“Flip or Flop” has been one of HGTV’s signature shows since audiences first met Christina Haack and Tarek El Moussa in 2013. Since then, the franchise has expanded to include “Flip or Flop” shows in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, Fort Worth and Nashville as well as “Flip or Flop Follow-Up.” The Atlanta spinoff premiered in 2017 and aired for two seasons and 28 episodes before being canceled by HGTV in 2019.
Now Anita and Ken Corsini will host a brand new show on HGTV called “Flipping Showdown,” which premieres on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times. On the show, the Corsinis will invest their own money — more than two million dollars of it — in houses that other people will flip. The six-episode series will pit three teams of experienced house flippers against each other for the chance to win $100,000 and a chance to get their own house flipping business started through the Corsinis’ business, Red Barn Homes, LLC, according to a press release from HGTV.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Anita & Ken Corsini Started Dating in College
Anita and Ken Corsini have been flipping houses together since 2005, but they’ve been creating a life together for decades. The couple met during their junior year in college at the University of Georgia when Anita ended up in a study group with Ken’s roommate, per HGTV. Anita said, “Here’s the thing—I did not date a lot. I was one of those girls who was friends with everybody. I was extremely picky about who I would date. I crushed on a bazillion, but would never really go out with anyone.”
So how did Ken catch her eye? It was a matter of some sneaky phone calls, according to HGTV. “When Anita would call our apartment to talk to my roommate, I was diligent in making sure I picked up the phone first, so I could get a few minutes of ‘phone flirting’ in before passing the phone over to my roommate,” Ken said. He added that they are old enough to have been in college before cell phones were ubiquitous.
Eventually, Ken grew on Anita and she agreed to go on a date with him. On their first date, they went strawberry picking and Anita made strawberry shortcake with the berries they picked, they told HGTV.
What set Ken apart from the other eligible bachelors at the University of Georgia? He was not just tall, dark and handsome. There was more to it. Anita told HGTV, “He was also very funny, knew how to have a good time and shared my values. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.”
2. Anita Corsini Was a Math Teacher
Anita Corsini calls herself a “proud nerd,” according to HGTV. She got her bachelor’s degree in math and taught math at a high school in the Atlanta area while she was in her 20s. According to Georgia State University, Corsini wrote the math curriculum as head of the math department at the Atlanta-area Fellowship Christian High School before going on to earn her master’s degree at GSU’s College of Education & Human Development.
Her absolute favorite class to teach was AP calculus, HGTV revealed. “I really am a kid at heart and love being with people, so teaching was a great fit for me. Plus those kids had me in stitches every day,” she said.
“It was truly my first passion and I learned and grew so much through teaching. Nothing is ever wasted in life even when you change directions,” she wrote on Instagram on August 19, 2021, in a back-to-school post praising teachers.
While Anita was teaching, Ken — who had a business degree in risk management from the University of Georgia and later earned a master’s in building construction from Georgia Tech, according to the couple’s bio — was getting his feet wet in the real estate industry. Eventually, he started his own company. Around the same time that they found out Anita was pregnant with their first child, HGTV reported, Ken asked her to get her real estate license and join him in building a business together.
Anita finished out the school year teaching and enrolled in summer school. Being the “proud nerd” that she is, she passed her real estate exam in 2007 per Red Barn Homes’ official website.
“If you need anything done, hire a former teacher,” she told the Georgia State News Hub. “You can communicate, you’re organized, you’ve got to be able to say things a couple of different ways, you can manage expectations, you’re a cheerleader. I would say every skill a teacher has translates to any other job you might have.”
3. Anita & Ken’s Son Was Diagnosed With Cancer When He Was 3 Years Old
Anita and Ken Corsini have three kids — two daughters and a son — including fraternal twins. Even just a quick glance at Anita’s Instagram gives off the impression of a happy, loving and thriving family. However, it wasn’t all that long ago that the Corsini family faced some of the hardest months of their lives.
Rocco Corsini was just 3 years old when he was diagnosed with cancer. Anita wrote on the website for Camp Sunshine, for kids with cancer, “In July of 2015, our then 3-year old son, Rocco, was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer, it almost pains me to type the word. I never expected to hear those words, especially about one of my kids.”
Rocco had a “protruding belly” that his parents thought was just a belly full of food, she wrote. However, it turned out that he had a tumor in his stomach called Burkitt lymphoma, a rare and fast-growing cancer. Rocca was also experiencing extreme fatigue and rashes, so Anita and Ken took him to the doctor. She wrote, ” We went to visit the pediatrician the next day. I will never forget her face. She quietly said to me, ‘I think you need to go. You need to go to the hospital. Please find someone to keep the girls and you and Ken need to take him now.’”
Fortunately, Rocco’s treatment with chemotherapy was successful and today he’s a healthy 11-year-old.
4. The Corsinis Are Not Originally From Georgia
Anita and Ken Corsini seemed like ambassadors for Atlanta and Georgia during their two seasons on “Flip or Flop Atlanta.” The truth is that neither of them is from Atlanta or even from Georgia. Anita was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her family moved first to Texas and then to Georgia when she was in grade school, HGTV revealed.
Ken was from San Jose, California, and moved with his family to the Atlanta suburb of Marietta when he was a kid, too. At the time, his parents intended to move back to California, but they found they loved living in the Atlanta area.
Anita and Ken love their adopted hometown. “We love the fact that Atlanta offers so much,” Anita told HGTV. “You’ve got big city living, inner-city living, life in the ‘burbs, life in the country – take your pick. Atlanta has it all, and we enjoy every bit of it.”
5. The Corsinis Say ‘Flipping Showdown’ Is ‘The Ultimate Job Interview’
Anita and Ken Corsini’s investment in their new show “Flipping Showdown” is staggering. The couple invested $2 million of their own money in the show, including to purchase nine homes for the reality TV competition, according to HGTV. On top of that, the renovation budgets for the homes are unusually high — in one case the budget was $90,000, according to a press release from HGTV.
The path to that $100,000 prize and a house flipping franchise through Red Barn Homes isn’t easy. Each of the three teams of house flippers will have three homes to renovate from top to bottom, a strict six-week timeline and a budget. In addition, their design choices, project management skills and building of their own brands will also be considered in the final decision about who wins the competition, per HGTV.
“The team that delivers the most added value will win a career-launching prize — a chance to join the Corsini’s thriving business team with a franchise in their own hometown,” according to the press release.
“This is the ultimate job interview,” said Anita, according to HGTV.
Ken added, “We want these competitors to fight hard for the chance to join our successful business, and we need to make sure they have what it takes to be a part of our brand that we worked so hard to build.”
After all, the Corsinis are just asking their competitors to do what they did — start a successful business from the ground up. Red Barn Homes’ website reveals that Ken Corsini started the business in 2005, Anita joined it in 2007, and he graduated with his master’s in 2009. He also got his general contractor’s license at that time and together, the Corsinis have bought and sold more than 800 houses in the greater Atlanta area.