Here's How 'Great Christmas Light Fight' Really Works

There's more to competing for The Great Christmas Light Fight crown than choosing the right inflatable Santa and jacking up the electric bill.

Fans of the ABC holiday show only get a glimpse of the construction and judging of its elaborate Christmas displays, but there's way more that goes into the light fight, the show's producer and a Fremantle North America representative revealed to Reality Blurred when the show was in its second season.

The producer revealed that families with the best display submissions and compelling stories are chosen to compete with three other groups around the country in each episode for Christmas supremacy.

According to the casting fine print, teams “compete by decorating a single family residence/dwelling and/or any parcel of real property on which a single family residence/dwelling sits.”

Team members “must have relationships with each other that are considered close or familial in nature (e.g., best friends, significant others, etc.)," and no one is allowed to be paid to help put up the lights.

There's no pay out either for teams unless they win, with Fremantle rep saying the display is "all on their own budget" and the “show does not provide any support to create the displays."

Teams have three weeks to construct their decor, and have to get the rights to any songs they plan on using in their displays ahead of time, although ABC producers will help them with that.

Although the judging in the show isn't the most transparent process, judges Carter Oosterhouse and Taniya Nayak do have a scoring rubric they use to determine the winner.

Those scoring categories are shown on each episode: “Use of Lights,” “Overall Design,” and “Christmas Spirit.”

The house which gets the highest score wins the $50,000 prize each episode.

Photo credit: ABC