EXPERIENCED Brisbane renovator Phil Mathers shocked his fellow contestants, judges and viewers last night when he forfeited his spot on The Renovators.
With the bottom six contestants facing a double elimination, Mathers put his hand up just before host Brendan Moar was about to deliver the verdict.
Mathers told the group he wanted to leave because he believed he wasn’t able to make a total commitment to the competition.
He didn’t feel comfortable leaving his wife at home in their own partially-renovated house.
“I’d be letting the team down,” he said.
“I was nervous as to whether I was making the right decision. That's always going to be in the back of my mind, but having considered it as long as I had and realising that there's two people going to be eliminated, I feel I was doing the right thing.”
Mathers’ voluntary departure meant only one other contestant, executive Laura Roberts, had to be eliminated.
Judge Robyn Holt said the strong monochromatic colour scheme in Roberts’ room overwhelmed her artwork.
“The elimination round was tense; it’s like the breaking up of a little family,” said Roberts.
“It was down to me and Christie so I'm definitely happy that I'm going instead of her. She tried really hard, and she's got a little daughter that she's left at home.”
She said she had mixed feelings about being the first to leave the new reality series.
“I'm excited to go home and get my dog back and just have a normal life again. But it's really sad that I won't be part of the madness of The Renovators,” she said.
“It’s been really fun and exciting, kind of like walking around blindfolded.
“I've learned to pick up power tools, which I've never done before. I've learned just to give things a go, and I've probably taken a lot more risks that I normally would.”
Mathers is back home in Brisbane working on his home renovation and Roberts has started a new business called Style for a While, which rents out handbags and jewelry to online shoppers.
Tonight, $10,000 is up for grabs when the teams’ building plans will be judged by Barry Du Bois, Peter Ho and Robyn Holt.
The Renovators airs Sundays to Fridays on Ten.
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