Posted by: anniewilson | July 31, 2008

My experience on a judge show

I haven’t been home to write anything for the past week because I went to Chicago to appear on a judge show. I can’t tell you which one yet because I’m still waiting for the check to come. I don’t want to do anything stupid that might slow the check down because I am SO damned broke that I really, really need that check.

First of all, in case you’re curious, the show pays for your travel expenses, the round trip flight, the hotel room and then they give you a $35 food voucher to be used in the hotel you stay at. I stayed at The Embassy Suites. When you get to Chicago, they have someone standing there with your name on a card so that you can get into the limo they send to take you to the hotel. Then, in the morning, they send another limo for you to take you to the airport. You could get a limo ride back to the airport if you leave from the show to go stright to the airport. But, since I’m from Chicago, I decided to stay for a few extra days. I still got a flight home, I just didn’t get a ride back to the airport.

They also pay you an appearance fee. That goes to both the defendant and the plaintiff. For this show, it was $200 but I heard that Judge Judy was $700. Don’t quote me on that, it’s just something that I heard. I don’t doubt it, I wouldn’t want to go on Judge Judy because someone is going to walk out looking like a jack ass and I didn’t want it to be me. Not that it helped me at all, I DID end up looking like the bad guy anyway.

I sued my sister for some money that she owed me, $3,000 in back rent and $1,500 in utility bills and a $500 loan. To get one the show, I had to tell the producers the entire story. That means that I had to tell them that my sister stole from me and left my animals here to fend for themselves when I left town to care for my stepmother. She dropped me off at the car rental place and then she took my car and disappeared for 3 days. She had some bullshit story about getting stopped by the cops and spending the weekend in jail. But, my car wasn’t impounded, she had no paperwork from jail and she never had a court date. Basically, she did what she does every so often, she just went out partying for a few days.

She stole my pain pills and my nerve pills, two things that I really needed at the time. And then she did it again after I got my medicne refilled. She should have been looking for a job but she was going out to play most nights of the week and then she slept all day.

In the court, she told the judge that she cleaned the house in lieu of rent. I didn’t ever ask her to clean the house. I would have cleaned it sooner or later…she just has a lower mess tolerance than I do.

The producers wanted me to rat her out on national TV but when it got down to it, I couldn’t o that. I didn’t want to make my sister look like an idiot so I ended up looking like the evil sister from hell. So, since I didn’t make her look bad, I only got the $3,000 in rent. The judge said that I would have paid the utilities anyway but that wasn’t true, I wouldn’t have kept this 3 bedroom house. She came here to help me pay the bills.

They keep both parties in separate hotels and they also send you on different flights. The studio is divided it two half’s, one for defendants and one for plaintiffs. After the case was over, I started to follow my sister but someone came and brought me back out the other way. I didn’t think it mattered but they never let the tow of you see each other at all. So, I never saw my sister after the court case at all. I STILL haven’t seen her because she stayed in Chicago for another week after I left.

They take you to hair and make-up which I didn’t appreciate because I had woken up VERY early to primp and those nimrods took my make-up OFF and started again. I had my eyes just like I like them, and I like them to look like I don’t have any make-up on them. Then, they put purple lipstick on me. I don’t ever wear purple lipstick. They trimmed my blond eye brows that I’ve never even had to pluck one of and then they drew new ones in. I couldn’t believe that.

I spent a LONG time on my hair. I spent all that time using a flat iron and when I got to the studio, they curled my hair. They said something about the ends looking dry. I don’t think they really knew what they were doing. I already had eye make-up on, I’ve been on TV before…and it’s MY fricking face. If I want it to look one way, I don’t want to have to take credit for it looking another way. People don’t look at me and say, “My, the woman who did her make-up was an idiot!” They look at me and say, “Ick.”

I had worn a Nordstrom’s dress with a blazer on it that I had picked out over a month ago when I was first supposed to go on the show. I got there and they didn’t like the blazer.

They said that it was “too loud” so they took it away and dressed me in a black jacket. My dress had black in it, but very little. Mostly it looked brown and the blazer was orange. That stupid blazer went with the dress, it was sold as an ensemble. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that they were trying to make me look tacky. I wonder if someone said, “She looks rather refined, take some of the good make-up off of her face and put this crap on it. Then, take that sharp outfit and make it look trailer park-ish.

So, you guys can’t bitch at me…I didn’t look like that until THEY made me do it. The more I think about it, the more I feel like they wanted me to look bad. I’m quite sure that they wanted me to act badly. I had evidence for my claim and I figured that was good enough. My sister also testified that she DID owe me the money. But, none of that mattered to the show, they wanted my sister and I to throw mud back and forth at each other.

We didn’t do that at all. We just told the story and let the evidence speak for itself. When we weren’t about to do that, the judge asked us “How do you feel?” I wasn’t ready to talk about feelings, that’s why we didn’t go to Dr. Phil. I even heard them coaching other plaintiffs how to bitch at their own defendants.

I wasn’t suing my sister for the drugs she stole so none of that was pertinent to my case. I didn’t want to look like a Jerry Springer guest and I didn’t want my sister to have to explain to everyone how she could have done that to me. She robbed me, took advantage of me and screwed me every way that she could. But, she did agree to go on the show with me. I would have created a huge argument in our family that probably would have lasted for years so I didn’t even come close to making her look too bad.

Well, that was too bad for me because I didn’t get the utilities and the judge just plain forgot to even address the loan that I made to my sister. Now I wish we had gone on Judge Judy. She might have been a bitch, but she would have given me all of my money!

The moral to this story is, if you want to get a lot of money, go on a judge show and make someone look like a total jack ass. Or, just go to Judge Judy and let her do it for you.



  1. Very interesting insight. I don’t think the general public understands that there usually isn’t much reality in reality TV due to editting and coahing.

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