Ever dream of getting your vehicle souped up on the MTV show Pimp My Ride? Then consider former contestants who say that the program—in which rapper Xzibit oversaw crazy car upgrades—faked quite a bit to entertain viewers, the Huffington Post reports. According to contestants, vehicle add-ons were removed after filming or didn't work, "pimping" kept cars in garages for months, and labor under the hood was so shoddy that vehicles had mechanical issues; one literally burst into flames, albeit years later. But a Pimp My Ride co-executive producer defends the show, saying some items (like a pop-up champagne holder) were removed "out of abundance of caution" and many cars "were so old and rusted" that problems were unavoidable. "The car shops worked their butts off to get parts for these cars," he says.
Among other complaints, a contestant wrote on Reddit of being "fat-shamed" (they gave his car a cotton candy machine) while another was allegedly told to dump his girlfriend to seem more in need of "pimping." Others say reactions were faked: One guy was quietly stunned by work on his car but says a big man on set told him that "we expect you to be a little more f---ing enthusiastic." So the contestant went "ape s--t" in a reaction that "became a bit of a meme," says HuffPo. On the bright side, contestants say their pimped-up vehicles attracted attention or sold at good prices. One got around MTV's no-sell contract by gifting her revamped car to her boyfriend, who then sold it for $7,500: "A clever gambit (if I do say so myself) that MTV’s lawyers didn’t find quite so charming," she writes at DailyWorth. (Read about a show that will have finalists vying for a one-way trip to Mars.)