Credit: HGTV

Handyman, they need to know a little about a lot, they have to be creative, have ingenuity these are the requirements according to judges Scott McGillivray and Mike Holmes.

The introduction makes it clear the handymen will be required to do windows, plumbing, electrical, finishing and roofing and anything else the judges might require in order to find the one man or woman who is the All American Handyman. Now for most of us this conjures images of some guy with a wooden toolbox who can fix just about anything. The American handyman is an iconic figure in our society and someone who was always valued in a community.

Challenge One – Just to make it on the show…

It seems like a simple enough challenge; build something, anything based on the Sears products they have seen, sewing machine, picnic gear and appliances. They have two sheets of plywood, 90 minutes and way too many choices for connectors, glue and tools. At the end of the ninety minutes they have to stop, done or not. There are quite a few wine racks, one sewing pedestal, a dining table, two dog houses, two chaises, a headboard and a variety of shelf units. The prize is a $10,000 dollar shopping spree at Sears and a development deal with HGTV.

All the projects were numbered so the judges did not know who had built what. They inspected each project for stability, neatness, usefulness, creativity and appearance. So after seeing all the projects they go to talk to the contestants. During this session Caitlin probably saved herself by saying that making something is only a tiny part of being a handyman and that she felt she could do much better. They liked her moxie. So then they asked them all why they should be there and stay on the show. So then it was time to pick those top ten who would be on the show.

The final ten are Mathew, Dee, Caitlin, Sara, Flagg, Elliot, Rich, Dennis, Andrew and Peter. They all hang up their tool belts and relax for the time being. The next day they face a three part challenge.

Challenge Two

The contestants have to face three tasks. Door #1 is Mike Holmes who is going to ask them questions to test their general knowledge and then show them a stud wall that has ten things wrong on it, they must find as many of those as possible. Door #2 is Scott McGillivray with a task where they must create a board with openings to fit over an existing board with fixed shapes of a hexagon and an oval. Door #3 is Bill Kiss from Sears who will test their ability to identify tools, some new, some antique. Molly Culver tells them to be honest, don’t try to bluff their way through.

Scott’s cutout task seems to be the hardest for nearly all the contestants. Rich tried to free hand it; Elliot decided a hexagon had seven sides. Mathew froze up and was not able to get any cuts made at all. Dennis kept his cool and made all the right measurements and did the math and got the job done perfectly. Next was Mike’s challenge Where is the gable, what is a coping saw used for, how tall is the average door, what does ICF, what is g1s or g2s. These were the types of questions they were asked before heading to his stud wall, where he figures they should find at least 5 of the 10 items wrong. Most the contestants are just so intimidated they can hardly answer. Bill gives them tools they may or may not recognize like an old nail pullers, hand drill, a marking gauge which were all old tools but then a new miter saw, a power nailer and a chisel mortise.

The three judges then put their results together to see how everyone did. They all felt Sara seemed unmotivated. Mathew froze up. Elliot did well with Mike and Bill but bad with Scott. Flagg did well with Mike, but not with Scott or Bill. They continue to deliberate as they must choose two people to go home. Sara, Mathew, Andrew and Rich are the bottom four. Sara and Mathew are the two sent home. The rest are told they need to bring it, think outside the box, step up and prove themselves.