It’s big, it’s bold and it’s yellow – welcome to The Renovators. If you were the cynical type you’d think Channel 10 had seen a market already flooded with reality DIY/renovation television and though “me too”.

Brought to life as a brainchild of Shine Australia (the people who brought you Junior MasterChef in 2010 and 2011, and will deliver MasterChef Australia in 2012), The Renovators will test even the strongest fan of the genre, if only due to it’s long form nature. 6 nights a week has even worn off for die-hard MasterChef fans – so why will people want to religiously tune in for a DIY/renovation show at 8:30pm? Simple: It’s bloody awesome.

The scale of the challenges in the first week are amazing, starting with the first night challenge – renovate an entire house in 48 hours. The 24 contestants are thrown into together to complete the task with the winner getting to choose which of the 6 houses they’ll focus their skills on over the coming weeks, with the overall winner of the show winning the profit on the sale of all 6 properties. What a great hook.

Like similar programs with 24 contestants it’s hard for any real personalities to shine through. People live in the background and sneak through, or are gone before you ever really know who they are. It’s no different with the Renovators. You can’t help feel that the contestants are really a support act to the main event in the size of each challenge and the 6 houses up for renovation. The contestants time will come – but it’s not yet.

The Renovators host Brenden Moar, & judges Robyn Holt, Peter Ho & Barry Du Bois

Host Brenden Moar is affable, engaging and more than competent, and his fellow judges Robyn Holt, Peter Ho (best whispy beard ever) and Barry Du Bois add more than their fair share of colour and intelligence to the process. Their insight only adds to the tension and drama of the show.

It’s all hands on deck for this first reno. No sitting back and managing tradies so you can nick out and shop. Teams are formed on the fly and through some minimal guidance from the poor soul who stepped up to project manage this first challenge. The Store within is incredible – no wonder the warehouse that homes the Workshop is so big. The first episode offers an amazing transformation of a rundown home brought in on a truck. There’s lots of work, lots of personalities and lots of possibility for tantrums. While not everything is finished as nicely as it could be, you still marvel at the outcome of 24 people working to renovate an entire house in 48 hours. Just incredible.

The Renovators is an engaging view, and everything that this season of MasterChef promised to be. It’s just added an extra 6 hours a week to my must watch schedule – it’s that good.

The Renovators – Sun-Fri 8:30pm, Ch10.
(reverting to 7:30pm once MasterChef finishes in a couple of weeks.