'Ugliest House' host Retta is here to help make make America less drab & more fab


Owners of ugly homes are battling out again in season five of HGTV's Ugliest House in America.

Since its premiere in 2022, the HGTV series follows host and Good Girls alum Retta as she travels across the United States to find the most repulsive homes in the country. And here's the kicker: The homeowners nominate their unattractive homes for the challenge and a chance to win a $150,000 renovation.

Retta chatted with Out about the hideous house showdown and her approach as a host this season. "I definitely feel a little more comfortable. At first I was like, it's new people every day and I think people think it's easy to meet people, but it's not necessarily and you don't know what you're walking into, but now I go into "help" mode because people are often nervous," Retta said. "That's a good starting off point to be able to kind of ease them into it and you try to make friends fast so that they're easy with their stories that they tell about the house and showing you all the crazy things about [it]."


On the show, the comedian is not afraid to share her thoughts about the not-so-aesthetically-pleasing homes but being too harsh of a judge is never on the agenda. "They offered up their home for the show. So we all go in knowing that this was part of their plan and then I kind of just take their lead," she told Out. "I try not to offend them unless they've commented negatively on something. Then I'll join that bandwagon. But, lots of times it's more like "But why? Why would you do this? And a lot of times they had planned on doing the renovations and it just was a lot more than they expected. So, I don't go in trying to be mean. That's one of the things I said when they asked me to do this."

As the show's host, the actress uses her experience as a stand-up comedian to help create a comfortable space for the competing homeowners. "It helps me put people at ease and it helps you to relax a little bit. You know when everybody can laugh about something you definitely ease into using strengths a lot easier."

With popular shows like Parks and Recreation and Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce on her resume, Retta spoke about some of the challenges of filming an unscripted series in comparison to a scripted show. "I mean just the logistics of this show with traveling with a trailer and not having a full electrical department, this is way more challenging because we just kind of just make things work– even though things may not be working."


Retta has visited 72 homes on the show so far and in this season there was one particular feature in a home that stood out the most. "I was stunned by the amount of mirrors in one of the homes," the HGTV host said. "It was mosaic style like everywhere, on the railing, on the wall, around the windows, on the ceiling at some point. It was stunning to think that someone had time and energy to mirror a house."

While there was no particular home that turned her off from living in any particular region of America, Retta is not down with the forest. "I'm not a woodsy girl. If you don't get good cell service that has nothing to do with the homes, these are places I can't be that I know I would not thrive."

While she may not make it in the woodlands (I mean, neither would we!), Retta is certainly thriving as she returns for Ugliest House In America's fifth season premiering Monday, April 22 on HGTV.


Ugliest House in America | Season 5 Sneak Peek | HGTV