Canada's Worst Handyman
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|Canada's Worst Handyman|
|Developed by||Proper Television|
|Written by||Andrew Younghusband|
|Presented by||Andrew Younghusband|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||45|
|Executive producer(s)||Guy O'Sullivan|
|Running time||60 minutes (including commercials)|
|Original network||Discovery Channel Canada|
|Original release||March 13, 2006 – June 13, 2011|
Canada's Worst Driver|
Blood, Sweat & Tools
Canada's Worst Handyman was a Canadian television series broadcast on Discovery Channel. The show was produced by Proper Television, and shared its production with Canada's Worst Driver, including executive producer Guy O'Sullivan and host Andrew Younghusband. The series was based on a one-off 2004 episode of the Britain's Worst series, titled Britain's Worst DIYer. Like sister series Canada's Worst Driver, there have been similar adaptations in other English-speaking countries, in the US in 2011, with America's 10 Worst DIYers, in Britain with a Britain's Worst 2005 spin-off series, Britain's Worst DIYer. Six seasons of the show have been completed.
On January 10, 2013, the series' Facebook page posted a statement that the show is "on hiatus with an unknown date for relaunch."  In June 2014, Discovery Channel Canada started canvassing for couples at www.badhandyman.ca. The new version of the show airs in Spring 2015, under the title Blood, Sweat & Tools, featuring couples instead of individual handymen.
In each season, five contestants and their nominators arrive at the Handyman Rehabilitation Centre, where they partake in a three-week (16 filming days over 18 days) renovation project there, consisting of challenges that are designed to improve the contestants' handyman skills. Each contestant and nominator pair are assigned colour-coded workplaces, and otherwise work separately on their respective projects. Prior to entering the Handyman Rehabilitation Centre, each contestant performs a challenge in their own home, to be aired in the first episode; this is colloquially referred to as the "home challenge".
Since the second season, each challenge is judged on a pass/fail system, based on whether challenges are completed within the allotted time limit (typically two to three times the time needed for a professional to perform the challenge). Nominators are expected to assist their nominees (though, as of season 5, they are unable to directly offer suggestions as to the proper course of actions, so as to not take charge of the challenge themselves), and contestants may freely help each other upon the completion of their challenges. Contestants may also revisit a previous challenge on their own time if they had failed the challenge or was otherwise incomplete.
Each episode also contains a group challenge, where the five contestants, typically without their nominators, must perform a challenge together. Starting with the second group challenge, one contestant is deemed the foreman and is given the task of leading the other four. The foreman concept was instituted starting with the second group challenge in the first season as a reaction to how bad the contestants had worked together for the first group challenge, and it has stayed with the series since.
At the end of each episode, two judges and host Andrew Younghusband inspect the contestants' worksites, and after each contestant is interviewed, deliberate on which contestant had improved the most and which contestant was named the worst. The contestant named the most improved is given the "golden hard hat" (a tool belt was given in the first two seasons), and is rewarded with the privilege of leading the next group challenge. The contestant named the worst (who may also be the most improved contestant) must "hang their head in shame" and nail their portrait to a "wall of shame", and is treated to a private "homework challenge" with Andrew. The experts reserve the right to not name the most improved handyman or to name more than one contestant as the worst, though the former has never occurred and the latter only once. On rare occasions nominators may also be awarded the most improved or the worst for helping or hindering their nominees. On one occasion, the contestant and their nominator pair was collectively the most improved and worst.
Throughout the entire process the experts teach the contestants the various skills they may need in order to perform the challenge in classroom sessions. Starting in the third season, the experts also perform each and every challenge themselves before the contestants are given the challenges, partly as a demonstration to the contestants and partly to show that the tasks can be done correctly and within the time limit. During the challenge the experts observe each contestant from the show's production facilities, or in later seasons, the "expert's room". The experts may also intervene in the event of a gross safety violation or other serious incident, or if a contestant is otherwise unprepared for the challenge (such as prerequisite challenges not being close to completion).
The final episode of each season differs in many details, but is centred on a list of tasks that all contestants must finish. For the first season, this was the "handyman final exam", where contestants must work together to fully renovate an apartment in an extended group challenge. For the second season, the list was used in a group challenge where the contestants and nominators as a whole must finish every shed, with the final challenge being moving their sheds out of their workshop, while in subsequent seasons each contestant is given their own lists for the tasks that they must finish in their workspaces so as to make their rooms presentable for a series of clients; furthermore, the list must be completed in the order stated therein, typically corresponding to the order in which the challenges were originally presented. The contestant with the worst finished product, as determined by the clients, experts, and Andrew, is named Canada's Worst Handyman.
In the first three seasons, the contestants were given the tools and materials needed for each challenge, with most tools being of the DeWalt brand. Canadian Tire became the series' primary sponsor for seasons 4-5, and one of the first challenges in those years was to shop for all the required tools and materials from the local Canadian Tire store; as a consequence, Mastercraft products are prominently featured. Canadian Tire withdrew their sponsorship as of season 6, and as such the shopping challenge was eliminated and contestants' tools returning to being from multiple different brands.
The show has not given any indication as to whether the contestants are given the tools as a keepsake or whether the tools are returned to the show's production staff following each season.
Furnishings for the rooms in the first three seasons included decor from IKEA.
The contestants are chosen by nominations submitted to Proper Television. Canada's Worst Driver and Canada's Worst Handyman are filmed alternately, with one season of Driver followed by one season of Handyman. Currently, Driver is filmed during the summer and Handyman in winter. Nominations for the next season of one are accepted shortly before the airing of a season of the other on Discovery Channel. Candidates may be nominated by multiple nominators, though only one nominator accompanies the contestant to the Handyman Rehabilitation Centre.
Home video/Internet availability
Just like its sister show, Canada's Worst Driver, all six seasons are available for download from iTunes Canada in Standard Definition (480i/p) Anamorphic widescreen, with Seasons 5 and 6 also being available for streaming on Discovery Channel Canada's website. There is currently no known plans for a DVD/Blu-ray release of any of the seasons. Seasons two through six are available to CraveTV subscribers. Seasons three and four are available in some countries such as the UK and Sweden through the streaming service Netflix.
- Canada's Worst Handyman (2006) took place in an abandoned apartment complex in the Regent Park neighbourhood in Toronto. Contestants must fully renovate a one-bedroom apartment, with group challenges being various yardwork tasks. Keith Cole was named Canada's Worst Handyman for his lack of focus. This is the only season of Canada's Worst Handyman to be filmed in the summer.
- Canada's Worst Handyman 2 (2007) took place in a warehouse just east of downtown Toronto. Contestants must build an eco-shed (a shed built with sustainability in mind), which was auctioned off sight-unseen to bidders on eBay with proceeds being donated to Habitat for Humanity Canada; a sixth bidder also won a shed built by the experts. Group challenges being assorted outdoor creature comforts. Terry Cress was named Canada's Worst Handyman due to his poor attitude and work ethic, demonstrated when he tore apart his eco-shed with a chainsaw order to remove the shed from the warehouse. The series was the first in which a contestant's nominator was replaced partway through the series, when Terry's nominator Harvey Houle had to be hospitalized due to persistent back pain; Terry's wife Angie served as his nominator for the rest of the series.
- Canada's Worst Handyman 3 (2008) took place in an old mansion on Hamilton, Ontario. Contestants must fully rebuild a room on the ground floor of a house to make it suitable for a bed and breakfast. Group challenges centered on renovating the common area into the kitchen for the bed and breakfast. Joe "The Bullet" Barbaro was named Canada's Worst Handyman for his poor design and workmanship in his room, and for his perceived lack of progress.
- Canada's Worst Handyman 4 (2009) took place at the Pow Wow Point Lodge in Huntsville, Ontario. Contestants must rebuild a room in the lodge to make it suitable for a children's retreat. Group challenges centered on building the parts needed for an ice fishing hut; the hut itself was assembled in the last group challenge. Johnnie Bachusky was named Canada's Worst Handyman for his slow progress. The series was also the first in which one contestant, Brian Pugh, was removed for behaviour reasons (it was implied that he threatened another contestant); no verdict was given in that episode, and the series continued with four contestants.
- Canada's Worst Handyman 5 (2010) took place in the Delta Upsilon fraternity house located near the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Contestants must renovate individual rooms therein. Group challenges centered on renovating the frat house's kitchen. This is the first season in which a nominator, Matt Hanley, was named as the worst in an episode. A photo of actor Alan Thicke, who used to live in that very house, regularly appeared throughout the season. Ultimately, Deen Flett was named Canada's Worst Handyman for his unsafe work; Deen is the first to have been named Canada's Worst Handyman without having been the worst in any given episode.
- Canada's Worst Handyman 6 (2011) took place at the Niagara Falls Carriage House at Niagara Falls, Ontario, where several hotel suites were to be transformed into honeymoon retreats. Group challenges were focused on transforming one space into a spa. Ultimately, Charlene Hunt's slow craftsmanship made her the first woman to be named Canada's Worst Handyman.
Junk Raiders was a spin-off, starring contractor Geoff Woodmansey, which used construction junk and cast-offs to produce quality construction.
Blood, Sweat & Tools is a spin-off series, first airing in Spring 2015. In June 2014, Discovery Channel Canada started canvassing for couples for a new season at www.badhandyman.ca, using clips from past CWH seasons. The revival version of the show features handymen couples instead of individual handymen, proceeding on DIY challenges, and judged by a panel of three experts.
- Facebook: The series is... Canada's Worst Handyman (accessdate January 2013)
- http://www.badhandyman.ca (accessdate June 2014)
- Bell Media, "Not-So-Handy Duos Give it Their All in New Competition Series BLOOD, SWEAT & TOOLS, Beginning April 13 on Discovery", 25 March 2015
- Thicke as thieves TV Guide