It was one of House Rules' fiercest Grand Finals yet, but judge Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen reveals that neither of the teams were clear winners from the beginning.
‘There were no obvious frontrunners,’ he tells New Idea.
‘All of the teams showed us from the get-go that they were confident and able to push boundaries.’
However, he adds that while the teams are polar opposites, they’re both equally deserving to compete for the final prize.
‘Mel and Dave are extremely competitive, while Mandy and Toad are more relaxed,’ he says.
Laurence adds that one team's strength is another team's weakness.
‘Mel and Dave have fantastic taste and attention to detail, but they sometimes lack the confidence to take design risks,’ he says.
‘They can also overthink things and try to be too strategic.’
Addressing Toad and Mandy’s claims that Mel and Dave would bend the rules, Laurence admits: ‘They sometimes lost too much energy being tactical when they didn’t need to be.’
While Mel and Dave sometimes struggle with thinking outside of the box, Laurence reveals that Toad and Mandy have the opposite problem.
‘Toad and Mandy design so effortlessly, they’ve created some of the most influential scenes of the season,’ he says.
‘However, they can sometimes go overboard and be a little too “jazz hands” with their fit-outs.’
Whatever the outcome, it’s going to be a hard season of House Rules to top – although Laurence hints he’ll be back next series to try!
‘We’re currently in discussions about how we can keep on raising the bar and keep people guessing.’
For the full story, and more House Rules exclusives, see this weeks issue of New Idea - on sale now.