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The Renovators – Finally Some Strategy

Not sure why Natalia and Christie were so wedded on staying at the converted shop in Marrickville. They should be running to the sixties suburban as that house may have a better chance winning the main prize.

Anyway Nathan is finally getting a team member something he probably did not want. He said he would prefer Christie. Is this because she is weaker than Natalia so has a higher chance of being eliminated. Knocking out their teammates must now be at the top of the contestants minds.

The challenge was to decorate a wall, two thirds of it must be wallpapered. The prize was your team had the power to choose which of the grey team was going to Nathan’s. They would have two hours to do this in, however first they would have to fix the hole in the wall that host Brendan Moar punched into it.

A few comments on the challenge:
I loved the way since the prize meant nothing to many of them so the stronger guys who pushed their team mates forward. Peter, Keenan and Michael sat out the challenge. Sam had not looked happy that she was pushed forward but in the end did a very nice job, something I don’t think Peter was terribly thrilled about.

Christie has shown she hasn’t done much hands on at the house as she could not work out that her drill was in reverse. Nathan of course wanted to get her for the house. Easier to knock out.

Props to Melissa and Sam for using the tools with confidence and doing some good work;

Jason was having a hideous time gyprocking and had to do it three times, which actually made for some funny moments in the episode. Jason ended up stapling his wallpaper as he did not have enough time to hang it properly. As he said he just wanted “to plate something up”.

Brendan thought he was being insightful when he said “Jason doesn’t like it when things go wrong does he?” Um who does Brendan?

Christie was a bit surprised when she yelled out for some advice and Natalia had said “I was watching Jason”. I think Christie is a bit of an it’s all about me girl.

The top two were Sam and Christies wall, with Christie winning. Therefore the grey team had to pick which one of them went.

I wonder if the producers deliberately made Christie win as they knew it might create some tension having to kill one of their own;

Interestingly August realised it was time to be strategic and  said ” I am not here to be liked I am here to win and I know where I would be going if I wasn’t the key holder”. He then punted Natalia.

She was so shitty with him that she did not hug him. Christie must have know August would keep her as that was why she was so desperate to win the challenge.

Did August make the right decision?



1 Renocrazy { 09.23.11 at 7:37 am }

Good points! I think August chose cleverly, Natalia has played a lot of mind games with comments designed to make him look bad.
It was interesting that when finally given chance to show their skills Sam and Christie shone, though I personally liked Sam’s better. This episode shows why their team members have pushed them into the background, clearly they are both a real threat.
Jason seems to be revealing his lack of renovation ability more every week…did anyone notice Peter Ho looked scared walking back to Brendon. I think by the look on Brendan’s face a bit of judicious editing might have hidden a nasty Jason temper spat.

2 AngelSN86 { 09.23.11 at 9:39 am }

There definitely seems to be more interpersonal stuff going on than what they show. There seems to be tension between the grey team and the other teams, as shown after Natalia’s little outburst recently. Some people see tension in the light blue team too but I haven’t really picked up on that as much. And the Orange team has Peter treating Sam like crap, which is hard because I can see that it stems from his frustration at being dumped with someone he didn’t choose (he obviously wanted Lisa back), but its not Sam’s fault so she shouldn’t cop it. But the grey team definitely had tension as was briefly shown with the girls complaining that August was getting coffee right before the room deadline. It’ll be interesting to see if the grey team collapses now without Natalia. I’m not a huge fan of hers but she did seem to do a lot of work and leads a lot of the challenges. So now they’re left with clueless Christie and lazy August, they could be in trouble. The scary part is that Christie could end up with the keys because we haven’t seen August in elimination challenges yet so he could be terrible at them. And the judges seem to like Christie’s style as they gave her the win last night.

It would be good to see more of the interaction, both between and within the teams. There are hints of it when it emerges during challenges but a lot of it is just not shown. Which is annoying just because you can see glimpses of tension or whatever, but there’s no explanation for it. Like in last night’s challenge, it seemed like more happened with Jason. Some people say it looked like he had a massive tanty by Brendan and Peter’s faces but they edited out the actual tanty. But one person had the theory that maybe it was more that Peter responded negatively as well and they didn’t want to taint his sweet and saintly persona so they just edited out the whole snippy exchange, only leaving a few reactions from Peter and Brendan.

3 par3182 { 09.23.11 at 9:42 am }

Biggest waste of time ever. Why go to all the trouble of having Christie win when all the power went to August? They could have simply asked him at the beginning of the episode and everyone could have gotten on with RENOVATING THEIR HOUSES.

I’m annoyed that two of my faves – Nathan & Natalia – will now have to face off to stay in the competition.

4 JStar { 09.23.11 at 9:50 am }

I believe this show is starting to find the right mix now in terms of tension/drama, challenges, and showing the contestants renovating. Well maybe more on the latter needs to be shows. The judges are clearly liked by the contestants and mingle comfortably with them. Pity that this show will likely be axed despite the recent ratings holding up surprisingly against very strong competition.

Highlights included the look on the contestants’ faces when Brendan smashed a hole in each wall. Jason’s sheepish look when being judged on his finished wall. The look on Christie when she realised that she had the drill in reverse. And I loved how Peter shoved Sam forward to do this challenge. And good on her for stepping up as she did a lovely job. I always thought she had a good eye with colours and tones but was never really allowed to shine on her own. Hence, Peter’s shock at the finished product. This episode allowed Christie and Melissa to alsow show that they weren’t just on the show to narrate but could actually be hands on and have a good eye for colour and furnishing. Up till now, they have preferred to work collaboratively with their team-mates rather than step up and see their vision through to the end in any challenges. And what about Jason? He is reality TV gold. We should see more of him. He is a crack up.

August made the right decision as Natalia is the better overall competitor and Nathan knows it. Interesting to see the battle within each house and the challenges selected for such. Would the challenge be deliberately biased to one member over another? Of the current key holders, Peter definitely stands out over Sam in terms of trade skills and design. Keenan over Melissa in terms of trade skills but only slightly advantaged over design. August over Christie in terms of trade skills but she definitely does better with nailing her overall vision then him. Luke has better trade skills foundation but still, against a (focussed) Jason, they are fairly evenly matched. Ditto with Michael and Jarrod. And whereas Nathan may be better than Natalia with his trade skills but he clearly lacks in the design element.

It would be interesting to know what your readers think who still has the house keys in the end after viewing the opened inspection.

5 Georgie { 09.23.11 at 9:50 am }

I really enjoyed the show last night and the tension. Agree with Renocrazy that Sam’s wall was the best but I think with the paper she had, the design and colours were a bit predictable and safe.
Agree also with RR that Christie’s win could have been ‘producer strategy’. Her wall looked like a Darallea chocolate box.
I think August was forthright about the reasons for his choice and that he’d have been gone if he hadn’t held the key.
Natalia commented last night that it was her goal to get the key NMW it took so why would she get upset that August’s goal was to keep it!

6 Melly { 09.23.11 at 9:56 am }

August definitely made the right decision – If it came down to him and Natalia, she would kick his arse, at least against Christie he has some sort of a chance, but then again we haven’t seen much of August and what he is capable of so who knows. I wonder how Christie felt when August said “I am getting rid of someone stronger than me” he obviously doesn’t think much of her and who could really blame him.

I hope Nathan, Pete and Keenan keep hold of the keys, I am going to be upset whoever goes between the Navy blue boys. The Light Blue team doesn’t really fuss me nor does the grey team.

Plus did anyone else notice that we didn’t see much of Luke last night? I thought that was strange considering they were putting so much focus on Jason, I figured they would go to shots of Luke facepalming or something.

7 Culinary Boner { 09.23.11 at 9:57 am }

August’s permanently pursed lips crack me up.

8 seepi { 09.23.11 at 10:16 am }

Christie’s wall was more adventurous and clever, although Sam’s was far more livable.

I didn’t like Melissa’s bright wall at all, and I don’t think it is that hard to work in bright colours.

august’s wierd accent sets me on edge.

I dont’ mind the lack of renovating the houses, as the interior design and white room challenges are more interesting to me.

Interpersonally it is now more complex, as teams have to work together on their houses and against each other in key challenges.

9 Culinary Boner { 09.23.11 at 10:56 am }

“She was so shitty with him that she did not hug him”

I wouldn’t put this 100% down to shittiness.
August does not possess a high huggability factor.
I’d rather hug Frank Thring.

10 Fides { 09.23.11 at 12:55 pm }

I think it was an easy choice for August – but it does mean his team now lacks straight out tradie talent. I’ve only ever seen him scraping or painting and in his bio, he says himself that he’s not a tradie and can’t hammer in a nail straight, that it’s his project managing skills which are exceptional … yet he’s totally stuffed the budget. And Christie can’t work out a drill so they should be grateful they’ve had Natalia up until the final weeks. I’m pretty sure Robbo said that having looked at the shop last weekend, it was disappointing and didn’t seem to have Natalia’s flair. Now we know why… I’m going to take another good look at the 60s suburban photos to see if it’s moved over there. I wanted Nathan and Natalia both to be keyholders – now I hope it’s Nathan because it wouldn’t seem right for Natalia to get them at the very end.

11 Fides { 09.23.11 at 2:36 pm }

Hmmm, just had another look the the 60s suburban photos and maybe it is Natalia who’s got the keys… purely speculating of course, but the flower displays with the bare branches in several of the rooms are very much in her style. Perhaps she walked through Castle Hill with a saw borrowing the neighbours’ foliage.

I know it’s been linked upteen times, but in case you wanna look :

12 Renocrazy { 09.23.11 at 2:38 pm }

Well this is sooo hard. I agree with everyone’s comment and now fear they still might ditch the show. Such a shame when it is just getting it’s stride. If they do get another chance I hope they have more focus on contestants personalities, including romances and bickering, as that is what makes good tv great. Come’n who wouldn’t want to see Jason lose his cool, Keenan and (who was it) budding love-in, mixed with some juicy backstabbing behind the scenes.

13 Izobel2 { 09.23.11 at 3:14 pm }

Was it Suzanne Renocrazy?
The thing I find funny is that for ten years I’ve been telling my folks to get rid of their wallpaper and after watching Renovators I’m so hooked on it, every time they use it, it looks great! I will b using it when I next update my home! I also wish we could c more of what the constants are really like. Still enjoying every ep.

14 Renocrazy { 09.23.11 at 3:17 pm }

u could be right Izobel

15 Reality Raver { 09.23.11 at 3:19 pm }

I think you are right they are getting the right mix now on the show. It has taken until last week or even this week to really get to know the personality quirks of the contestants.

Fides – I don’t think the link can be posted too many times.actually it is interesting looking at them to see the photos trying to work out who is there.
My theory is there has to be at least one female holding the keys in the end. So out of them all I hope it is Natalia. I like Nathan mainly because he has coped being there alone alot. However is he as talented as Natalia – I don’t think so.

16 Fides { 09.23.11 at 3:39 pm }

RR – so true. I would much prefer the last woman standing to be Natalia and in terms of overall talent, she deserves to be in the final 6 regardless of gender. But it would be a joke if somehow Christie ends up Australia’s best renovator.

17 JStar { 09.23.11 at 3:51 pm }

Reality Raver, I think the mix of the drama, renovating, challenges, and how to is due to the feedback from viewers, facebook, twitter, and ofcourse, the blogs (like yours). Seriously. The first few months was confusing as the editors and producers couldn’t find the right tone as the show had not aired. We got the snippets of the “out-there” personalities like Kelly and Lisa. This was mixed in with crazy challenges. It was as if the producers in setting to slavishly recreate Season 3 of MasterChef forgot to trust the judges and contestants to tell their story through their work ala Season One of MasterChef. Hence the wild and confusing tone of the first two months. (Jason summed it up best last night when he said he just “wanted to plate something up”). Once the feedback came in, it has been rejigged for the better. Unfortunately, most people have not given the show a second chance, which is a shame as the contestants and judges are quite appealing.

I’ve noted that the ratings have steadied. Yes 750,000 isn’t good enough to survive for such an expensive show but in the face of X Factor live shows and results, The Renovators have held up well. I’m hoping that Channel Ten is prepared to give it another go as the tinkering around the edges have worked in its favour. The ratings weren’t exactly as terminal as Top Design.

18 robbo { 09.23.11 at 4:02 pm }

Fides. Looking again at the photos of the sixties suburban it is obvious that Natalia was there from the dead stick decorations in the vases. Does not mean that she ends up with the keys but I would think it likely as those decorations are likely to be the very last minute items. If you look closely at the photo (No. 14) of the wooden screen in the backyard you will see three small hurricane lamp style candle lights hanging on it. The first is properly attached with a wire mount but the other two are just hanging on a stick picked up out of the yard.

Either evidence of a last minute panic or vandalism subsequent to completion.

The sixties suburban just did not seem finished which is understandable given the amount of time Nathan was on his own and the turnover in the khaki team.

So Christie is one of Australia’s top twelve renovators and does not know how to use a drill to drive in a screw.

19 Culinary Boner { 09.23.11 at 4:05 pm }

“But it would be a joke if somehow Christie ends up Australia’s best renovator.”

Dimples will trump talent on tele every time.

Can’t wait to have her guesting at my local Bunnings next year explaining drilling technique using them sponsored tools that never seem to work properly on this show.

Raver, didn’t you watch Beauty and the Geek last night? No review? I pissed meself at the ‘It’s a Knockout’ inspired geography challenge. And is Gaia the dimmest ‘beauty’ this show has had for a while?

20 Reality Raver { 09.23.11 at 5:04 pm }

Robbo – Re: Christie being top 12, well the show is the Masterchef of renovating shows. There were some people who made top 10 this year who could not cook. Yes I am looking at you Sun.

Jstar – I would like to see a second season. I think you make some great points. Everybody who is watching it appears to like it.

Fides – you know there will be one unworthy contestant holding the keys.

CB – Beauty and the Geek blog post up now. Agree it was a cracker.

21 Fiona { 09.23.11 at 8:47 pm }

It’ s funny that for ages now it has been put about that being a team of one is a terrible disadvantage, when now it is a great advantage to be a singleton and the singles are now having to share their house and the rights to the keys to the house. I am not at all surprised August chose Natalia to go – they don’t seem to see eye to eye, and she has taken a few opportunities to have a dig at him. I hope Nathan survives her tears and moods.

22 GHarris { 09.24.11 at 1:30 am }

I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about this result as I like Nathan but not Natalia but she’s a hard worker so she should get alot done for the sixties suburban :/ did anyone notice when Natalia won the offsite challenge she said she was on a winning streak?? this coming just two episodes after she broke down cause she “never wins anything”…

23 Moonstruck { 09.24.11 at 8:29 am }

GHarris I noticed that too. She is full of herself. I feel sorry for Nathan. He has done quite a lot on his own even when has been sick, unlike august who managed to get a day off because he was sick.
The show has got better but still feel 6 days a week is too much.
While I don’t want to see walls being demolished, I feel that there have been too many white room challenges. All that wasted energy in completing the rooms, could have been used on the houses. I know that eliminated contestants are supposed to have commented on the frustration of not getting enough time renovating.
Could it be that they started with too many contestants?

24 Vronie { 09.27.11 at 10:37 am }

As to Natalia’s mini-breakdown (I never win *sob* anything), I think the pressure cooker they have these folks work in is just due to grate on nerves till someone snaps. You can see it building in just how tense they’ve looked for weeks now whenever Brendan says he has a “surprise” for them.

So I have to disagree with you, Renocrazy, about wanting to see more contestant “drama,” as it just seems to get in the way of the actual renovating. I also think that’s often just judicious editing, and so about as “real” and far more appealing to boot in scripted shows. Personally, I really liked that this show didn’t wallow in it too much, and usually hate the scenes where they pull someone aside in the middle of a snit, or who has just lost, and ask them how they feel. “Just peachy, Peter, thanks ever so much for asking…” Though I appreciate that on a reality TV forum, that may not exactly be the popular opinion.

Other than that, I also enjoyed the “how to”s, and the actual renovating stuff, and while the decorating is pretty, I think it takes up too much of the show, and isn’t what I think renovating is about. If I wanted that, I’d watch “Top Design.” (And then probably be disappointed… )

I think it’s funny that all three of the remaining grey team members were among the 6 folks up for the first elimination. And if Phil hadn’t volunteered to go home, then I am pretty sure Christie would have been sent packing with Laura as the first folks tossed, before the teams were ever even made. Funny how she seems to have forgotten that. So I think August definitely made the right call there, getting rid of Natalia, and keeping the comparatively lightweight Christie.

As to the budget, Fides, I’m not sure that isn’t mostly down to Fiona, the original shop keyholder, who I seem to recall coming up with a plan that was at least 25 k *over* budget from the get go, which was a pretty odd plan. August’s clawed back from that, at least.