Paris and Nicole helped give Bandera a healthy dose of national publicity on their Fox reality show last week, but the reality wasn't exactly what you saw on TV.
Simple Life II has been the top-rated summer replacement show and millions of viewers got more than a few glimpses of what Bandera has to offer. Bandera County Chamber of Commerce President Bob Click, whose relationship with his wife was highlighted in the show, said he was wary how Bandera would be portrayed.
"I told the producers beforehand that this is Texas and I was concerned not only about how my community would be portrayed, but also how Texas would be portrayed. I knew all Texans who watched the show would be concerned."
As it turned out, Click, his wife Gail and son Elton were mostly pleased with the production. Paris and Nicole wrote a short romantic poem for him to read to his wife of 33 years. Earlier in the show, Gail had said she still "felt tingles" when Bob walked into a room, but conceded the former Marine was not big on romance.
The ultra-rich pair suggested to Bob that he open up his shirt, purchase some body oils and lingerie for his wife and that he end his poem with the word "bouya," a word which they said means "the end." Though Bob passed on most of the suggestions, he did set up a candlelight dinner and end his poem reading with the word "bouya." Gail seemed truly touched.
While that moment seemed authentic, not everything was as it seemed on the program.
"The girls are not nearly as bratty as they seem on camera," Click said. "Paris was up at 2 a.m. at night making toast and having a pleasant conversation with my wife, but that's not what they want for the show."
Click said the crew spent about two days filming at his ranch about four miles south of Tarpley.
"You never know what is going to happen when they cut 15 hours of taping down to 13 minutes, but we felt good about what we saw."
Bob didn't get to see any sneak previews of the show and didn't even remember the small dog fight on his couch until he saw it on TV.
"There I was talking about them getting some peace and quiet and there are two dogs fighting," Click said.
As for Bob's easy demeanor on camera, he had done some TV interviews when he was serving with U.S. Marines in Somalia and keeps things in proper prospective.
"When you've jumped out of an airplane from several thousand feet into Panama, you realize being in front of a camera is not the biggest deal in the world."
The scenes with the Bandera Sheriff's Department were also a bit more pre-planned than viewers might have suspected.
The scene where Paris and Nicole hand out meals to prisoners inside the Bandera County Jail required prisoners sign release forms ahead of time, Bandera County Sheriff James MacMillan said.
Simple Life II Producers also cut a deal with the Bandera County Judge's office to use a Sheriff's Department patrol car before filming. Bandera County Judge Richard Evans said the county was paid $500 for use of the patrol car.
What appeared to be real traffic stops were also set-ups. Everyone who was stopped signed a release form before the pseudo stop, MacMillan said.
"It may have appeared they came in the County and did whatever they wanted, but that's not what really happened," MacMillan said.
"As long as they didn't make us appear like a bunch of yeah-whos, that was my main concern."
MacMillan said "hi" to the crew, but was in a meeting most of the day and didn't see the first broadcast of the show.
Evans and MacMillan both said they had not received any phone calls or feedback on the program.