MTV’s Pimp My Ride series was a massive hit, during its run from 2004 to 2007. However, eight years after its last episode, reports surface that reveal some of the show was staged.
If you don’t remember the show, each episode featured a lucky fan who had their beat-up car restored and customized by West Coast Customs. Rapper Xzibit played host.
A number of teens that were featured on the show recently came forward with accounts about their experiences, via The Huffington Post and Reddit AMAs. Their behind the scenes accounts included their pimped out cars breaking down in a matter of weeks, to their backstories being fabricated to make the show more entertaining.
One contestant said: “I know im fat, but they went the extra mile to make me look extra fat by telling the world that I kept candy all over my seat and floor just in case I got hungry… I sat there and watched them dump out two bags of generic candy… Then [they] gave me a cotton candy machine in my trunk.”
Another contestant was pressured by MTV staff to break up with his girlfriend onscreen, because having a new “pimped out” ride would make him become a “playa.” The MTV producer apparently gave the ultimatum of “basically either get rid of her or have her not be a part of the program.”
As far as the “pimped out” cars, some of the parts added didn’t even work or the engine problems each ride had were never addressed, so on the outside they looked cool but they didn’t run very well. Also, sometimes the modifications added to the rides were immediately removed after filming.
One contestant claims that “they actually take out a lot of the stuff that they showed on TV”, including a drive-in theater addition and pop-up champagne contraption.
“There wasn’t much done under the hood in regards to the actual mechanics of the vehicle,” explained one contestant, whose car had a life of only one month. “For the most part, it needed a lot of work done to make it a functioning regular driver, which they did not do.”
The show’s co-executive producer Larry Hochberg addressed the claims, offering some insight into some of the complaints he heard.
“Some of the cars were so old and rusted that they would have mechanical issues no matter how much work you put into them [and] the production team and the car shops worked their butts off to get parts for these cars,” Hochberg said. “It’s not accurate to say that we didn’t work on the mechanics of the cars.”
“Sometimes we did things for safety reasons that the kids on show interpreted as us “taking away” some items,” he also explained.
Furthermore, he said if there were problems, most of the time, he’s personally address them. “The people who had cars that appeared on the show would call me, and I would leave my desk, run to meet up with the flatbed tow truck and go help them… I made sure that things were fixed on cars that needed fixing,” said Hochberg.
Despite some complaints, most of the contestants gave positive feedback. To some, meeting Xzibit and being on the show at all was worth it.
Read the full accounts at The Huffington Post.