Bigger may be better but, as Harry and Tash have discovered, that doesn’t mean it’s easier.
After days of umming and ahhing, the father and daughter duo became the first contestants to use their Hipages lever, which gave them access to a small army of tradespeople, free of charge.
Contestants usually hold off using this lifeline until much later in the competition, when energy and cash is in short supply.
But, faced with the prospect of renovating a master bedroom that was almost double the size of their competition, in a week cut short by a public holiday, Harry and Tash bit the bullet and called in the troops.
A good thing, too, as the pair felt this huge room was their biggest chance to create a showstopping space that could finally knock Jimmy and Tam off the top of the leaderboard.
“There is no way we could finish with the $19,000 budget we have with the time that we have, with the size of room we have,” Tash explained of their decision to pull the lever.
The only concern was whether they might have left their run too late. And that was thanks largely to foreman Dan, who spent most of the previous days talking Harry out of getting the extra help.
Having tired of trying to talk him out of trying to get back on track without the Hipages lever, Dan instead turned his attention to niggling the poor man about how far behind he was with his epic renovation project.
“With Harry we still have to hold his hand and babysit him because he’s still a bit lost,” Dan moaned before detailing, yet again, how Harry took too long to make decisions or get work done.
Amid all the hard slog, the exhausted teams were called off site to take part in one of the naff games presided over by hosts Scott Cam and Shelley Craft.
Scotty was in his element with this particular game as the sound engineering team had given him access to a fart sound effect, so beloved of schoolboys, which he played with increasing hysteria every time an unsuspecting real estate agent launched into his spiel about the Brighton property market.
Luckily, agents are fellows with sizeable enough egos not to let a little thing like a gassing gag distract them from delivering their pitch.
The aim of this, “Guess how much the property is worth?” quiz was to decide which real estate agent each team would use for their auctions. There was also a gnome up for grabs, which gave the winning team $5000 in cash and a bonus point to add to the judges’ scores. And the gnome was won by — you guessed it — serial success stories Jimmy and Tam~ Watching the Queenslanders pocket yet another prize left the still empty-handed remaining teams more than a little disgruntled.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who was the most fed-up of all? That would be Jasmin, whose foul mood following yet another loss to Jimmy and Tam was compounded by having to shell out for a dressing room mirror.
Why, she moaned, did she have to pay when the wardrobe supplier Kinsman had supplied them free of charge to the other teams?
Shelley poured more fuel on the Jasmin fury fire when she and Scotty popped in to give them a pep talk and pointed out that their walk-in wardrobe didn’t look very luxe without doors.
The mother-of-two was left in tears, ranting that Kinsman had talked her into cheap-looking white wardrobes and then refused to give her a mirror.
However, Scott wasn’t going to let a much loved (and lucrative) show sponsor have their reputation trashed on air.
He confronted a defeated Jasmin with footage of her consultation with the wardrobe designer which showed that she was behind the poor design choices she was now complaining bitterly to all and sundry about.
And she could have had a mirror, too, had she not told the Kinsman rep she was “too busy” to talk to them when they were giving a limited number away to contestants. Whoops.
Scott decided to stir the pot with other contestants too, pointing out to Jade and Daniel that if Jimmy and Tam kept winning, they would have such a giant pool of prizemoney that they would become unbeatable.
Fellow host Shelley pointed the finger of blame back at Scott. It was his turn for some criticism.
“You’ve created this,” Shelley said of Jimmy and Tam’s winning streak.
“By handing out the same budget every week it now means no-one can splurge on a room except the people who’ve won money.”
That wasn’t the worst of Jade and Daniel’s problems. A visit from their agent revealed a major (phallic) flaw in their kitchen floor plans.
“That looks like a penis to me,” the bewildered agent said of Jade and Daniel’s unusual long and bulbous kitchen bench design.
He added that their amended lay-out would make the property difficult to sell because people don’t want kitchen benches that double as a dining room. He urged the couple to abandon the changes they had made to the architect’s original plans ASAP.
Unfortunately, all the couples had to lock in their kitchen designs way back in week one, so it was a race against time to cook up a better plan for the room.
A quick call to Kinsman (yes, yet another plug for these cupboard manufacturers) and some time spent with a tape measure, meant the couple could reconfigure the cupboards, appliances and that trouser-snake-shaped bench into the original location, giving them far more living space.
So, fingers crossed that listening to their agent will be winner, winner, chicken dinner come kitchen week.
And that X-rated bench? It has survived, in a slightly more discreet position.
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