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Guest Post: House Rules – And We Have Our Final Two

It has been rapid fire eliminations all week on House Rules. Annajjj again writes a cracker recap that ends in us with the pair who will duke it out to win:

Part two of the exterior challenge and at the end of the show two teams will be leaving and the remaining two will battle it out doing something(?) to determine the winner. Whatever it is they will have to draw it out over an hour and a half tomorrow night so probably not scissors paper rock unless it is best out of 3,000.

Michelle and Kel and their mini me’s are over at the Greek boy’s Melbourne home while those boys and Leighton and Reese head to Jemma and Baz’s Perth home.

Garden Rules in Melbourne: modernise our Californian bungalow, low maintenance garden, café style courtyard, plant a veggie patch – that’s got to be their mum’s suggestion. Jemma and Ben get the back and Michelle and Kel the front. Michelle and Kel have to do well as they will be devastated if they have to go home. Devastated? To have to go back to your fully-renovated highly-increased-value home in one of Sydney’s most expensive suburbs?

Garden rules at Jemma and Baz’s are private backyard entertainment area, welcoming front, revive the exterior, give our stone lions pride of place. Boys win the coin toss and choose the backyard.

In Perth the side pathway is up for grabs and Michelle & Kel want it and they plan to put a herb garden there. Since it worked so well on him last week, Kel decides to use reverse psychology on the younger couple to get their own way. But Michelle can’t do strategy. She blurts out I want it and then bites off her own tongue in her efforts not to give away their herb garden secret. I’d love to see Michelle on The Mole.

Baz is making a fire pit and he kicks off the concrete grinder. Kel is smashing up concrete and discovers a problem in the driveway. Over at Jemma and Barry’s the fence alignment out and Leighton is unimpressed but thinks he can solve the problem.

Nick and Chris are off to the nursery to pick plants. They enlist some help and are taken down to privacy screen trees. The helpful plant lady starts rattling off plant names and the boys get the giggles. These are harder to pronounce than their surname.

Bad news for Kel and Michelle – the driveway is spongy and there is a cracked stormwater drain. Michelle and Kel put their sad faces back on and we are told again they don’t want to go home. Then the big concrete guy tells them good news, it can be fixed and he gets smothered in kisses from Michelle.

Chris and Nick’s deck is going down and looking good. They want to put a ceiling in but may not have time to paint it. Chris puts his foot down. If we can’t get it painted we can’t do it so scrap it, he commands manfully. Nick says no we are doing it. Chris lifts his foot up.

Reese is busy smashing things down and Leighton is proud of her for being hard core.

Baz and Jemma are at the garden centre buying lettuces and snow peas because Greeks eat a lot of salads and even have one named after them. Meanwhile Michelle and Kel are secret squirrelling their vertical herb garden in the boot of the car. They can’t afford to let Jemma and Baz get a hint of their cunning plan for herb domination.

One day to go and teams are working hard. We get shots of Jemma painting then Michelle painting then oh god Kel crack and then Barry painting. Baz has done a pungent(!) orange feature wall and despite her well-publicized love of orange Michelle hates it. Meanwhile Kel steps back to admire his handiwork but Michelle rushes him away. Admire it tomorrow I need sleep, she snaps.

Final day and the teams turn up on site and get stuck in. Michelle and Kel don’t like the plainness of their driveway and want it stamped but can that be done? Yes it can. Michelle throws herself at the concrete guy and Michelle please stop touching the tradies. Its workplace harassment and it’s creepy.

3 hours to go and Michelle is potting the herb garden in the back of the car and Jemma has realised Michelle is doing herbs. The scandal! Jemma calls her on it and Michelle says she is throwing out the trump card and Jemma is not impressed.

One hour to go and Jo turns up in WA and in Melbourne Chester! and Caroline are here to bark at the contestants.

30 mins to go and Michelle is busy finding her zen. The feature stone lions are carefully tucked out of sight in the garden. The boys collide wheelbarrows. McGravy-Train shouts a bit and Jemma steals Michelle’s pavers.

1 minute and no one can find the hoses because Barry has thrown them over the fence and horns blow – time is up!

Judges turn up in Melbourne and Wendy does her usual breathy Wow as she sees the front yard. It looks a bit plain really but the judges are impressed and they like the Michelle herb garden. Into the back and there is a lot going on out here. There is a fire pit but the space around it is a bit small and the edging and steps are unfinished. Jemma herb garden is a bit sparse.

Boys arrive and they get to see but not score. They are delighted with the front and like the deck. They have an Aussie flag doormat. Nice touch. In the back they love the olive tree and are very happy with the fire pit. It’s the ultimate boy’s pad.

Judges arrive in Perth and the front looks fantastic but can anyone spot the lions? You know, the lions that were supposed to be given pride of place? Knowing Reese’s disregard for sentimentality she’s probably crushed them and used the rocks to decorate the frangipani. Out the back the boys have done a great job. The outdoor area looks very impressive and the furniture looks good too.

Jemma and Baz arrive home and immediately they love the front. Jemma channels Amy and squeaks, squeals and cries a bit. They go into the back and they absolutely love it too.

Back at home base for the judge’s scores.

Kel and Michelle adopt their sad faces and tell us again how much they want to win (as if the other contestants are all a bit meh about it really). But Kel and Michelle pushed their sob/back story a bit too far last week with the whole Grandpa’s memorial seat thing so they’d better hope the winner isn’t decided by audience vote.

L&R: 9 and 9 so probably safe.

Boys: 8 and 7 so could go either way…..

After the break M&K: 8 and 7

J&B: 6 and 5

Jo tries to ramp up the suspense by saying we should take a look at the leader board but any of us with basic math skills have already worked out that Baz and Jemma and the brothers are going home. The boys leave first and then Jemma and her short leather skirt leave and Possum Baz follows.

We are told the remaining teams are going to each other’s homes for the most important bit now. Two secret rooms which look to be the basement and a nasty shed so not really that important and we are told that the winner will be decided by viewer vote and lame lame lame. This is rubbish. Now the whole thing has just become a giant popularity contest. If you wanted audience participation why couldn’t we have voted earlier on the actual zones? Grand final tomorrow.


1 Weeezza { 07.01.13 at 8:44 am }

I wanted Gemma and Ben to win.

I think it’s a real shame that we vote for the winner. That’s not the right way to award the best.

But Michelle and Kel got to the end so the best never made it through anyway!

2 Georgie { 07.01.13 at 9:03 am }

I enjoyed HR last night and it was an easy decision to switch over from MC and watch this instead.

Thanks for the great recaps annajj. I agree with you too, what a disappointment to get to the GF, just to turn it into a popularity contest. As we know already, the majority of the viewer public buy into the sob story crap and C&L don’t really have one. They’ll be rationising their voting choice with thoughts like – “C&L are young and have their whole life ahead of them. Poor M&S lost everything and they’ve worked hard. They deserve a break, blah, blah, blah”.

Well they’ve all worked bloody hard and the highest overall score should have won. It’s been a great show right through and now it’s fallen in a heap at the finish line!

3 Veronicali { 07.01.13 at 9:06 am }

Liked the blue exterior on the brothers’ home. Sure they’ll never sell it … Sorry attempt at a veggie garden by J&B, but liked the espalier trees.

WA backyard was good but still not very private, can’t believe that house was allowed to be built in behind complete with massive balcony! Hope J&B are good friends with the neighbours. Front yard fence helps hide the caryard across the road. Annajjj good pick up on the crushed stone lions around the base of the frangipani 😛

Voting seems like a last minute decision to grab some cash from the public – not me, though. I’m confused, is the winner decided 100% by vote, or partly by judges’ scores on the secret rooms?

They need a rethink on the whole scoring/elimination system next year.

C&L ftw! They will have intense babies together.

4 AJ { 07.01.13 at 9:13 am }

Thanks Annajjj.

I’m not sure I agree with the judge’s scores. But, that may just be because the updates to the back gardens seemed more impactful and I presume that is where people would actually spend the majority of their time relaxing, entertaining, etc. It’s hard to get too excited about the front yards when they’re mostly just grass and a coat of paint on the house.

The secret room challenge appears to be pointless if it is now a popularity contest. And all the scoring to date also seems pointless if it was always intended to be a popularity contest. I certainly won’t be wasting $0.55 to vote for who I want to win.

I’m also a little disappointed at the attitude from most of the teams. It appears that everyone, except for one team, only purchased a crappy house for the purpose of entering the show. And they’ve all walked away with a full renovated house and most of them also received fully made-over exteriors and gardens. But almost everyone is complaining about being eliminated and how their “dream” of paying off the mortgage is now over. Surely, they could just work hard like 99% of the population to pay off their mortgage. The dream is hardly over!

5 Andrea { 07.01.13 at 9:19 am }

I hope Carly and Leighton win, it shouldn’t be left to a public vote. As others have said, the scores should have been tallied all the way through the competition, ensuring that the ones who have worked hard consistently win.
I won’t be wasting my money to vote after the Big Brother fiasco, the producers will fix it as to who they want to win.
Its still been a great show as all contestants got beautifully renovated homes, it just needs a bit of tweaking for next year but congratulations to channel 7 for hitting on a winning formula.

6 Darryl { 07.01.13 at 9:59 am }

I reckon it will be like Dancing With The Stars, public vote counts for 50%, then Channel 7 just gives the winner to whoever they want

7 Jason { 07.01.13 at 10:13 am }

Are herbs a vegetable? The boys wanted a vegie garden so Jemma does a herb garden in the backyard? I’d be saying where are my vegies and what happened to following the brief?
Not wanting Michelle and Steve to win so will have to go for Carly and Leighton who have done good work throughout.

8 Veronica { 07.01.13 at 10:21 am }

I’ve never voted on a reality show and don’t intend to start now. Besides, I don’t care who wins and think it’s silly to move the scoring goal posts now.
Thought the boys did a great job on the garden last night but still think the best garden was done last week by J&B and was surprised they scored so low last night.
I don’t know why people think M&K live in a really expensive part of Sydney. The northern beaches is not the north shore and their mortgage is really quite modest by Sydney standards.

Thanks to all for the heads up about the vomiting on MC last night. I won’t bother to watch now. What were the producers thinking showing people being sick on a cooking show?

9 2ndhand { 07.01.13 at 10:22 am }

AJ – who is the only team that didn’t buy the house for the show? Will be disappointed if K’elle win – their sob story about grandpa’s chair got to me – if they only bought the house for the show, how did their grandpa get to sit there and admire the view – the way they said it, this was a regular habit of his. And let’s face it, they are no spring chickens – if grandpa was alive last year, am thinking he wouldn’t have done much sitting in the garden!!

Besides, their garden makeover was pretty ordinary, as was most of their work through the other houses. Obviously some nepotism on the part of the producers/judges with this pair. Please don’t let them win.

Loved Jemma & Baz’s house – thought the front yard was brilliant , and even have to admit the boys did a great job out back (except for having to tread over all the plants to get to the veggie garden – but then, I am betting they have never picked a herb or vegetable in their life, or folded linen, or cooked a dinner, or cleaned a house. In fact the only thing they probably understood how to use was the one thing they took away – the bar!!!)

I have loved this show, but let’s face it, it is/was SO very contrived.

10 Andrea { 07.01.13 at 10:28 am }

2ndhand, I think it was the Tassie couple who didn’t buy the house just for the show.

11 2ndhand { 07.01.13 at 10:43 am }

@ Andrea – who, of course, were the first to be eliminated!!

12 brain dead dave { 07.01.13 at 11:16 am }

You can stick your voting cash cow up your quoits , Ch7. Your greed sticks out like a bad muriel.

I reckon it’ll come down to State of Origin and Kel and Michelle will clean up the east coast votes. It’s a stitch up.

13 Bruiser Brody { 07.01.13 at 11:19 am }

Good recap – think you could actually be more specific, in stating Carly is actually Election[the movie]-Reese! Her ridiculous facial contortions are out of control – especially contrasted with that Iceman she’s betrothed to, and his perpetual blank slate face

More appropriate: Michelle = Spongebob Squarepants? :)

Will never understand the arbitrary scoring on these shows – how in the world could they be given 5s/6s after that mountain of work??? – and the fact that “Australia decides” (ie any gullible idiot willing to sponsor a tv show) is the biggest cop-out yet! That being said, I’ve long come to terms with the fact that ALL reality shows are not governed by a World Body Of Fairness – they can do whatever they want – no doubt they’ll likely change it next year…

I think people like this show as it must be the ONLY EVER reality show where EVERYONE’s a winner!! Every contestant walks away with over $100,000 upgrade on their house – who gives a fk you didn’t get your mortgage paid off when you can now sell your former piece of crap and re-invest, for the low low price of fk all!

Former regular MC viewer – have seen 4 mins this year!

14 Suziekue { 07.01.13 at 11:28 am }

And I was so liking this show until last night. Voting sucks, M&K in the grand final sucks. The one thing I particularly liked about the whole show was the relative lack of “backstory” hype, with the exception of M&K, which grated throughout. But last night’s result scares me about M&K being the contrived Ch 7 targeted winners when we all know that Carly & Leighton, on a “job well done” basis, are the most deserving.

15 Veronica { 07.01.13 at 11:42 am }

I don’t think people in the east will vote for M&K because people in Sydney couldn’t give a toss, and people in Mel and Bris won’t vote for them because they’re from Sydney.

16 cuisinaire { 07.01.13 at 11:54 am }

Sorry RR but the doormat at the boys’ home was a Union Jack not an Aussie flag. Points deduction required since Nick and Chris are Aussie of Greek heritage!!! Perhaps M&K thought “near enough’s, good enough”.
And there were vegies in J&B’s garden. Jemma specifically mentioned getting lettuce when they were at the nursery.
Show has gone off the rails. If the GF is about renovating secret rooms, C&L will probably draw yet another short straw in having to transform whatever lurks below M&K’s home. Apart from the “dark” reno at the boys’ home, C&L have probably been the most consistent players with innovation, taste and workmanship.

17 brain dead dave { 07.01.13 at 11:55 am }

Yes, perhaps the people in $ydney couldn’t give a toss , but I noted that last night’s ratings Sydney outnumbered Adelaide’s numbers 2:1 and I expect that to translate into raw votes.

18 Veronica { 07.01.13 at 12:01 pm }

BBD I meant couldn’t give a toss about who wins.

19 Andrea { 07.01.13 at 12:04 pm }

I doubt that many Queenslanders would vote for anyone from NSW.
Its a State of Origin thing.
I’m originally from NSW, now living in QLD, but if I were voting, it would be for C&L, the most deserving imo.

20 brain dead dave { 07.01.13 at 12:11 pm }

Thanks for clarifying, Veronica. Whatever the votes are, Ch7 are under no obligation to reveal them but of course, they’ll be “incredibly close” , “down to the wire” etc. As always.

21 Georgie { 07.01.13 at 12:13 pm }

We can live in hope that people vote for the best contestant, regardless of their state of origin. Like I was rooting for the Warriors over the Broncos in yesterday’s NRL match – NZ before Qld please. 😀

22 Andrea { 07.01.13 at 12:25 pm }

So was my hubbie, Georgie, he was pleased Warriors won!

23 Gabby { 07.01.13 at 12:33 pm }

I think the wole voting system of this show stinks. Why did they have to go and ruin a good show by stuffing it up this way. It is a load of crap to think that the work these people have done the throughout the series counts for zilch. I am so disappointed in the way this show has ended. I bet you any money Mich and Kell will win, have said it all along, that’s why we have been overloaded with their sob story. Ben and Gemma did not deserve to go home, they have worked far too hard compared to M & K. I am really angry. I so hope they don’t win. I am not putting my money where my mouth is though, no way am I wasting my money and voting, channel 7 already know the winner and have done since the beginning, I am sure of that.

24 nanaliz { 07.01.13 at 12:41 pm }

This is a renovating show about the best renovators and should not suddenly become a popularity contest. I especially hate the use of back-story (sob) used by M&K.
BTW voting is free on HR web site. Up to 50 votes per email address. Mmmmm

25 Gabby { 07.01.13 at 12:53 pm }

Thanks for the tip about free voting nanaliz.
It’s the principal though, and as you said it shouldn’t boil down to a popularity contest. It should be about the most consistent and best builder and stylist throughout the series. They have just turned it all on it’s head. I am not very fussed on the female judge anyway and I don’t think she should have known who had done the different zones she was judging, right through the show. Should have been a blind judging.

26 CAM { 07.01.13 at 1:08 pm }

I have loved this show, however, I agree with those who say that next year some tweaks need to be made. Obviously the garden thing will probably be stretched out next year to extend the series and keep the $$$ rolling in. I think the couples should get a vote on their gardens, I think it sucks they didn’t get one this time round.

I’m also filthy that the scoreboard kept getting wiped…Reese and Leighton are the OBVIOUS winners in my book and I’m furious they are up against Kel and Michelle who have struggled the entire way through. I loathe their backstory…no one FORCED them to invest all their money in that scheme, it’s not a sob story in my book. A sob story would be in they lost all their money through ZERO fault of their own…there is always risk involved with property investment, they took a risk and it failed. Wah, wah, I don’t give a stuff.

I do love that every contestant walked away with a fabulous prize, it’s got to be one of the biggest prize pools ever doesn’t it? I wonder how much this show cost Channel 7?

I also thought Michelle’s excessive kissing of the tradies was gross. Ewwww.

C & L for the win, for me. Ever since they went on couples camp whilst their home was reno’ed they have been so much more likeable and their work has been fabulous.

Annajjj your recaps have also been FABULOUS :) I hope you’ll be back to do them again next season, you have made this show for me!

27 Andrea { 07.01.13 at 1:14 pm }

Thanks Nanaliz, I will get straight on there if its free and vote for C&L.
Agree Gabby, blind judging by “the experts” would have been a good idea.

28 Reality Raver { 07.01.13 at 2:31 pm }

I agree with everyone here as well that the voting for the winner is not the best way to end the show. It should be on the best renovator not the team that connected best with the general public. Considering Michelle and Steve’s mortgage is over $600,000, SEVEN must be praying for a SA victory

29 Nib { 07.01.13 at 3:03 pm }

Annajjj’s recaps have actually made the show for me! I wasn’t going to watch it until my beautiful clever darling daughter started writing them. Well done sweetheart
Love the proud Mum XXX

30 Gabby { 07.01.13 at 4:47 pm }

Nib, you should be proud, she has done an excellent job for all of us HR fans. Thank you annajjj.

31 Georgie { 07.01.13 at 5:05 pm }

Well done indeed annajjj and well done Nib for having such a beautiful clever daughter.

32 nanaliz { 07.01.13 at 5:28 pm }

Yes Nib, annajjj has made HR so much more enjoyable. I have look forward to her recap after every show. Well done and thank you annajjj and congrats proud Mum, Nib.

33 annajjj { 07.01.13 at 7:18 pm }

Thanks everyone (and Mum!), looking forward to tonight. Even though I’ve gone off Michelle and Kel in the last few nights I think all the contestants have done a great job (and reaped great rewards).

34 Tuppence { 07.01.13 at 7:43 pm }

I swear if I hear that fucking sob story again, I will screammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

35 Techhater { 07.01.13 at 7:48 pm }

Annajjj thankyou for making this series very enjoyable with your great recaps.

RR thankyou for giving Annajjj the opportunity to entertain us and hope to see more of her in the future.

Looks like we’re in for quite a controversial grand final.

36 Gabby { 07.01.13 at 8:31 pm }

Haha tuppence you go girl. I am so over this show, it’s such a shame.

37 Georgie { 07.01.13 at 8:56 pm }

Far out how long can they drag out this announcement? Just say it will you ffs!

38 Techhater { 07.01.13 at 9:01 pm }

Georgie I agree. Half an hour of reno and over an hour of utter crap.

Pleeeeeeeeease got on with it.

39 Andrea { 07.01.13 at 9:08 pm }

Congratulations Carly and Leighton! Well done!

40 daisy { 07.01.13 at 9:17 pm }

Annajjjjj, what a lovely mum you have. You are very fortunate.

41 Jaycee47 { 07.01.13 at 9:18 pm }

Congrats to Carly and Leighton! Was soooo happy you guys won! You really deserved it. Can hear the party from here!

42 Gabby { 07.01.13 at 9:39 pm }

Congratulations to the wi miners, the best team won, thank bloody goodness for that. Sorry channel 7 for saying it was rigged. For once the public spoke and saw through the bullshit. I’m so happy for L and C. I think the other teams were really happy that they won, they were all really excited, I think they might have placed a few sneaky votes.

43 Tuppence { 07.01.13 at 9:48 pm }

Yeah, the best team won. I think that all the sob stories were a smoke screen perhaps to throw us “off the trail”, so to speak, so in the end we were all sick of them. Reverse psychology perhaps! Maybe Ch 7 knew who they wanted to win. Anyway, glad with the end result.