NEW YORK – It's hard to imagine a time when Chip and Joanna Gaines weren't synonymous with home improvement, but when the Texas duo were casting for Season 1 of "Fixer Upper," they had to "beg" people to join their show.
"Waco is a bit of a small market so [HGTV execs] were insecure and so we were," Chip told Fox News.
"We had to find 13 houses and people willing to take a chance of basically giving us their keys and letting us do their remodel," he said. "Before people saw what we were capable of on national television, [joining the show was] a pretty risky move."
Chip, who recently released his new memoir "Capital Gaines," said he remembers the grueling casting process "like it was yesterday."
"There were about eight couples that signed up instantly so I thought, 'Okay, we're going to get 13, no problem. We got eight, then we got nine, then we got 10 and then the 11th, 12th and 13th unit just didn't exist."
He said, "We were having to beg these people to basically be on the show and now we get over 100 applicants a season."
Fast forward five years and the Gaineses have built themselves a home decor and renovation empire and "Fixer Upper" is the most successful show to air on HGTV.
So when the parents-of-four announced last month the upcoming season would be their last, fans were shocked and rumors swirled that the pair were splitting up.
But the "real reason" behind the Gaineses' decision is an easy one.
"We realize people are going to make accusations, presumptions but for Jo and I, it really was about taking a step back and getting a little time with our family [and] catching our breath," Chip told us.
Chip said people have a "hard time imagining that anybody would step away from something like this" because it "is a dream" but it's important for the couple to focus on their family life and other businesses.
"It has been a dream for the last five years, but we're really excited to move into the next season of our lives."