Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the wildly popular HGTV show, Fixer Upper, are shutting the doors on faithful viewers at the end of the fifth season. The DIY duo’s joint statement on Joanna’s blog comes after several months of rumor, innuendo, and questions about the couple’s marriage health and legal entanglements.
Their message to fans reads in part:
“While we are confident that this is the right choice for us, it has for sure not been an easy one to come to terms with. Our family has grown up alongside yours, and we have felt you rooting us on from the other side of the screen. How bittersweet to say goodbye to the very thing that introduced us all in the first place.”
Chip, a real estate guy, and Jo, an interior designer, burst onto the small screen in 2013 and have entertained and delighted audiences for the last four years. They are the couple next door; the goofy, prankster husband and his beautiful, smart, and patient wife, who are raising a family and creating an empire in Waco, Texas. They don’t look or act like wealthy snobs, which is why audiences love them. Their lifestyle is enviable; not because they can jet around with the pretty people but because they make Waco look like the destination for stylish, yet casual, ranch-oriented people.
Chip and Jo did not start out privileged. When the couple married in 2003, Chip was flipping houses in Waco, and finances were rocky. In a May People magazine interview, Jo recalls just how precarious paying bills had become:
“I remember when we first got married the only money we had was what was in Chip’s pocket,” Joanna said. “He always had a wad of cash, but we were broke. If I needed to go grocery shopping it’s whatever was in his pocket. That’s how we paid the bills.”
They have indeed come a long way in 14 years.
Before Fixer Upper premiered on HGTV and skyrocketed in popularity, Chip was in a real estate business partnership, Magnolia Realty, with John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark. Last spring, they filed a lawsuit against Gaines accusing him of fraudulently persuading the two to sell their ownership to him. They are asking for $1 million in reparations (for lack of becoming a household name?) and their ownership back now that Fixer Upper put the Gaines family in a higher income bracket.
Disentangling from former partners and solidifying the Magnolia brand may have something to do with the DIY Duo calling it quits. And who could blame them? They have four young children to watch grow up and a healthy business to run.
Who Knew Shiplap Was So Cool?
HGTV will never be the same without this quirky, lovable family and they recognize their imminent loss:
“We’ve all been on an incredible journey with Chip and Joanna for five years. It takes a huge amount of time and creative energy to make a phenomenal series like Fixer Upper. We understand their decision to spend more time with their family. Like all of their fans, we want only the best for them, and they know they will always have a home at HGTV.”
Audiences now face a burgeoning hole in DIY education, and ask “how do we go on without the guidance of Chip and Joanna?” Joanna single-handedly educated us all in the beauty of shiplap, the wall paneling style often used in barns and historic homes featuring boards with rabbets on opposing sides that allow them to overlap. People across the country are demolishing drywall in old homes in search of the boards, hoping to expose their natural beauty. And Chip, well, no one else will run through walls on demo-day.
And just who is going to drool with us over subway tile? Will Waco remain a destination? In short, no one and no, Waco will fade back into David Koresh fame (please tell me you know what I am talking about). For cave dwellers that do not know David Koresh, here is a blueprint.
Eventually, a new show will dazzle our imaginations and have us all in reno-mode once again. Perhaps, it will be HGTV’s newest show in the line-up, Behind the Design, featuring none other than Joanna Gaines. Well shut the front door.