Kathy Comes To T-town!

Tiffany recounts their trip to her hometown of Tracy, Ca.

When Kathy mentioned that she wanted to visit my hometown of Tracy, CA, I got so excited, but then reality set in!

Tracy is a small town in Northern California and it's not a normal stop for celebrities. I knew it would definitely be an adventure for all of us. Kathy loves to stay at fancy hotels, but of course Tracy doesn't have any, so we ended up staying at a local motel. It wasn't exactly the Four Seasons!

As soon as we checked in Kathy was ready to come home. She was shocked to find cows outside her window when she went to open it up for fresh air. It wasn't so fresh! Welcome to Tracy!

I had no idea what was planned for Tracy, so I was shocked to find out that I was receiving an award from the city. There was a ceremony when we got there (that wasn't aired) that had yummy BBQ from a local place that I used to eat at all the time. Mmmm ... All-day BBQ! The cook even put Kathy to work! I never thought I would see the day when Kathy would serve me food. My press tour, if you would call it that, was fun.

The reporter from Good Morning Sacramento asked us to dance with him and he was the only one that could hear music in his ear piece, so that is why I look like a dork when we were dancing. I swear I have rhythm! The Great Plate is a fine establishment that my friends and I visit whenever I go to town. What you saw on TV is pretty much what happens whenever I go there, but less drinks are spilt. Just so you know, no Chanel coats were injured during that taping.

Can we talk about the chicken incident for a minute??? I had NO IDEA that was going to happen, so that look on my face was genuine. I was so honored to have such a fancy party thrown for me and I obviously didn't know what we were getting into. I think Kathy thought it would be boring, but Tracy never fails and always makes things interesting. I think Kathy made a lasting impression on the town.

That's the most action it has seen in a long time and I am glad Kathy helped me put it on the map, although I don't think she'll be going back for a visit anytime soon.

Demolition Day

Executive Producer Danny Salles explains how he and his fellow producers reacted to Kathy's unplanned renovation.

Since the second episode aired, many of my friends have asked me, “Was that real when Kathy tore her house apart without having a plan? It’s just so hard to believe. Did you make it up for the show?” I know. It’s hard to imagine someone tearing out her floors and kitchen cabinets without having a rock solid plan – but that’s exactly what happened. 

One of my most vivid memories from producing the show was arriving at Kathy’s house the morning after she told us that she had decided to move on from working with designer, Kenny.  It was 9 a.m., and I was finishing up my coffee as I walked up Kathy’s long driveway. I started hearing noise coming from the house as I approached. The booming sound grew louder and louder. I entered the front door to find eight workers with sledgehammers and crowbars cracking the floors and counters. Dust was everywhere. The producer in me panicked – We’ve got to start shooting this now! And the homeowner inside me was screaming, "WTF!" There’s no plan. Needless to say I got cameras up and rolling in minutes. 

My next call was to Lisa, my fellow executive producer. My voice was faltering.  “Eh, Lisa….It seems that Kathy has started demolition.” “When will they get started?” she asked. “Oh, no.  It’s already started. The fireplace in the kitchen is gone.” “Are you…?” “Yes, we’re rolling cameras.” In reality TV, you’ve got to be ready to move on a dime, because, well, that’s the reality part.

I found Kathy in her bedroom happily planning out her day, blithely ignoring the boom, boom, boom of destruction in the kitchen. She was acting like nothing was happening. But she must have seen the shocked expression on my face because she added, “Oh yeah, that.” “Yes, that.” She started laughing. “I told you I move fast.” She explained that since she only had enough money to rent another house for a certain timeframe, she figured she would just get rid of what she wanted gone and plan it out as she went. In the meantime, her friend and decorating enthusiast, Lara Spencer (also known to many as the host of The Insider) would help her out with the creative ideas and with finding workers. Between Lara and Team Griffin, Kathy was confident it would go well. 

Having had work done to my own house, I was privately predicting disaster. Who's ever heard of a renovation going well under the best of circumstances? As a reality producer, I know that disasters often make for great episodes, so figured this could lead to some good comedy. You might think I had a moral dilemma. Nah. The comedy comes first. 

Leave it to Kathy to be the first person in history to have a successful remodel. Lara came though and Kathy’s crazy “improv-a-renovation” actually worked. Her house is gorgeous!  I may not have gotten the home disaster episode I dreamed of, but Kathy got gay man’s Palm Springs bachelor pad she dreamed of. And that’s what counts.