Let the battle begin as we reach the House Rules finale.
No-one would have thought Victoria would progress past the first House Rules elimination after their slow start in the competition. But tonight the Melbourne couple was the first team into the Grand Final.
The pair will go up against Perth grandparents Carole and Russell to determine who will live mortgage free, after the WA team narrowly beat NSW – 17 points to 16 – to claim a Grand Final berth.
Judges Joe Snell and Wendy Moore praised all teams for their work in the charity house challenge, transforming a tired holiday home on the NSW south coast used by Barnardos Australia foster families. Given a brief to make the home safe and family friendly – styled with „pops‟ of colour throughout in a retro feel – the teams exceeded judges‟ expectations and those of the home‟s caretakers. Crisis carer, Sharon Mitchell, is delighted with the new-look residence, which hadn‟t been altered in 30 years. “The foster children are going to absolutely love this,” she said. “This is something really, really special.”
The week-long renovation was a highly emotional and volatile one, particularly between NSW and WA. Candy walked off site for several hours enraged and in tears after she and team mate Ryan were forced to redesign their kids‟ games room because Carole and Russell back-flipped on their original shared wall design.
The drama arguably distracted the pair who subsequently forgot to arrange delivery of their kitchen appliances and, with just minutes remaining on the clock, failed to install all of them. In a bittersweet twist to the tale, it was Candy and Ryan‟s games room and its eventual layout which drew the most praise from the judges. “I think it‟s one of the best rooms we‟ve ever seen on House Rules,” Joe said. But Team NSW‟s failure to complete the kitchen, and its poor pantry placement, was its ultimate downfall. With the largest zone in the house comprising of the dining room, main kids‟ bedroom, laundry, hallway, second toilet and deck, the odds were stacked against Victoria repeating its semi-finals win – but they did.
Lisa and Adam received two 9‟s from the judges out of a possible 10. When host Johanna Griggs announced Victoria was safely through to the Grand Final, the couple couldn‟t believe it. “Someone slap me,” said Adam. “I must be dreaming.”
Wendy praised the team‟s miraculous turnaround. “I said you guys could be the „dark horses‟ of the competition if you got your vision right and stuck to it. You‟ve proved me right.” The judges had high praise for their zone, particularly their colourful kids‟ bedroom. The use of bright yellow chevron wallpaper, a sky blue ceiling, graphic rug, red curtains, white bunk beds and colourful bed lamps made the room “magical” according to Wendy. Joe called it “uplifting” and “friendly”. Lisa revealed earlier in the week it would be her dream to go up against Carole in the Grand Final. “I think it would be a little like the Master versus the Apprentice,” she said. “And I think I‟ve got it in me to beat her.”
Only time will tell but the „war horses‟ of the competition have been the most consistent. The judges loved Carole and Russell‟s collection of retro furniture and use of vibrant colours, but when criticised for their bathroom tile choice, “amateur” paint finish and vivid green bedhead, their hopes began to sink. When Joe delivered an 8 for WA‟s zone, all teams knew only a 9 from Wendy would get them over the line against NSW. She eventually delivered the winning score and Russell and Carole fell into one another‟s arms in relief. “That was the longest 10 seconds of my life,” Russell told Wendy.
For recently parted couple Candy and Ryan it was the end of the competition but the pair has no regrets. “This is a competition where everybody wins,” said Ryan. “The whole experience has been amazing.” The teams will return to their opponents‟ homes for one last renovation challenge. The judges‟ scores will be combined with a public vote to determine the winner. Home viewers will be asked to vote for the most deserving team based on their work throughout the competition.
To vote head to yahoo7.com.au/houserules and Don‟t miss the House Rules Grand Final on Channel Seven this Sunday at 6.30pm.