Reasons Southern Charm is totally fake

Southern Charm is a popular reality TV series on Bravo. And while it's entertaining to say the least, it unfortunately doesn't appear to be an exception to the phenomenon of reality TV producers having creative definitions of "reality." Though to be fair, the show's creator, Whitney Sudler-Smith, claims its not scripted. Hmm.

If you look closely at the wild show, however, you'll discover that there appears to be a lot of fakery going on. From alleged manufactured scenes to the rumor that producers use focus groups to influence its casting choices, there seem to be plenty of lies circulating around Charleston, S.C. 

Although some people might argue that a few fibs here and there are par for the course in show business, it's strange how Southern Charm cast members go above and beyond to defend the show's realness when evidence suggests otherwise. After all, there is plenty of alleged evidence floating around that indicates that Southern Charm is totally fake.

What's the deal with Jenna King's home?

Jenna King, an original cast member, appeared to have money to burn during her short time on the show. Producers frequently featured King's luxurious pad, a four-bedroom, four-floor home in the heart of Charleston, and she seemed to live the high life. While we were jealous of King initially, the rumor that she never owned the house makes us feel a bit better.

"The house was temporarily rented last year just for the Bravo shoot," a local real estate agent told the Daily Mail in 2014. "They used it for some interior and exterior shots and Jenna had absolutely nothing else to do with the property. She never lived there or owned it." A next door neighbor echoed the agent's tea, saying, "I've never seen anyone go in or out of the house, we've always thought that no one lived there. It's completely dark."

Although it's really no big deal to lie about where you live for entertainment purposes, it's a bit weird that King was defensive about supposedly owning the place. When a cast member asked King about how she afforded the lavish digs, she sharply replied, "With my bank account" (via Daily Mail).

Interestingly enough, King's last known address in Charleston was a one-floor, three-bedroom rental that she shared with roommates, the Daily Mail reported. 

It turns out actual reality isn't too glamorous, y'all.

Thomas Ravenel and Landon Clements' faux romance

Fans were treated to a romance in season 4 of Southern Charm via Landon Clements and Thomas Ravenel. From cozy dinner dates to Ravenel gifting Clements with flowers, all signs pointed to a relationship between the two. But many couldn't help but wonder if the romance was real, a fair question given their very different personalities. Clements, for instance, is a free spirt, while Ravenel is all about tradition. Oh, and did we mention their "dates" were always incredibly awkward? Quite suspicious.

Clements seemingly confirmed doubts about their dalliance, telling the Daily Dish, "We always were friends and all of the 'You guys need to date' sort of came from everyone else. But no one ever asked either one of us what we wanted."

As for those persistent rumors that Clements and Ravenel hooked up? Clements took to the Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald podcast to deny that any hanky panky went down with Ravenel. According to Reality Blurb, she told McDonald, "Never. Never even held hands. Never, never [kissed]. Even Thomas has said [we never hooked up]. At the reunion last year, even Kathryn was like, 'Yeah, you guys never had sex.'"

Considering absolutely zilch occurred between the two, it's fair to wonder why the show created an entire storyline about their "relationship." Can you say shady

Focus groups might influence casting decisions

Southern Charm is supposed to center around a group of tight-knit friends and associates, but that premise was seemingly debunked by Landon Clements in July 2018. During an interview on the Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald podcast, Clements revealed that she wasn't asked back to the show due to negative feedback from focus groups. Say what now?

"I don't know if they want me back. They did all these focus groups and stuff, and I apparently didn't do very well in the focus groups," Landon shared when asked if she'd ever return to the dramatic series, according to Reality Blurb.

Clements even went so far as to shade people who participate in focus groups, adding, "Obviously your feelings are really hurt, and I was like, 'Why doesn't anyone like me?' And then I started thinking and was like, 'Who goes to a focus group?' Like, I don't know anyone that would be in a focus group. Those aren't my people, so no wonder they hate me." Bitter much?

Although we can't say for sure if Bravo does use focus groups to influence its casting choices, it would be pretty wild if it's true. 

Thomas Ravenel calls out the 'lies'

Thomas Ravenel's favorite pastime is calling out Southern Charm — the show he quit in 2018 — for it's supposed fakeness. Case in point: In August 2018, Ravenel complained about the show's "lies" regarding his relationship with Kathryn Dennis. Ravenel was seemingly irritated that the series didn't tell his side about Dennis' court-ordered drug testing. Dennis, as some fans might remember, had to undergo drug tests after she tested positive for cocaine, opiates, and marijuana in 2016. The bust led Dennis to lose custody of her two children with Ravenel, Kensington and Saint. 

Dennis' drug testing was a big topic of season 5, as she accused Ravenel of testing her multiple times every week. Dennis even showed fellow cast member Danni Baird her bruised arm as supposed proof of the allegedly excessive tests.

But if you were to ask Ravenel, he'd claim the storyline is nothing more than Southern Charm fakery. "Lot of lies on #SouthernCharm. For example, I am sadistic [because] I requested 3 drugs tests of [Kathryn Dennis] per week," he tweeted via his private account, according to People. "Fact is I requested only 3 tests over the course of an entire year."

When a fan brought up the smoking gun of Dennis' bruised arm, Ravenel replied, "I'm not supposed to say this … but think makeup."

Hmm. We guess fans will never know the real story about this troubling tale. 

Did Peyton Pritchard scheme to become a charmer?

For some reason, Bravo thought it would be a good idea to give eternal bachelor Shep Rose a dating show called Relationshep. Although Rose didn't walk off of the short-lived series with a relationship (surprise, surprise), he did meet an interesting gal in Los Angeles named Peyton Pritchard. Some fans might remember that Pritchard appeared on a few episodes of Southern Charm, which is strange considering Pritchard's flimsy reasons for moving to Charleston.

Pritchard claimed she moved in order to work in a dog boutique, a suspicious fact when you consider that there are tons of these businesses in Los Angeles. Making matters even more curious? Pritchard previously worked at Vanderpump Dogs, a charity started by none other than The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Lisa Vanderpump. "I was always volunteering at adoption centers, but it wasn't until I got a job working with dogs everyday at Vanderpump Dogs that I realized this is what I needed to be doing every single day of my life," Pritchard said on the website for her pet sitting business, Wag n' Woof. 

Castmate Naomie Olindo even went so far as to question Pritchard's motives, yelling at her during a fight, "Why are you here? Because Charleston is a hub for dog boutiques? Just be honest with me. I'm really a girl's girl … I know when a thirsty girl comes around." 

Dang, maybe Pritchard did ditch Los Angeles in hopes of becoming a full-time charmer…

Ravenel and Dennis reportedly lied about their address

It's no secret that Thomas Ravenel is a bit duplicitous, as evidenced by his numerous arrests and scandals. But what people might not know about Ravenel is that he reportedly lied about his living situation with Kathryn Dennis to secure a spot on Southern Charm.

In court documents obtained by Radar Online, Dennis' mom, Allison, claimed that the couple lived in Florida before the birth of their daughter, Kensington, in March 2014. Shortly after the baby's birth, Allison alleged the couple "settled" in Edisto Island, which is located about an hour outside of Charleston. Considering that an hour commute would be difficult filming-wise — especially for a show about life in Charleston — the pair moved to the city's downtown area in August 2014 "for the filming of the second season of Southern Charm." Sneaky, sneaky.

Dennis also seemed to fib about her address years later when she moved to Mt. Pleasant from her parents' remote estate to film season 3 of the series. "Kathryn and her daughter lived with us from January 2015 until October 2015 until she moved to Mt. Pleasant for filming of Season 3," Allison added. "We would not allow Southern Charm to film at our house so Kathryn moved … shortly before her son's birth." Wow.

Well, we suppose anything goes in show business.

Did Bravo hire Ashley Jacobs for ratings?

Viewers met Thomas Ravenel's on-and-off girlfriend Ashley Jacobs in the fifth season of Southern Charm. Jacobs quickly became the show's villain thanks to her outlandish behavior, confusing ramblings, and relentless attacks on Kathryn Dennis' parenting abilities. The Southern California native's antics were so wild, in fact, that some fans couldn't help but wonder if Bravo hired her to shake things up, as noted by The Inquisitr. More drama translates to higher ratings, after all.

The fan theory reportedly first circulated in July 2018 when someone tweeted, "SHAME ON BRAVO and Southern Charm producers! A source has come forward stating Ashley Jacobs was a hired actress with a one season contract to play TRAV girlfriend on show. Bravo and [production company] Haymaker are trying to HIDE this truth, this show is a fake." 

Of course, there's no way to prove this claim unless Bravo fesses up to it. We are doubtful this confession will ever happen, as the theory seems a bit out there even for reality TV standards. Still, we can't help but think it's odd that Jacobs picked up for Charleston seemingly out of nowhere, and that she's open to sticking around on the show despite Ravenel's dismissal. Color us suspicious… 

Creative editing

Out of all the charmers, cast member Danni Baird is arguably the most honest. Want some proof? Look no further than Baird's claim that producers edited a conversation between herself and Dennis to fit a narrative arc. 

Baird — who claims she returned to season 4 of Southern Charm to support Dennis — signed on during the last month of filming, a development that threw a wrench into the show's timeline of events. The solution? Editors supposedly moved an emotional chat between the ladies to the forefront of the season, despite the fact that it occurred towards the end of filming. "I signed on probably the last month of filming," Baird explained during an appearance on the Reality Life with Kate Casey podcast, according to Radar Online. "The scene of Kathryn of I — it was the first or second episode — was cut and pasted I think."

We guess that's what editors are for, right? 

Whitney Sudler-Smith can't keep his stories straight

Whitney Sudler-Smith, the guy responsible for Southern Charm, can't keep his stories straight when it comes to the show's realness. A good example of this? Sudler-Smith claimed in an interview with Urban Daddy that the show portrays the cast in an inaccurate light … while simultaneously praising its authenticity. Uhh… 

"People think we're a lot more degenerate than we really are — people think I live with my mother and don't work, which is the complete opposite," he shared. "Shep is not the kind of ne'er-do-well people think [he is] in some regards."

But in the same breath, Sudler-Smith promised readers the series is 100 percent real. "People always ask, 'Oh, is it scripted? How much is real?' And all of it is real," he stated.

What's even more strange is that Sudler-Smith contradicted himself again when discussing his elaborate vision for the show. "You always have lofty ambitions to transcend the genre and the format … We kind of wanted to have a bit of that Downton Abbey, upstairs/downstairs thing … We wanted some of the fun tone of Animal House, a little bit of The Bachelor thrown in," he explained. "And all of it with a Bravo feel. I think we've stayed true to that vision for the most part."

Wait — is the show real or not? It sounds like Sudler-Smith doesn't even know the truth.