Eye Diy

Canada’s Handyman Challenge, Episode 4 recap

By Matthew Pioro February 1st, 2012

Canada's Handyman Challenge

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After combing Vancouver, Halifax and Toronto for handy folks, the judges of Canada’s Handyman Challenge have their top 12 contestants. This episode finds the competition in Hamilton and, at the end of the hour, four people will be eliminated.

The contestants head from their hotel to the challenge area in black SUVs, like a bunch of hip-hop stars heading to a show. However, hip-hop stars probably wouldn’t be crowded shoulder to shoulder in their vehicles. The first challenge is a one-on-one interview with Mike Holmes, or as the host Jillian Harris says, “Mr. Intimidation, himself.” He grills each contestant with questions on code, materials and simple calculations. Then each contestant has three minutes to find all the mistakes in a mock kitchen. There are 25 mistakes and finding fewer than 14 is a bad sign.

Most contestants do well on at least one of these tests. Kyle from Surry, B.C. smokes the questions. Frank from Vancouver finds a new, 26th mistake in the kitchen. But only Brad, Police Officer Brad from Ancaster, Ont., rocks both challenges.

The next challenges involve tool identification with Bryan Baeumler and duplicating shapes with Scott McGillivray. Officer Brad continues to shine with tool identification, but doesn’t do so well duplicating the plywood clover and triangle shapes.

“You know what I like about you, Kyle?” McGillivray asks as the contestant measures the shapes. “You make up your own method for everything.” McGillivray was probably referring to Kyle’s idiosyncratic way of measuring and cutting crown moulding in the Vancouver challenge. It worked, sorta…almost. But for the shapes, whatever Kyle did nailed it.

Frank from Vancouver and Maggie from Halifax struggle with the shape exercise. Maggie also does poorly with tool identification. East Coast Todd does worse. Mark from Qualicum Beach, B.C., duplicates the triangle successfully. Carl from Cambridge, Ont., does the best at duplicating and has a strong showing identifying tools.

So, it’s time to eliminate two and for the judges to find more creative and anxiety-inducing ways of letting a contestant know that he is in or out. First, a test of chutzpah. The judges ask all 12 contestants about their confidence after the first set of challenges. Who is confident that he or she is staying? Mark and Kyle put up their hands.

“We were the only two out of 12 that were apparently confident that we were not getting cut, which I think is a load of bung,” Kyle muses. “I just think the others were too chicken to put up their hands.”

Rest assured, dear reader, that “load of bung” is the strongest bit of language you will hear in this episode. In the next challenge, some contestants do use words even stronger than “load of bung,” but they have been mercifully bleeped out. The kids can still watch; however, they may ask for a definition of “bung.”

The judges use Kyle’s confidence against him and make him twist a bit in the bottom three. However, East Coast Todd and Norm are headed home. Two from the East!

“I decided that [in the future] no matter how confident I was, I wasn’t going to put my hand up again.” Kyle vows.

The next challenge, the one that will see the group go from 10 to eight, is hanging an old, out-of-square door. The contestants have 90 minutes to make the door swing. They have to put the hinges on properly, as well as the knob, then make the jamb and shim it. McGillivray shows that he can complete this task in 44 minutes, so double the time for the contestants is fair, right?

“I thought 90 minutes was reasonable…until we got going.” Kyle says. This guy is definitely the most amusing. During the competition, he looks for a jamb stopper. A jam stopper? Would that be next to the board stretcher?

Frank struggles. He claims he’s had a brain fart. Baeumler says he can smell it. I believe “fart” is actually stronger than “load of bung.” Those handy folks are getting contractor mouth!

Officer Brad seems to be doing well, Mark too, who makes his own pre-hung door. West Coast Todd struggles, as does Maggie. She puts her hinges in the wrong spots and has a lot of work to redo.

When it comes to judging, Holmes finds he is quite busy. As we’ve seen in other shows, he tends to Hulk out when he sees shoddy workmanship. In Canada’s Handyman Challenge, he’s been pretty restrained. Well, Young Andrew from Niagara Falls, Ont., has hung his door so poorly that the overalled one has to kick it open. Next, Holmes pulls down Carl’s door.

“You guys are so destructive,” Baeumler says.

It doesn’t look good for Carl at all. The others who need to be worried are Kyle, Young Andrew and Still-Called-West-Coast-Todd-Even-Though-East-Coast-Todd-Is-Gone Todd. Mark, however, continues to excel.

“I thought I was really good until the challenge started,” Kyle says, delivering his last zinger. He’s out as well as Carl. Next week, the remaining eight will continue the Handyman Throw Down in Steel Town.

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