HGTV has made its reputation on churning out beloved reality TV stars, but no characters on the home improvement network have had a faster rise than Tarek and Christina El Moussa of Flip or Flop. The California couple, whose show details their attempts to purchase, renovate, and flip houses at a profit, has been the darling of social media and gossip sites for years—but with a divorce looming in the near future, how will their home renovation empire be affected?
When HGTV signed the couple to a show deal, Tarek and Christina were unknown Californians who had lost everything in the 2008 housing crisis. As they attempted to resurrect their lives, the show that detailed their investment savvy, home decor genius, adorable family life and seemingly perfect relationship became a huge hit. Audiences fell in love with the couple and their two-year-old daughter and went gaga over the tremendous access that viewers had into the life of the family. Through cancer treatments, in vitro fertilization trials and tribulations, and up and down success in flipping houses, the couple never lost their trademark humor and wit.
2016 was not a banner year for Tarek and Christina, although from the outside nothing appeared wrong. It was only after Tarek filed for divorce in December 2016 that the narrative the husband and wife had meticulously crafted began to fall apart. Reports came out about an incident eight months earlier involving a gun and a 911 call to the El Moussa home, and various gossip sites linked Tarek and Christina to other people throughout the year. Fans were hurt and betrayed, but they were mostly nervous about the future of the show. Would everything that the El Moussas built go to waste because of the deterioration of their relationship?
After the announcement of their impending divorce, Tarek and Christina released a joint statement aimed directly at fans of the show. They claimed that their divorce was amicable, and that they would continue to work on the show together out of a mutual respect for what they had built. Over the past few months, both parties have released photos of their children and themselves in loving situations. It appears that the couple is approaching the divorce with honesty and openness, which is something that should be commended—particularly because their lives are already so public. It seems that Tarek and Christina have realized that their life’s work is too important to simply throw away.
As 2017 begins, it is clear that much of the El Moussa empire is expanding beyond their TV show. One major piece of the couple’s contribution to the real estate business comes in the form of their Success Path educational program. Contrary to some rumors, Success Path is not a scam; it is open to anyone who applies and teaches attendees the ins and outs of flipping a home in today’s economy. The program lectures frequently feature appearances by Tarek and Christina themselves, and the entire curriculum is based on the strategies that the El Moussas have used in their climb to the top of the California real estate market. Community education programs like Success Path are as much a part of the Flip or Flop legacy as the show is.
After four years of life, love, and laughter, Flip or Flop is just getting started. Conversations are taking place across the country between viewers who aren’t sure that the show can recapture what it had, but Tarek and Christina seem confident that 2017 will be a fantastic year for them. What do you think—will the show still be popular after the divorce? Can Tarek and Christina maintain their amazing chemistry in the new year? Only time will tell, but history shows that you probably shouldn’t bet against the El Moussa family.