in a van. Anything can be ruined, as you've seen on the show.
The participant I knew was taken in the van just to the side of the street, then dropped off and told to "disappear" for a couple of hours. They said they'd call his cell phone when they were done raiding his room but they never did. They just left and didn't call the poor guy to tell him it was safe to come back. It may have been hours after they left before he decided enough was enough and went back to his home anyway to see what was going on.
Side note: the participant I knew was told that his home was going to be on TV, esp. his room, so he did at least have an opportunity to clean up. :) The MTV director also PROMISED everyone a call before the show was to run in January, but of course, no call came and we never saw the show air. Either we missed it or it wasn't selected to air - either way, it was unprofessional for the participants to be left in the dark after two days of shooting. Oh yeah - all the filming in the van happens the day after - not the day the room gets raided - so two days of your life, after being totally deceived - and no word from MTV on the airing or a copy of the edited version. Real classy.
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