Sidebar | 12-hour Days Create Compelling Action on “Home Free” TV Show

Tim Tebow and Mike Holmes with Tommy Hill, "The Pond Guy of the South" and his family

Tim Tebow and Mike Holmes with Tommy Hill, “The Pond Guy of the
South” and his family

This is the second season of Fox’s “Home Free,” but this year the competition has taken on a brand new twist. Eleven contestants will compete to win a home for a hero in their lives, with one contestant facing elimination each week. The last contestant standing wins $100,000 and the grand prize “dream home” for a hero of his or her choice.

The gist of the show is, how far are you willing to go for the hero in your life? Would you live on-set with your fellow competitors and work grueling, 12-hour days? Would you push yourself to learn how to construct a home, even if you’ve never used a hammer or saw in your life? The contestants live together and compete with each other, at times bonding and at other times getting in each other’s faces. But hey, that makes for a great show!

In a surprise twist, the contestants are told during the first episode that they aren’t building just one home — they’re building a whole neighborhood of homes.

Throughout the season, the contestants must face a wide variety of exciting tasks, including “Drill-Down Challenges” in an American Ninja Warrior-style arena. Their 12-hour days consist of all sorts of construction-related duties, such as drywalling, mudding, siding, painting and installing irrigation. Most of the contestants know nothing about building or construction. The host of the show, Mike Holmes, dishes out “work orders” and some expert advice along the way.

I spent time on the set with the show’s consulting producer, Blake Mullins, who was gracious enough to take me behind the scenes and let me hang out with the crew. I got a full tour of not only the water features, but also each of the stunning homes for the heroes. An incredible amount of work goes on around the clock to have the each of the homes completed in less than 72 hours. Each home is progressively nicer than the previous one as you go down the block.

Every contestant and his or her heroes are winners on “Home Free.” The grand prize “dream house” goes to the contestant that dukes it out and makes it all the way to the end. That’s where Tommy’s pondless waterfall with the “wow factor” comes in.

Be sure to tune in and watch. The show started airing June 16, but there’s still time to catch up. Tune in Thursday nights at 9 p.m. EDT (8 p.m. CDT) on Fox. I’m sure the homeowner is going to be blown away by the pondless on the final show!

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