In the end, front garden week became a turf war between old school grandeur and razzmatazz.
Deb and Andy’s glitzy steps that lit up like Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean video clip and El’ise and Matt’s eye for heritage details made their front gardens stand head and shoulders above their neighbours’ more budget offerings.
Ultimately, tradition triumphed over tinsel, and it was El’ise and Matt who ended up driving off in their prize — a new VW Tigaun.
“We never win anything,” El’ise and Matt exclaimed as they accepted the keys to their new vehicle. Clearly forgetting that they had actually won the previous week’s challenge.
Andy wisely pointed out that everybody deserved to win cars after putting in the hard yards to get their front yards ready for judging.
Grandads Mitch and Mark not only worked hard in the final week, they partied hard too.
As the final judgment day loomed, Mitch didn’t need to style the place to look like the morning after a wild party, it looked like it of its own accord after the boys let their place live up to its party pad reputation by inviting all their tradespeople around for a wild night.
As the boys partied, everyone else got busy painting into the wee hours. Tess, who has understandably worried that potential buyers for their property could be put off by the prospect of living next to a party house, was quick to reassure viewers that she couldn’t hear a single sound from Mitch and Mark’s knees-up.
After spending the night on the tiles, it was back to laying actual tiles for Mitch and Mark. But not before Mitch gave us all an eyeful with a nudie run, or should that be a sprint into action when he discovered it was time to get cracking with the last day of work?
It was the same for Jesse, not on baring his bottom to a prime-time audience, thankfully, but on getting down and dirty to get his tiles down.
Never one to shy away from hard work (with a sideline of big noting) Jesse pushed himself to his absolute limit to get all his tiling done in time. Unlike Mitch and Mark, he has single-handedly tiled and laid all the floors at his house. One hundred days later and he was but a shadow of his former confident self.
“I feel like I am 50 years older than I am,” he moaned.
“My back is sore. My knees are sore. I am slow when I walk places. I used to create a draft, like Mel, when I moved but now I waddle.”
The last hurdle also nearly broke Andy.
With their lift out of operation, Andy spent most of the day running up and down three flights of stairs moving furniture in and out of their master bedroom, which Deb had decided to upgrade using some of their surplus funds (nice for some).
Unfortunately, Andy took a tumble while ferrying a chair and fell down a flight injuring his leg in the process.
As he fell backwards, the chair still held aloft above his head, Andy said just one thing went through his mind.
“As I was falling, I was trying to keep away from the already painted wall because I didn’t want to paint the f***er again!” he confided. Now that is dedication. Or the ultimate sign of laziness to put one’s body on the line to avoid some extra work.
Of course, as with any ending (especially the reality TV kind) there was plenty of time for reflection (and some video packages to remind viewers of what we have loved and hated about this year’s contestants).
Mitch had a moment of clarity during this period remarking:
“All through the filming of the program I have been wondering who the evil person is and now I have reflected back on some of my comments.” Cue video packages of him mocking El’ise’s make-up, ranting about Jesse’s lack of brains and his plans to destroy Tess and Luke in revenge for spa-gate.
“We had a vision of how we wanted to represent ourselves and that all went out the window on day two. And then the real, the good, bad and the ugly came through.”
Mitch, to his credit, doesn’t shirk away from what he has said and done during the immense pressure of renovating a house under the glare of the reality TV spotlight.
“When you can’t find the evil one, you soon realise that it must be you,” he laughed.
“I am not going to deny anything or say that I was set up because I wasn’t set up. It was me. And if you don’t like it, well I am sorry, but I can’t rewrite it.”
And thank goodness for that because, good, bad and ugly, Mitch and all his fellow competitors have been jolly entertaining to watch. Bring on auction day!
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