In the series, the actress and comedian — known best for her roles on TV shows “Parks and Recreation” and “Good Girls” — travels across the U.S. touring the ugliest homes producers can find. After a committee decides which one is actually the ugliest, the homeowner is surprised with a $150,000 home makeover by “Windy City Rehab” host and designer Alison Victoria.
Why Retta’s OK With Telling Homeowners Their Houses are Ugly
As Retta tours the houses producers send her to, she does not hide her horror over the design fails and decor disasters she witnesses. Often wide-eyed and bewildered walking into each room, she’s given tours of the homes by the people who own them.
On the July 21 edition of “Entertainment Tonight,” reporter Lauren Zima asked Retta, “Do you ever feel bad telling people how ugly their homes are?”
Retta answered, “I do not feel bad because they sent their pictures in!”
Homeowners typically nominate their houses because they know their dwellings are unconventional or need serious updating, and they’re hoping to win the free makeover. So, in that respect, being told their homes are ugly is a good thing.
But not everyone who nominates their home actually thinks it’s horrible. In January, Noel and Renee Johnson were featured on the first season of “Ugliest House in America” for living in a former funeral home in Blue Earth, Minn. They would like to update some of the rooms, so they submitted their home to the show, hoping to win the makeover. But that doesn’t mean they hate it as it is.
“It can kind of get viewed as like oh you think your house is so ugly,” Noel told WEAU News in January. “No, we actually have a really beautiful house. You know it’s like, it is the best house we have ever lived in.”
Retta Reveals the ‘Ugly Meter’ For Determining The Worst Homes
So what qualifies a home as one of the “ugliest” in America? On “Entertainment Tonight,” Zima asked what the “ugly meter” is to determine the worst of the worst.
“Well, we go by style, function, and surprise,” Retta explained, “and they all have surprises!”
Among the “surprises” they’ve found? A kitchen island covered in carpet, a home built to mimic an Egyptian pyramid, and — of course — the funeral home, which has front doors that randomly swing open on their own.
The funeral home did not win the $150,000 makeover, though. So the Johnsons hired an interior designer to reenvision the space, shared on the family’s TikTok account.
Retta told “Entertainment Tonight” that the hardest part of hosting the show is knowing that not everyone can win the makeover and is left to live with their “ugly” houses. “That stresses me out,” she said.
The second season of “Ugliest House in America” premieres July 24, 2022, on HGTV at 8pm ET, and will also be available for streaming on Discovery+. In the first episode, Retta tours three “ugly” homes: a pieced-together cabin, a property balanced on a rock, and a house that looks like a church.