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HGTV superstars Jonathan and Drew Scott bring 'House Party' on tour

By LYNN UNDERWOOD | Star Tribune (Minneapolis) | Published: September 20, 2017

Jonathan Scott dreamed about entertaining thousands like master illusionist David Copperfield. Twin brother Drew figured he’d have an NBA contract by the time he was 20.

Plan B was to get their contractor and real estate licenses.

Guess that worked out.

The duo’s HGTV series "Property Brothers" is so popular that it’s produced four spinoffs. The Scotts run their own production company, Scott Brothers Entertainment, and they’ve launched a furniture and home decor collection at Lowe’s. Oh, and they’ve co-written a book, which they’ve turned into a traveling variety show.

Their breezy new memoir, "It Takes Two: Our Story," recaps their journey from growing up on a Vancouver ranch, to transforming hopeless fixer-uppers, to becoming international celebrities.

The siblings alternated writing chapters about their get-rich-quick schemes, striking out with girls, even Jonathan’s divorce. With their trademark brotherly razzing, Drew teases Jonathan about his nerdy magic tricks and Jonathan analyzes Drew’s flirting techniques. We chatted with the Mr. Fixits about ranch life, their first flip and their deep, dark secrets.

Star Tribune: In the past, you’ve been very private about your personal lives. Why are you opening up in the memoir and a recent People magazine article?
Jonathan:
Our fans always love to hear new stories and why we are the way we are. If we’re going to write a book, we wanted to be honest and include all the highs and lows -- talk about my painful divorce, being scammed when I was young and declaring bankruptcy. We were these mini-entrepreneurs and worked our butts off. We want to inspire others to go after their dreams.
Drew: HGTV is in 150 countries, and even when we were in Kenya, people came up to us and said they loved our show. The big thing for me is to motivate people, even globally.

You’re bringing "House Party" around the country. What is it, exactly?
Jonathan:
It’s a new variety show of all things brothers. We perform music and magic and do "Brother vs. Brother" challenges with the audience. Fans can submit pics of the worst room in their house and we’ll surprise them and bring them onstage to do a digital makeover.

How did your childhood on a ranch in Vancouver shape who you are today?
Drew:
We learned the value of a hard day’s work. We had our own horses, but we had to mend fences, too.
Jonathan: I learned how to build things on the ranch and I built sets for illusions for my career as a magician. We did a lot of singing around the campfire with our parents. We were always trying to outdo each other, to hit the higher note and write the better lyric.

How did you start fixing and flipping houses when you were still in your teens?
Drew:
We were go-getters and always had a plan about ways to make money. We had a creative side as actors, but we didn’t want to be struggling artists. We found out that real estate could be profitable, and we were handy. We put $250 down on a $200,000 eyesore house, sold it and walked away with a $50,000 profit. We kept investing, and 10 years went by.
Then, I went back to Vancouver to pursue my true passion -- acting. I started getting host auditions, which I thought were lame. Then we talked about it as a good opportunity to grow our brand and put ourselves out there.

You always tower over homeowners on your shows. How tall are you guys, anyway?
Drew:
I’m a tiny bit taller than Jonathan, 6 foot 4 1/2 inches.
Jonathan: That’s why I puff up my hair.

What’s a deep, dark secret about yourselves revealed in the book?
Jonathan:
I never talked about my divorce before. There’s a whole chapter on it. It was painful knowing that I gave it my all and I failed. Drew was instrumental in pulling me through that time.
Drew: I have no shame -- all my secrets are out there.

As high schoolers, why did you make a pact to be wildly successful someday?
Drew:
We knew we were different, even from our elementary school days. We were the class clowns; we engaged with people differently. We knew there was something out there that was meant for us.

From the book, it’s obvious you are best friends. But you’ve got to disagree now and then.
Jonathan:
Drew would live and breathe work 24/7. He’s even taken a conference call on the top of the Eiffel Tower. I like to turn off and relax.
Drew: I never fight with a man who’s carrying power tools.

Drew, you’ve been tapped for the new season of "Dancing with the Stars." How are you going to manage that?
Drew: We do 50 renovations a year. I’m not sure how I’ll have the time.
Jonathan: How come no one has conspiracy theories about me, like I’m going on "Bachelor in Paradise"?

"It Takes Two: Our Stroy" by Jonathan and Drew Scott.
AMAZON/TNS

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