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Is the Ugliest House in America in Delano?



This TV in a massive rolling barrel in the Delano home left HGTV host Retta, right, flabbergasted. (HGTV Screenshot)
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An 8,000-square foot home in Delano has been declared the ugliest house in the west by an HGTV home-improvement reality series.

The question now for homeowners “Lupe and Cruz” is whether the 1974 monstrosity will win the Ugliest House in America competition and $150,000 in renovations.

The mini-series is hosted by comedian Retta, who is best known for her roles in the NBC series Parks and Recreation and Good Girls.

When the episode was filmed, the temperature was 102 degrees, much too hot for Retta, who grew up in New Jersey. In the opening scene, she describes Delano as “flat and hot.”

On First Impression, ‘Not That Ugly’

After entering the house, Retta says, “Got to admit, it’s not that ugly to me.”

But, upon getting past the entryway, she discovered the bad and the ugly of a home that could’ve been used for scenes in a Sergio Leone spaghetti western.

The dining room has an arboretum swiped from a 1980’s Holiday Inn. Except that many of the plants were dead and the waterfall doesn’t work.

In addition to a garish kitchen on the main floor, another complete kitchen accompanied the master bedroom upstairs.

There’s an indoor “jungle” off the dining room. (HGTV Screenshot)

‘I’m Not Sure It’s Safe’

Cruz bought the home without telling other family members, who weren’t thrilled when they toured his purchase, it was revealed in Thursday night’s episode.

He had seen the home years before and fallen in love with it. But, in a classic case of buyer’s remorse, Cruz now says “it’s too ugly.”

In fact, Lupe, Cruz, and their two children don’t live there.

“I’m not sure it’s safe,” Lupe said.

Every episode includes a listing of the home’s features similar to a real-estate ad. For the Delano house, it was:

  • 8,000 square feet
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 3 jungles
  • 2 kitchens
  • 1 kill room

Retta said “kill room” as a punch line about the home’s garage.

Series Champion Announced

The Delano house beat out a converted barn near Sacramento and a home with nautical features in Pacifica to become one of four national finalists. In addition to being ugly, all of the homes appeared to be money pits.

The series winner was crowned on Friday, Jan. 7, with the “House of No Secrets,” the southeast champion taking the title.

Also joining the Delano “Jungle House” as finalists were “Poseidon’s Fortress” in the midwest and the “Pyramid House” from the northeast.

Retta described the garage as “the kill room.” (HGTV Screenshot)




Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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