They were the underdogs from the start, but last night, Sydney’s Steve and Tiana Falzon took home the big win; becoming mortgage free after defeating Queensland in an epic grand final clash.
Steve, 47, competed alongside his daughter Tiana, 26, who entered the show to give thanks to her dad who struggled following the death of her mum when she was only seven. Taking home one of television’s biggest prizes – his entire $250,000 mortgage wiped clean – Steve battled to contain his emotions after the result was announced live by host Johanna Griggs. “This is a dream come true,” said Steve. “I’m so overwhelmed. It’s been a dream of mine for so long to pay this house off.”
Steve paid tribute to his daughter, who sustained a sprained ankle during the dying hours of the final renovation. Despite the injury, she rose to her feet determined to finish. “There’s no way I could have done this without Tiana. I’m so glad we’ve shared this experience together.”
The grand finalists were given one last renovation challenge – to transform each other’s garage into an entertainer’s paradise. It was incredibly close with NSW edging ahead of Queensland, 19 points to 17. The Sydney duo transformed Ben and Danielle’s dull Brisbane garage into a Ralph Lauren inspired oasis. “I’m so impressed that a team that struggled at the beginning have come to deliver a room like this,” said judge Wendy Moore. “For the grand final, you couldn’t ask for more.”
Queensland also impressed, turning Steve’s garage into a retro wonderland which oozed ‘Fonzie cool’ complete with a jukebox, bar and Cadillac couch. “This is excellent work; so deserving to be in the grand final,” said judge Joe Snell.
After the judges’ scores were combined with the public vote, NSW were declared the winners. Runners-up Ben Edgeworth, 33, and Danielle Russell, 31, don’t walk away empty-handed after having their entire house, garden, exterior and garage completely renovated.
Team NSW won the prize after a gruelling competition which saw six house interiors, four garden/exteriors, a holiday house and a special charity home completely transformed. So in my mind, I think it’s now time for a well deserved rest. Great job guys!
Photography by Channel 7