Congratulations to Robert Davidov, winner of Top Design 2011!

The finale aired on GEM at 7:35pm last night, and featured the finalists Rob, Lisa Christie and Steve Trupp in a challenge to deliver an entire house designed to deliver their customer’s brief. Rob’s hotel chic won out, over Steve’s family coloursplash and Lisa’s creative delivery.

It was a solid end for a series that never really gained any traction amidst the plethora of other reality renovation/design shows on air when it launched. Three weeks before the end the show was shifted from Channel 9 to GEM for an early evening showing, with a late repeat on the primary channel. A big disappointment for a Ch9 in-house production and the show heralding Jamie Durie’s return to the network. Certainly the “Jamie’s Bunch” promo that Channel 9 ran before it aired did the show no favours either.

The real joy of the series was interacting with the contestants as the show went to air on twitter. Almost all have accounts, and to get to know them and live-tweet the episodes with their insight and personality was entertaining and delivered a very inclusive experience.

The final did lack some gloss, however. As Jamie introduced the rooms and the designer’s visions for them, as he described what would happen they simply showed an empty shot – we’ve been trained to expect some graphical representation of what would happen. Nothing did. Also, at least twice Rob was referred to as a “control freak”. As accurate as that may have been, it did seem to grate against the rest of the narrative.

Beyond that, Rob’s a worthy winner. Lisa and Steve both picked up paid internships within the companies run by judges Jamie Durie and Nick Tobias. Everyone’s a winner, baby, that’s the truth.