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The Renovators – Yes It Is The Masterchef Of Design Shows

Interesting and enjoyable first episode to The Renovators tonight. The show is made by Shine which is run by the people who were running Fremantle Media in the first season of Masterchef Australia, and there are certain similarities.

These are:

  • Bringing back the nice into renovation shows, the judges were mainly positive, and the editing of the contestants were seen as nice and all getting on;
  • The judges Robyn Holt, Peter Ho, and Barry Dubois are TV unknowns, just like George, Gary and Matt were;
  • It is not just about the renovating and designing there will also be crazy challenges thrown in there; and
  • Instead of the Masterchef fire ball going into ad breaks we have the hammer throw.

There are currently 26 contestants and only six houses so how is this going to pan out? To be honest I don’t really know. Are we only going to have six people on the show in the long term? That is not a lot of contestants to keep the viewer interested over a 12 week period. Does one person lead the house renovations with a team? That might explain the big prize money as it may need to be split.

Tonight the contestants had to renovate a two bedroom house that had been bought into the huge warehouse. They had  48 hours to do this. For some reason they also had to sleep in the warehouse, I am not sure what the point of that was, it wasn’t like if they wanted to sand back the floor boards in the middle of the night that they would be allowed to do so.

What I found baffling about this challenge was how the judges were going to be able to choose the one person to give them the keys to a house.

Some people had the greater opportunity to shine, and also were prepared to take more responsibility for design and workmanship.

The winner ended up being Joanne which I thought was an interesting choice, as she certainly worked her guts out, but did not appear to make much of an impact on the crucial decision making.

Keenan a concreter was singled out for his work on the ‘garden’. Michael, a builder was praised for being a big part of every room. Peter who designed the bathroom which was fabulous was also singled out.

Natalia got praised for her lights she did at the side of the house. However Jason J who designed and oversaw the renovation of the kitchen didn’t get a mention. Nor did Phil who at the start of the challenge got them organised and going forward.

Julie got the first pick of the properties, and she went for the four bedroom sixties suburban in Castle Hill.

It had a land size is 664 sqm. The purchase price was $631,828 and the renovation budget is $126,366. The house looked like a wreck, and you can’t help thinking the rest of Australia is laughing at us Sydney siders and wonder why we pay so much for houses.

I will certainly be interested to see how it is all going to pan out over the next week or so.


1 SaintsDeano { 07.25.11 at 5:42 am }

RR: it was Joanne. Not Julie.
I liked Joanne. Will she become a viewer favorite?

2 Lucy { 07.25.11 at 5:57 am }

I loved it. I wasn;t going to watch, but got hooked in at the end of Masterchef – see? I am a Channel 10’s dream viewer – all their tactics work on me!

I found myself wondering what they are planning on doing with that house now it’s all complete?!

3 Darryl { 07.25.11 at 7:02 am }

Yes we all do laugh at how much the houses are in Sydney. I think it might be 6 teams of 3. There has to be some eliminations

4 Paul { 07.25.11 at 9:15 am }

Bombed in the ratings first night.

Might have been a mistake putting it right on the back of Masterchef. People may have been all ‘realitied’ out.

5 akris { 07.25.11 at 9:54 am }

I enjoyed it.. the bathroom was definitely luxe looking..

I liked that Joanne won that first challenge because she was willing to work in areas that nobody wanted to help or work on. Plus she seemed like a bit of an underdog, no real ‘expertise’ in an area but willing to work hard anywhere/anyway she can.

I did get a bit teary when she won.. I don’t know if she should’ve chosen the castle hill joint.. I CAN believe that it cost that much since i’m from the area, but worth that much!?!?!?!?!

6 Rosie { 07.25.11 at 10:16 am }

Thanks for this, RR. I wasn’t going to bother watching this, but since you made it sound so interesting, I will have a look at this afternoon’s repeat.

7 Chunks { 07.25.11 at 10:40 am }

If it becomes popular and survives the first season, by season three it will be full of people who want to be on television instead of actual renovators, just like that other show, what’s it called…

8 Mia { 07.25.11 at 11:00 am }

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Far superior to The Block.

9 brain dead dave { 07.25.11 at 12:39 pm }

It seemed like the greatest show on earth on the heels of Ma$terchef.

10 seepi { 07.25.11 at 1:17 pm }

I loved it. It was great to see some colour at last – next Block series should ban grey and beige and white bathrooms with black accents. Ick. If I want to see that I can go to the nearest new apartment block open day.

She was a worthy winner – you need some people who are willing to just hang the gyprock etc. Not everyone can be styling the rooms.

As for the kitchen guy – nightmare. He’ll be gone soon I think.

11 Casper { 07.25.11 at 1:18 pm }

Watched the first 15 minutes or so but it just didn’t grab me. Willing to give it another chance though.

12 Chris { 07.25.11 at 4:08 pm }

Read something in WA’s weekend paper about how it works. Sounds like 6 challenge winners get to choose from the houses. They then choose 3 people to be their “team” (so my Maths tells me that’s 24, so I guess 2 people miss out before they get to house stage). Sounds like there are many eliminations along the way, as the last person “responsible” for each house at the end is the overall winner, I think? So, the way I interpreted the article was that just because someone chooses a house at the beginning, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re still standing at the end, if their chosen team does better than them at some point and they are eliminated?
Will be interesting to see how it pans out.

13 Kat { 07.25.11 at 6:49 pm }

Sorry Chris, 6 times 3 is 18 not 24, and yes, there would be eliminations then =0)

14 Chris { 07.25.11 at 7:14 pm }

Thanks Kat, my maths is based on each of the original 6 choosing 3 people each, so yes, 18 PLUS the original 6, making teams of 4 in total when you include the original person who chose the house. I DO have preggo brain, but stand by my original calculations! :-)

15 Sonia { 07.25.11 at 7:50 pm }

I liked it without loving it. I’m with you I thought Phil did a great job of organising them all and didnt get any credit.
I felt abit sorry for Joanne. Came first and didnt end up getting much of an advantage. Why you would pick a 60s suburban house though. They are the worst but probably much better than a one bedder in Parramatta.
We all know in Sydney its location location location

16 AnonyMousse { 07.25.11 at 7:51 pm }

The show didn’t grab me – thank god, since I could do without the time sink now that Masterchef’s ending. From the bits I watched (while reading something) I could have been fooled into thinking that Barry guy was the host, not the other guy – Baz seemed to get a lot more camera time in the observation scenes.