MTV’s new show Siesta Key has led to many questions over how reality shows are made, who gets cast, and if any of it is even real. The article, “How To: Get on a Reality TV Show” clears up the speculations over casting, but what about the reality of the show and how it was created? After interviewing multiple people from the Siesta Key cast, I found that the whole idea of the show started as a joke by some of the cast members, which turned into a serious idea by Gary Kompothecras, main character Alex Kompothecras’s dad. The Kompothecras’s famous mansion on Siesta Key beach is seen multiple times, and is the location of many episodes such as the season finale, which took place at a Fourth of July Party. Alex Kompothecras and his friends are the focus of the show, surrounding their young adult lives through jobs, moving out of their parent’s houses, graduating school, and much more. Simply seeing the show will explain its purpose. After I went and interviewed some of the cast, I received inside information of the friend group and storyline not shown on the last season.
“MTV picked up the show to try to restart their Reality TV business. Jersey Shore kind of left a bad taste in people’s mouths. Siesta Key was a new twist where we are all friends, but we do not all live in the same house, we all have our separate lives,” said Paul Apostolides.
Starting with the creation of the show, Gary Kompothecras originally paid for a pilot episode to be shot three years ago after friends joked about how his son and his friends should have a reality show. After pitching the idea to networks for three years, it was picked up by VH1, which is owned by MTV. After VH1 picked up the show, MTV took over hoping to have a show different from previous shows like “Jersey Shore.” After MTV picked up the show, they decided to add some cast members such as Kelsey Owens and Brandon Gomes, who were not on the original pilot. Contrary to what the show portrays, according to Garret Miller, he is the reason Kelsey Owens got on the show, not the other way around. Alex Kompothecras, Garret Miller, Juliette Porter, and a few other have known each other since high school. When Alex asked Juliette on the show, she invited Garret, who then asked Kelsey. The actual episode shows Chloe and Kelsey meeting at their jobs, and Alex meeting Kelsey after Cloe introduces them. So why did producers change Kelsey’s introduction to the show? That is something only the producer can answer. However, according to the cast, all the drama shown is genuine. Between the girl fights (literally, Chloe Green ended up with a broken nose), and the guy’s trying to one up each other, the show does take interesting twists and turns.
“During shooting my family suffered the loss of my grandmother. It was barely mentioned in the show and I wish I talked about it more because she played such a huge roll in my life,” said Chloe Green.
Some of the character’s personal experiences were not shown because they decided not to share it at the time, such as Chloe Green’s case with her grandmother; however, she did decide to share her therapy sessions where she has been working through her loss. Paul Apostolides however, says he had his love life cut out of the show. Originally the producers were going to include a few dates that Pauly went on, where one double-date ended in a screaming match between the other couple. Pauly said that it was cut to make the show more about the group, but he wished that aspect of his life was included due to its hilarity. One thing yet to be revealed on the show is Alex’s acceptance into Stetson Law School, where he applied to and then wait-listed at the beginning of the show. Just by looking at his Instagram we can see he did make it in. What was not revealed by the show but was by social media is Alex and Juliette Porter reuniting. After a fling with Kelsey, and a denied plea to get back together with Maddison, he eventually went full circle back to Juliette, where she promptly took him back. Some of the cast has mixed feelings on their reunification, which will be later revealed in season two which will air this winter. One of the main members of the cast, Kelsey, was not a fan of how she was portrayed on the show. According to her, behind the scenes she is not how she is shown in the show. This of course is due to editing, and not her personality. Another aspect of her life left from the storyline is her career as a model, where she appeared in Fashion Week at the young age of sixteen. While the other cast members’ careers are shown, Kelsey’s modelling shoots have so far been cut from Siesta Key, whereas best friend Judy Slow’s recent debut in the fitness magazine called “Strong,” which describes itself as a “fitness motivation and women’s empowerment” magazine and previous boyfriend Garret Miller’s personal trainer careers have been on full display. Both Judy and Garret are very open with their careers on Instagram, while Garret also has a website to promote his business. According to Kelsey there were also some behind the scenes that included a day out with Garret and Madison Hausburg, where Garret set Madison up with one of his friends, and he and Kelsey just “goofed around all day.”
During the season, the cast of Siesta Key was flown out to MTV’s Video Music Awards where they got to walk the red carpet, see their favorite stars perform, and meet some other TV stars like themselves. None of this was shown on the actual show, but we can follow their journey to California through their Instagram posts. Since this event was after the timeline of Season One, there is a chance this might be shown on Season Two.
“When I see how I am portrayed, I do not like being on the show. But at the day, I love it and I am grateful I did it,” said Kelsey Owens.
Although the show does call itself “Reality TV,” we cannot always count on all the information being presented. Often scenes are cut out, changed, or re-shot to cover the entire situation. Sometimes this causes misinterpretation of an event or a character, as previously described by Kelsey. This revelation makes a watcher think twice about what goes on behind the scenes of “Siesta Key.”