When you see commentaries from castmembers on reality shows, are those interviews done during taping of the show or after, when everything is over?
—Selim, Rotterdam


When Sean rhapsodized on The Bachelorette about how much he loves his mama—he talks to her three or four times a day, boy howdy!—that was probably a prescheduled chat. It most likely happened sometime during the production season, but not necessarily on the same day that Sean was filmed hugging his weeping meemaw.

You can often spot a prescheduled interview by its stiffness. "It can often can seem more staged and scripted," reality-TV producer Tommy Swanhaus tells me. So here's how it all works behind-the-scenes at reality shows...

The other type of interview is known as an OTF, or an on-the-fly. Those happen almost immediately after some dramatic moment. Producers pull aside the Bachelorette contenders, say, right after the host makes the stunning announcement that the cocktail party has been...canceled (OMFG!). And then the cameras capture every moment as the guys are all, Whoa, man, didn't see that coming.

You'd be amazed at the hours—and hours—of interviews that reality-show contestants go through, even for just a single-episode gig.

Shauna Raisch, owner of the Twiggs SalonSpa near Minneapolis, taped an episode of Split Ends airing tonight on Style. She estimates that, during four days of taping, she did a couple of hours of interviews per day, including OTFs and a prescheduled wrap-up interview at the end of each day. She also sat down for a two-and-an-half-hour marathon interview on her last day of taping.

"After a while," Raisch confides, "it becomes almost entertaining. I found myself laughing with interviewers, the way they were asking questions and getting their answers. It could get so ridiculous."

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