‘Celebrity IOU’: Idina Menzel Didn’t Expect She’d Have to Get ‘Down & Dirty’

Jonathan Scott, Idina Menzel, Drew Scott

HGTV Idina Menzel, along with Drew and Jonathan Scott, appear on HGTV's "Celebrity IOU" in November 2022

When Drew and Jonathan Scott invite stars to appear on their hit HGTV show “Celebrity IOU,” they fully expect the celebrity guests to do some heavy lifting as they transform a space for someone special in their lives. But all that work was a big surprise to Broadway and “Frozen” star Idina Menzel, who appears on the next episode of the show, premiering on Monday, November 21, 2022. Here’s the behind-the-scenes scoop…

Idina Menzel Wishes She’d Worn More Deodorant to ‘Celebrity IOU’ Set

Idina Menzel

HGTVIdina Menzel appears on “Celebrity IOU”

The Scott brothers, who are longtime theater buffs, are excited to welcome Menzel as the first Broadway star to appear on “Celebrity IOU.” In fact, in a preview obtained by Heavy, Jonathan says he’s seen “Wicked,” in which Menzel starred as the original Elphaba, six times. So, as the threesome filmed together, the twins were clearly enchanted every time Menzel would break into song on set. And whenever a little problem arose, the brothers would jokingly sing, “Let it go,” harkening back to the blockbuster song Menzel sang for the movie “Frozen.”

Menzel signed on to participate in “Celebrity IOU” in hopes of giving back to her family’s close friend, James, who’s a basketball coach for young people in Los Angeles but also sees it as his mission to help them be “good humans.” Menzel’s son, whom she shares with ex-husband Taye Diggs, has trained with James for five years and considers him extended family.

According to press materials, James lost his parents within 18 months of each other and dealt with his grief by immersing himself in establishing his basketball program, hoping one day to have his own headquarters where kids could drop by for counseling, basketball tips, and more. So that’s what Menzel asked the “Property Brothers” to help build, transforming his garage into a space where he and his players could relax, review film, and bond after practice.

But when the Scotts met up with Menzel to start demolishing the garage, she was shocked by how much effort they put into it and how much help they wanted from her. She assumed their construction crews would do most of the work, but they involved her in every step, from demolition to choosing tile designs.

“I didn’t know they get as down and dirty as they do,” Menzel told producers. “I’m so surprised that they do so much. I didn’t know you were gonna have me do so much!”

She then joked, “I would’ve worn more deodorant! You guys don’t phone it in!”

Drew told “Access Hollywood” that Menzel made the renovation process more enjoyable by getting them to sing at the top of their lungs.

“We were sort of ‘whistling while you work.’ It makes this show so much fun and you’re doing something good, giving back to people,” he said.

Basketball Coach is Blown Away By Transformation on ‘Celebrity IOU’

Property Brothers with Idina Menzel and her friend

HGTVIdina Menzel, along with Drew and Jonathan Scott, renovated a garage on “Celebrity IOU” for Menzel’s friend James, who runs an acclaimed youth basketball camp in LA.

In the end, all that effort was worthwhile because Menzel was able to surprise James with the basketball hangout of his dreams. The episode shows him overcome with emotion as he walks into the new space.

“What I love about ‘Celebrity IOU’ is that every story is so different,” Jonathan told Access Hollywood. “The one guarantee: you’re gonna ugly cry for every single one of them. I can’t even tell you the fun, the laughter, the tears, everything. And the renovations this season are even bigger and more exciting.”

Drew echoed that sentiment, saying, “Every story is so unique from this season. And I think everybody’s gonna love each story for its own reason.”

The “Celebrity IOU” episode featuring Idina Menzel, entitled “Slam Dunk Reno,” premieres Monday, November 21 at 9 pm Eastern and Pacific. According to HGTV, it will also air at the following times:

  • Tuesday, November 22 at Midnight Eastern / 11 pm Central
  • Monday, November 28 at 8 pm Eastern / 7 pm Central
  • Tuesday, November 29 at 3 am Eastern  / 2 am Central
  • Wednesday, November 30 at 3 pm Eastern / 2 pm Central
  • Sunday, December 4 at 9 am Eastern / 8 am Central