Great Food Truck Race question

Last night I was watching this show (don’t judge me). I’ve always wondered how manipulated it is, and this one seems like it must be. This season, they’re in Alaska in the snow and cold (perfect for the sadistic Tyler “Speedbump” Florence). Last night’s episode took place in the small town of Talkeetna (population 1200). The trucks got hardly any business and it was very frustrating for the contestants. Here’s what I was wondering: if you lived in a small town, and the Food Network was there filming a show, wouldn’t everyone turn out to go watch and probably buy food from the trucks (despite the ridiculously high prices)??? I’ve actually been in Talkeetna during the summer, and it’s nice but I would assume there’s not a lot going on in the winter. So do they prevent people from coming out? It all seemed very phony to me.
Any thoughts on this? It’s really bugging me! Thanks.

Not everybody wants to be on TV. A decent crowd of people would be a quarter of the town!

I can’t speak to the Food Truck Race. Food Network descended on my local sailing bar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkXtOc9fFPo with Guy Fieri (ich). The restaurant was closed and “customers” were by invitation only and given scripts, as were staff. Many of the regulars were put off and took weeks to drift back.

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We get his “Triple D” series in the UK. And I’ve even been to a couple of places that have featured. It comes as no surprise that things may not be entirely genuine. I mean, everyone one is always so enthusiastic and positive about everything. Even with places where I’m happily a regular, I can usually find a minor adverse observation about something.

That said, if someone wants to give me a free meal and put me on TV, then I may take a different view.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold