Handyman Superstar Challenge

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Handyman Superstar Challenge
Format Game show
Presented by Karen Bertelsen
Narrated by Karen Bertelsen
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 21
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel HGTV Canada
Original run 2006 – 2010
Chronology
Related shows Designer Superstar Challenge
Superstar Chef Challenge
Superstar Hair Challenge
External links
Website

Handyman Superstar Challenge (also referred to as Superstar Handyman Challenge from the show's first season logo) is a television game show on HGTV Canada, hosted by Karen Bertelsen. The show seeks to find the best handyman in Canada, with the winner originally being awarded the opportunity to host a show on HGTV in the first season, though no prize is explicitly mentioned in subsequent years. However, the winner of Handyman Superstar Challenge is traditionally given a guest appearance in a Mike Holmes television series (Holmes on Homes or Holmes Inspection; Holmes in New Orleans did not feature any Handyman Superstar Challenge contestants).[1][2]

Handyman Superstar Challenge was filmed at the Evergreen Brick Works facilities in Toronto, Ontario, with episodes taking place on consecutive days.

A US spin-off of the series was created in 2010, to air on HGTV (USA), called All American Handyman.[3] "Handyman Superstar Challenge" was replaced by a successor series on HGTV Canada called Canada's Handyman Challenge.

Format[edit]

10 contestants qualify for the competition through submissions to the HGTV website. Since the third season, 20 contestants arrive to Toronto for a qualifying challenge for 10 open competition spots.

At the start of each day, the contestants are taken from their hotel rooms at dawn and taken to the site of the challenges. In the first season, there was only one challenge (due to the episodes being 30 minutes instead of the 60 minutes of the later seasons, to match those of its sister shows). In the second season, there were two challenges per day: a "handyman" challenge showcasing the contestants' skills in the morning, and a "superstar" challenge showcasing the contestants' presentation ability in the afternoon. Mike Holmes, Jim Caruk, and HGTV casting agent Shasta Lutz are the judges for the first two seasons.

Since the third season, starting with the second day of competition (the first day for the qualifying challenge and the "Lion's Den challenge" where head judges Mike Holmes and Jim Caruk evaluate the contestants' basic skills), there is a compulsory challenge in the morning, for which there is a guest judge presiding (neither Mike and Jim are present at the morning challenge). The guest judge may offer advice to contestants on their project. When the challenge ends, Mike and Jim arrive to give a preliminary evaluation with the guest judge (this is a blind evaluation; Mike and Jim do not know which contestant is associated with which project, though after a few days they invariably guess correctly). After the contestants return and defend their works in front of the judges, and a second evaluation determines which of the remaining contestants will not have to partake in the evening "redemption challenge" (and are safe from being eliminated). Normally, three contestants partake in the redemption challenge, except for the one pairs challenge each year, where two teams (four contestants) partake in the redemption challenge (which is an individual affair). The redemption challenge is often related to the main challenge, and both Mike and Jim (but not the guest judge) preside over the challenge.

The worst performer, as deemed by the judges, is eliminated from competition (two in the episode with the pairs challenge).

Eliminations continue until three contestants remain, from which one of the three would be named the Handyman Superstar after a final head-to-head challenge.

Synopsis[edit]

Season 1[edit]

The ten finalists, as chosen by the judges, for the first season are the following:

Name Hometown 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Jordan MacNab Coquitlam, British Columbia IN IN IN IN IN IN WIN
Ted Andersen Welland, Ontario IN IN IN IN IN IN LOSE
Glen Horwood Courtice, Ontario IN IN IN IN IN IN LOSE
William Lush Upper Gullies, Newfoundland and Labrador IN IN IN IN IN OUT
Ian MacRae Burlington, Ontario IN IN IN IN OUT
Richard Zwic Toronto, Ontario IN IN IN OUT
Randy Jones Vancouver, British Columbia IN IN OUT
Paul Stary Niagara Falls, Ontario IN IN OUT
Ilka Riemann Vancouver, British Columbia IN OUT
Ivan Gojmerac Welland, Ontario OUT
Episode Title Challenge Eliminated
1 The Pitch Each contestant must pitch an idea for an HGTV show to the judges, with the contestant having the worst pitch eliminated. Ivan [4]
2 Stick Around Each contestant has two hours to build and two minutes to present a piece of furniture or a decorative item fashioned from hockey sticks, with the contestant giving the worst combined effort being eliminated. Ilka [5]
3 Finishing School The eight remaining contestants are split into four teams of two, with each team having to finish a mock room in three hours. Aspects tested include tilework, drywalling, floorboard laying, and wainscotting. The worst team is eliminated. Paul and Randy [6]
4 Meet the Client Each contestant must give an estimate of the costs of a homeowner's basement renovation. The contestant giving the worst estimate, according to the homeowner, is eliminated. Richard [7]
5 Know it or Blow It Each contestant must complete three challenges with twenty minutes for each challenge: shingling a doghouse, hanging a door, and installing a toilet. Each contestant is also subject to a 20-question quiz by the judges on their contractor skills. The contestant with the worst overall performance is eliminated. Ian [8]
6 Show Time Each of the four remaining contestants, after being given acting lessons and a makeover, are to deliver a script, which are then evaluated by an HGTV focus group. The contestant with the worst performance according to both the group and the judges are eliminated. William [9]
7 All Hands on Deck The three remaining contestants are given eight hours to build a deck. Each contestant is given ample materials and tools, as well as a budget for obtaining additional materials, as well as a team of carpenters, led by a "celebrity carpenter" (either Neil Davies from Real Renos, Shawn Morren from Holmes on Homes, or Jay Purvis from Kitchen Equipped). The contestant with the best deck is named the Handyman Superstar Glen and Ted [10]

Season 2[edit]

Although the format remains the same for Season 2, various minor changes have been made to match the format of the fourth season of Designer Superstar Challenge, including having the challenges take place on consecutive days, requiring the contestants to live together in a luxury loft, and the initial "three rooms" challenge. The second season also further separated the skill-based "Handyman" challenges (which themselves de-emphasized the need for skills more suited for professional contractors, such as home renovation estimates) and the presentation-based "Superstar" challenges. The look-and-feel is also altered to match the fourth season of Designer, which is also consistent with the third season of Chef and the first season of Hair.

The ten finalists for the second season are as follows:

Name Hometown Finish
Brian Bailey Caledon, Ontario 7th
Christina Hillborne Golden, British Columbia 2nd
Kevin Howe Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia Winner
Brian "Lex" Leuthel Aurora, Ontario 6th
Richard McLellan Delta, British Columbia 9th
David O'Rourke St. Catharines, Ontario 2nd
Christian Pack Hamilton, Ontario 4th
Mahendra Henri Persaud New Westminster, British Columbia 10th
Anastasia Vaskova Burlington, Ontario 7th
Tony Vieira Richmond Hill, Ontario 5th
Episode Title Description Eliminated
1 Three Rooms The contestants must face three different challenges, one from each judge. In Shasta's challenge, the contestants must deliver a pitch for a TV show and describe a randomly chosen tool. In Mike's challenge, the contestants are asked to answer seven questions on handyman skills, and also to identify seven problems with a deck (built specifically for this challenge). In Jim's challenge, the contestants must cut a square and a circle from a piece of plywood so that it fits over a square and circle template. The one with the worst overall performance is eliminated. Henri [11]
2 Re-Claim to Fame In the "Handyman" portion, the contestants have three hours to take wood from discarded furniture and create something new. In the "Superstar" portion, the contestants must conduct a 3-minute interview with Steve Kelley and Jim Kelley from Junk Brothers in a television segment titled Reclaim to Fame. The contestant with the worst overall performance is eliminated. Richard [12]
3 Sink or Swim The contestants have two hours to build a floating dock out of wood, beach balls, pool noodles, barrels, and milk jugs, with a partner. The two contestants with the worst effort (not necessarily on the same team) are eliminated. Anastasia and Brian [13]
4 Know it or Blow it In the "Handyman" portion, the remaining contestants must complete three challenges with thirty minutes per challenge: tiling, plumbing, and repairing a screen door. The "Superstar" portion has the contestants preparing and delivering a one-minute Streeter-style rant on a topic of their choosing. The contestant with the worst overall performance is eliminated. Lex [14]
5 Doors, Walls, and Windows In the "Handyman" portion, the contestants have three hours to frame a wall, including installing a door, a window, drywall, trim, and plaster. In the "Superstar" portion, the contestants must host a segment where they answer "viewer mail". The contestant with the worst installation and the worst presentation is eliminated. Tony [15]
6 Good on Paper In the "Handyman" portion, the contestants have three hours to purchase lumber and build a piece of furniture given only a diagram (which may be slightly inaccurate or missing in details). In the "Superstar" portion, the contestants must make a seven-minute presentation on seven different kinds of wood. The worst contestant in both portions is eliminated. In addition, the three remaining contestants are informed of their final challenge. Christian [16]
7 It's an Elevating Finish In the final challenge, the remaining contestants team up with three contractors to build an outdoor living space. At the end, one is named the Handyman Superstar. David and Christina [17]

Season 3[edit]

In the third season, 20 contestants are invited instead of ten, although in the first challenge, where contestants have 90 minutes to create a work out of two sheets of plywood, the field is reduced down to ten. Only the ten people advancing from this challenge are considered to be the finalists. Shasta Lutz is not returning in this season, leaving only Mike Holmes and Jim Caruk as judges. However, in every episode (except the first and last) there will be a guest judge joining them. Instead of a presentation-oriented challenge, the bottom finishers from the main challenge will compete in a "play-in" elimination challenge later that day.

Name Hometown 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Elimination Notes
Dave Chalupa Burlington, Ontario IN BYE IN BYE BYE BYE IN Dave was paired with Adam and Kate. His shed, a poolside change room, had only one major criticism: an overly steep roof. However, he did lead efficiently, doing most of the hard work (such as building the roof pieces and shingling the roof) himself.
Ian Crosby Calgary, Alberta IN BYE IN IN IN IN OUT Ian was paired with Carl and Pinky. Ian's shed was crooked, but had a unique roof structure that redeemed it somewhat. His roof shingling was also questionable.
Mike Golder Victoria, British Columbia IN IN BYE BYE BYE IN OUT Mike was paired with Mike Jr. and Damon. Mike, who had never built a shed (and relied on a book Ian had brought with him for design advice), nevertheless built a shed whose key feature were the unique trusses in the roof. However, his floor was not glued down, and his shed was not finished quite as well as Dave's shed.
Mike Thomas Toronto, Ontario IN BYE BYE IN IN OUT Mike's fence was the worst, being bowed and likely to collapse with any strong wind. His wheelbarrow, made from Gill's popcorn cart, a qualifier's Handyman Superstar Challenge plywood poster, Joel's folding table, and one of Brad's set pieces for the wheels, was considered too large and unwieldy (being able to hit the wheelbarrow's legs while moving it around).
Joel Isaac Port Rowan, Ontario IN BYE BYE BYE OUT Joel had problems getting his folding table to fold, but the clincher was the fact that he had made a critical mistake on the toolbox that rendered it unusable.
Brad Lovell Port Coquitlam, British Columbia IN BYE BYE OUT Brad simply struggled in the obstacle course, failing all three challenges. His crown moulding did not go any better, conceding defeat based on the fact that the Mike and Ian finished while he did not (due to many missed cuts).
Gill Carvalho Mississauga, Ontario IN BYE OUT Gill, paired with Valerie, built a pier instead of a bridge, and had made more errors than the other three in the stairs.
Valerie Tymoshuk Caledon, Ontario IN IN OUT Valerie, paried with Gill, built a pier instead of a bridge, and the fatigue from the morning challenge caused her to make a critical error when one of her stair heights was too high.
Jason Kim Calgary, Alberta IN OUT Jason's crib in the morning challenge was considered unsafe for children, and although his kitchen cart in the second challenge was better, his past performance figured into his elimination.
Jacques Perreault Niagara Falls, Ontario OUT Jacques' did not make a single cut during Jim's challenge, and struggled in all aspects of Mike's challenge.
  • BYE - Contestant advanced without competing in the evening challenge.
  • IN - Contestant competed in the evening challenge, and managed to advanced
  • OUT - Contestant has been eliminated
Episode Challenges Eliminated
1 After the qualifying challenge, which saw 20 contestants compete for 10 finalist spots by creating works from two pieces of plywood in 90 minutes, the contestants must take on Jim's "cookie-cutter" challenge, where contestants must cut an oval and hexagon out of a piece of plywood and fit it onto an existing block, as well as Mike's skills challenge, where they are quizzed on general handyman skills, fairly obscure tools, and spotting errors in a poorly-framed exterior wall. Jacques [18]
2 The second episode brings the traditional trash-to-treasure challenge, where the contestants have to recycle old furniture to make their creations. The bottom three contestants will have to build something out of three drawers in one hour, with the requirement being that it cannot be a dresser and all three drawers must remain intact. Shell Busey, home improvement expert and founder of the HouseSmart building referral network, will be a guest judge in this episode. Jason [19]
3 In the traditional pairs challenge (where two are eliminated), the teams of two handymen must build a bridge. The bottom two teams must build, as individuals, a set of stairs in one hour. Cheryl Gillespie, interior designer and canoe.ca contributor, will be a guest judge in this episode. Gill and Valerie [20]
4 The obstacle course challenge, where three challenges (this year, it is drywall repair, plumbing, and installing a fluorescent light), is featured in this episode. The bottom three contestants must install crown moulding on a wall with odd angles, with limited amounts of moulding available. Rob Koci, editor of Canadian Contractor Magazine, will be a guest judge in this episode. Brad [21]
5 The remaining contestants must build an item based on a drawing. The elimination challenge this time is to build a sawhorse and a toolchest based on prefab designs. Douglas Thompson, editor of Canadian Home Workshop Magazine, will be this episode's guest judge. Joel [22]
6 In the new penultimate challenge, the contestants must build a fence. One will advance to the final three, while the other three must construct a wheelbarrow using the materials used in previous challenges (namely, the qualifying challenge, the trash-to-treasure challenges, the bridge challenge, and the challenges from the previous day) as parts. Frank Cohn, a personality on CFRB Radio, will be the guest judge. Mike T [23]
7 The three remaining contestants, each with two members of the Holmes Crew (either Damon Benett and Mike Holmes, Jr., Carl Pavlovic and Corin Ames, or Kate Campbell and Adam Belanger), have eight hours to build their own shed. The members of the Holmes Crew will not be permitted to correct the contestant's errors in design or construction. Ian and Mike G [24]

Season 4[edit]

Season 4 continues the same format as the third season. In one change, each of the contestants has a space on the "Handyman Superstar Locker" for their toolbelts; contestants take down their toolbelts as they are eliminated. In the center of the locker is the Handyman Superstar Belt with both Mike's and Jim's autographs, which is given to the winner at the end of the competition.

Contestant Hometown 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Notes
Jason Best Brampton, Ontario IN BYE BYE BYE IN BYE WIN Jason's space was meant to be spacious, and was meant for the rear of the backyard. Jason's win was largely due to his communication skills throughout the whole competition.
Conor Speiran Richmond, British Columbia IN IN IN IN BYE IN LOSE Conor's two-piece space (which was planned with three pieces) involved a deck attached to a house and a deck on the far side of the backyard.
Jesse St. Germain Ingleside, Ontario IN BYE BYE BYE BYE IN LOSE Jesse's final space was originally envisioned as a two-level deck for a small backyard, but was cut down to one. He relied on a simplistic design, using planters to create an octagon-shaped space from a square deck.
Steve Mayne Cambridge, Ontario IN BYE BYE IN IN OUT The stair building was a dead heat, so the judges based their decision based on the fences alone. Steve's fence, though having an innovative siding effect, had a weak gate, and the siding effect was an eyesore to the opposite side of the fence.
Corey Petrovsky St. Catharines, Ontario IN BYE IN BYE OUT Corey's window (having broken all of the glass) and door (which fell apart) were both writeoffs (though his floor was one of the better ones), and, combined with the overall poor showing by everyone in the bricklaying, led to his elimination.
Cathy Dalrymple Invermere, British Columbia IN BYE BYE OUT Despite being a furniture builder, Cathy rushed through her drawing (an Adirondack chair with footstool) and had managed to only build the chair, which the judges deem unusable, in the two hours. As for the sawhorse, she had rushed herself into completion and made more mistakes as a result, despite Conor's bench being incomplete.
Carmine Manna Calgary, Alberta IN BYE OUT Carmine was paired with Paul for the bunk beds. The beds were poorly received due to a wobbly structure. Though an experienced roofer, he had trouble with the roof, aligning his shingle tabs slightly off-centre.
Paul Verge Lake Echo, Nova Scotia IN IN OUT Paul was paired with Carmine for the bunk beds. Having never roofed before, and given the handicap due to having harder-to-use shingles, he nevertheless conceded defeat after the elimination challenge.
Darrell Stockly Sarnia, Ontario IN OUT Darrel's "Flintstone chair" (a day-bed) made from three skids did not impress the judges, and an oversized cross tie on his small table was considered to be an eyesore.
Chalo Barruetta Scarborough, Ontario OUT Chalo struggled in both Mike and Jim's challenges, faring arguably the worst in both.
Episode Title Airdate Challenges Eliminated
1 The Lion's Den July 2, 2009 Qualifying Challenge: The season begins with the qualifying challenges, where 20 qualifiers compete to see who will fill up the ten contestant spaces.

The Lion's Den: The ten contestants must endure separate judges from Mike and Jim. For Jim, it's the traditional template challenge, where contestants must cut a crescent moon and a square from a piece of plywood. For Mike, contestants must answer 15 handyman questions and identify 12 errors in a kitchen setup.

Chalo [25]
2 Reclaim to Fame July 9, 2009 Reclaim to Fame: The handymen have two hours to build anything they wish from a pile of recycled wood. The guest judge for this challenge is Brian Richer, a master restoration specialist with his own Toronto-area design firm, "Castor", and his own restaurant, "Oddfellows".

The Redemption: In the elimination challenge, the handymen have one hour to build a table from seven chairs.

Darrell [26]
3 To the Top July 16, 2009 Bunk Beds: The traditional pairs challenge this year is to build a bunk bed. The pairings for this challenge are determined by the judges, instead of at random in years prior. The guest judge for this challenge is Cheryl Gillespie, making her second guest judge appearance in this series.

Roofing: In the elimination challenge, the handymen have 45 minutes to roof a small peak. Partway through the challenge, it is discovered that Paul was given a different set of shingles than the other three (which were harder to work with), so for the challenge only two sides had to be done.

Paul
Carmine
[27]
4 Good on Paper July 23, 2009 The Line Drawing: The traditional challenge of reproducing a piece of furniture from a line drawing in two hours. Douglas Thompson returns as the guest judge for this challenge.

The Sawhorse: In the elimination challenge, the handymen have one hour to build a sawhorse given very detailed plans.

Cathy [28]
5 Obstacle Course July 30, 2009 The Obstacle Course: The annual challenge has contestants fix a broken window on a door, install a new door, and fix a hardwood floor, with 90 minutes per task. The guest judge for this challenge is Rob Koci, who was the guest judge for the same challenge in the past season.

The Brick Column: Contestants have 30 minutes to build a column of bricks.

Corey [29]
6 Fenced In August 6, 2009 The Fence: The contestants have two hours to build two fence sections and a gate. Shell Busey is the guest judge for this challenge.

Stairs to the Final: The contestants have one hour to build a set of stairs.

Steve [30]
7 Outdoor Living August 13, 2009 The Final Challenge: The contestants, given only a set of furniture, must design and build an outdoor living space. They are given the use of two assistants (one member from each of Mike's and Jim's regular construction crews) and six hours to finish the task. Conor
Jesse
[31]

Season 5[edit]

2010[edit]

Main article: All American Handyman

A spin-off series replaced "Handyman Superstar Challenge" on the HGTV schedule, based on it, but with a greatly compressed format.

2011[edit]

Main article: All American Handyman

The US series again replaced the Canadian series in its season slot of new shows.

2012[edit]

The series was replaced by Canada's Handyman Challenge, with a revamped format, with similar challenges, but broader competition draw, in 2012.[32]

2013[edit]

The series was replaced again by its spin-off for 2013.[33]

2014[edit]

The series was replaced again by its spin-off for 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ HGTV Canada, Handyman Superstar Challenge (accessed 02-02-12)
  2. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge (accessed 02-02-12)
  3. ^ "All American Handyman" season 02 episode 01; credits
  4. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 01 episode 01
  5. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 01 episode 02
  6. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 01 episode 03
  7. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 01 episode 04
  8. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 01 episode 05
  9. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 01 episode 06
  10. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 01 episode 07
  11. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 02 episode 01
  12. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 02 episode 02
  13. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 02 episode 03
  14. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 02 episode 04
  15. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 02 episode 05
  16. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 02 episode 06
  17. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 02 episode 07
  18. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 03 episode 01
  19. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 03 episode 02
  20. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 03 episode 03
  21. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 03 episode 04
  22. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 03 episode 05
  23. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 03 episode 06
  24. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 03 episode 07
  25. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 04 episode 01
  26. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 04 episode 02
  27. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 04 episode 03
  28. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 04 episode 04
  29. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 04 episode 05
  30. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 04 episode 06
  31. ^ Handyman Superstar Challenge, season 04 episode 07
  32. ^ Canada's Handyman Challenge (accessed 12-02-02)
  33. ^ Canada's Handyman Challenge casting call (accessed 12-08-29)

External links[edit]

See also[edit]