House Rules judge Wendy Moore had said they could be the dark horses if they got their vision right and stuck to it, and last night she was proved right, with Victorian duo Adam and Lisa being the first team into the Grand Final, receiving a score of 18 out of 20.
“I loved that comment Wendy made,” says Adam. “Obviously if you haven’t worked together as a team and you haven’t done this stuff before you’re not going to be the best straight away. So when she said she thought we could have been the dark horses I really loved that. It really drove us and I thought that’s what it’s all about, we are trying, we can get there. So it was fantastic, her words came true!”
The engaged couple will go up against Perth grandparents Carole and Russell to determine who will live mortgage free, after the WA team narrowly beat NSW’s Candy and Ryan — 17 points to 16 — to claim the last spot in the Grand Final. “It feels really good to be going up against Carole and Russell,” explains Lisa. “I think it’s going to be quite competitive! I did say it’s a bit like the apprentice and the master, but I can hopefully, no I know I can keep up with them now. It’ll make for an interesting race.”
The charity house challenge, which was revealed last night, saw the three remaining teams transform a tired holiday home on the NSW south coast used by Barnardos Australia foster families. With the largest zone in the house consisting of the dining room, main kids’ bedroom, laundry, hallway, second toilet and deck, the odds were stacked against Adam and Lisa repeating their semi-finals win, but they did.
“It was hard, but in a way it was good. It just made sure we had to put into place all the planning we had learnt along the way,” explains Adam. “If we failed it just meant we didn’t deserve to be in the Grand Final. But I think we succeeded and we had such a big zone, so I think that really cemented the fact that we had learnt so much along the way and really deserved to be there. I love a challenge anyway!”
But as Adam and Lisa could agree, though the week was hard, they had to put it in perspective. “Everyone at Barnardos would ask: Is it hard?” says Adam. “And like I said to them, this might be hard but nothing can be as hard as what these kids have gone through, so I’m not going to stand here and whinge about the size of my zone! What I was hoping is the kids would watch what we had done and see that nothing is impossible, and try to keep positive no matter how hard it is. Hopefully it may have motivated them.”
With such a large zone it may have been surprising that Adam and Lisa finished at all, let alone had the time to do all the detailed finishing touches of styling the dining room table, labeling the linen closet and putting individual reading lights on all the kids’ bunk beds. “I literally felt like I shopped til I dropped,” says Lisa. “But it was such a special thing for Ads and I to do so I wanted to make it really functional for all the different families that go into the home. What it comes down to, and it took me a little while to realise, is it is all about those finishing touches, going that little bit further to hit home and really deliver.”
With the live Grand Final this Sunday at 6.30pm, the teams will return to their opponents’ homes for one last renovation challenge. The judges’ scores will then be combined with a public vote to determine the winner, with viewers being asked to vote for the most deserving team based on their work throughout the competition.
For Adam and Lisa the possibility of being mortgage free next week is a real possibility, but that being said they’re definately not getting their hopes up. “We haven’t even dared to dream really,” explains Lisa. “It’s just surreal, you’re this close to having every bit of dream come true, but I’ve certainly not tried to think about it too much. We are holding out hope but you don’t want to be overly confident, so we are far from that!”