The original Pimp My Ride debuted in 2004 and ran for six seasons, through 2007. The original host was rapper and instant meme-generator Xzibit, and the show proved so popular that, even after all these years, it’s still MTV’s most successful series, and it’s still being talked about. Last August, MTV UK debuted a six-episode limited series with eBay, on YouTube.
The appeal of makeover shows, whether we’re talking about homes, style upgrades, or cars, is seeing that change is possible. It’s the classic rags-to-riches story with a very modern spin, and it speaks to every viewer because it contains the unspoken promise that they could be one of the lucky few as well. In the year 2023, we’ve grown wiser (hopefully) and know that not all that we see on TV is real, so we know that most reality series are scripted to an extreme.
West Coast Customs, the customizing shop that did many of the jobs on the U.S. version, was even accused of taking parts out from the car before letting the owner drive off the lot, so yes, you could say there was a certain amount of fakery going on. You’d be very generous with that description, though.
If the video below is any indication, Pimp My Ride is not just back on our screens, but back to its old tricks. Yaz is a social media executive from North London, and she’s been driving a 2009 Ford KA that she got from her parents when she turned 17. The car was in bad shape when she reached out to the producers, but it’s in an even worse condition now that Wrench Studio did the pimping on it.
As Yaz explains on TikTok, the makeover implied precisely the kind of things she said she didn’t want: stickers, a loud exhaust, and blocking of the trunk of the car, which she used quite a lot on her travels. But worse than that is the fact that, in recent months, the car has developed thick patches of mold. As she shows in the video, mold is everywhere, from the carpet on the floors to the vintage denim-clad seats, and on the doors.
Yaz erroneously states that water and condensation are coming in through the air vents the team behind Pimp My Ride put on her hood for a “sportier aesthetic.” Commenters to her now-viral video are pointing out that water can’t get inside the cabin through those vents, so it must come from somewhere else – maybe through the new doors that the team put on the car, which may not have been sealed properly.
Available in the second video below is Yaz’s full episode, the fifth in the series, which aired in September 2022. It includes all the details of the KA’s makeover. The word “sustainability” is thrown around a lot, with the London-based shop and show host Lady Leshurr opting for certain eco-friendly upgrades for Yaz’s car to go with Yaz’s lifestyle and personality. These include an eco-friendly wrap, cladding the new seats in second-hand upcycled denim, and using second-hand parts purchased from eBay.
The episode also shows Yaz telling Lady Leshurr that she’d love something unique for her car, like a small table with a sowing machine in the trunk, which the team then proceeds to give her. In her new video, Yaz is saying she specifically asked them not to put useless junk in her trunk, and she claims she has no idea where they got the inspiration for the vintage Singer they ended up putting in there.
the makeover. It’s all a lie, she’s now saying: “They got me to refilm my reaction bc my first reaction was [confused face emoji],” she says, adding that “they’ve mugged me off.”
MTV UK would not comment on the allegations, and Yaz isn’t saying whether she plans to actually sue the producers for turning her car into a moldy disaster (and a joke), like she’s being advised to do. Right now, she's just taking her complaints to the public square of social media, as one does. Whatever the solution these two parties will eventually reach (or not), for us viewers there’s only one lesson: not much is real about reality television, no matter how convincing it might come across.
@yaz.johnsonn Replying to @Vicc_edser MTV pimped my ride and gave me a mouldy car with no sun visors, this is hell ???????? #mtvpimpmyride #pimpmyrideuk #pimpmyridechallenge #mouldycar ? original sound - Sage