Chip and Joanna Gains shocked fans when they announced that the upcoming fifth season of their popular HGTV show Fixer Upper would be their last.
It was a decision motivated by the couple’s desire to spend more time with their four children (Drake, 12, Ella, 11, Duke, 9, and Emmie Kay, 7) and not by the unfounded rumors of marital problems and divorce that have followed — though during an appearance on Today Tuesday, Chip admitted he was nervous their relationship could go that way if they show continued.
“I give them a little credence,” the 42-year-old reality star said of the doubters. “For us, the most important thing in the world is Jo and I’s relationship followed very quickly by these four beautiful kids. We didn’t want to push it, redline it for so long that we woke up and realized we are at a point of no return. We wanted to take a step back and focus on the thing that was absolutely the most important thing to us in the world.”
“People in our inner circle, I tell them we’re as healthy as we’ve ever been, I just didn’t want to keep pushing this envelope to the fullest extent,” he continued. “We’re really thankful that we had the opportunity to step back and take a break.”
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For the last five years, the Gaineses have been working nonstop to build their home improvement empire.
Since Fixer Upper premiered in 2013, it quickly became the highest-rated show on HGTV, turning the couple into household names. The series also helped to launch their booming Waco, Texas-based Magnolia businesses, which includes a real estate company, the Silos (a retail store that draws 40,000 visitors a week), wallpaper and furniture lines, a quarterly magazine, luxury vacation rentals, an upcoming restaurant and a product line for Target.
They’ve also written a bestseller, The Magnolia Story, together and pursued solo book projects (Chip’s new book Capital Gaines is in stores now while Joanna has a design book in the works).
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But with all that success comes more work, responsibility and stress. Filming 11 months out of the year while juggling Magnolia and its 500 employees began to wear on them.
“Nobody knows when you get into something like this,” Chip told Today, looking back. “I’m an idiot, I thought this was like a get rich quick scheme. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy. The emotional and the amount of energy it takes to pour something like this together. Every day we showed up to work we wanted this to be the real deal. We wanted it to be authentic, sincere.”
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Joanna, 39, agreed and thanked the fans for standing by them throughout the years even during the news that the show would be ending.
“We’ve kind of all grown together,” she said. “With the audience, they’ve come alongside with us. On the other side, there’s so much encouragement. Even though it was sad, they get it. We have this young, growing family and I just think that was one of the biggest reasons why we wanted to end the show.”
As for whether they’d return to reality TV, the couple played coy.
“Who knows?” Chip said. “We’re so excited about this break. But would we go back and do this again? Absolutely. It was a joy it was a pleasure. All the things you know about. It introduced us to Kansas.”
The final season of Fixer Upper premieres in November.
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