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Area handyman wants to nail down prize and hosting career

John Rousseau of Summerland is one of 15 contestants on Canada's Handyman Challenge. The first episode airs tonight at 7 p.m.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy of Canada's Handyman Challenge
February 12, 2013 - 2:00 PM

By Shannon Quesnel

A Summerland man wants to win Canada's Handyman Challenge and get a hosting gig on TV.

The first episode of Canada's Handyman Challenge finals starts tonight at 7 p.m. on HGTV. Summerland carpenter John Rousseau, 29, is one of 15 finalists competing for a $25,000 grand prize. His closest rival is 40-year-old Mark Ulinder of Kamloops.

The show finished filming in September and the judges have already picked their winner.

Rousseau could not say anything about the show, but he hopes his TV appearance and his outgoing personality will lead to a hosting career on an HGTV show.

The Summerland man will watch tonight's episode with family and friends and will be using Twitter to keep his followers up to date.

“Because of my outgoing personality, I really want to be a host, and hopefully make an impression on the people.”

Viewers will not have trouble remembering who he is.

“I'm going to be the blond cocky one who has difficulty shutting his mouth.”

It took more than an outgoing personality to secure a spot on this competition. Rousseau and the other finalists had to prove their skills in an earlier contest. Contestants were chosen after presenting judges with their most creative plywood projects, from wooden salmon to working bicycles. They also competed in skill-testing timed challenges.

Rousseau got into the handyman trade through his father who built furniture. He remembers his childhood home being filled with chairs, tables and drawers.

He spent eight years earning a living through tile setting and building furniture from scratch. Clients would show him the space they had for chairs, tables and what-not and he would build something to fit and look good.

“I get paid to have ideas for people.”

On the show it was a bit different. He and the 14 other competitors were given tasks, such as hanging wallpaper, building a swinging seat and correctly wiring a three-way switch.

“Most of the tasks were pretty straight forward. The time was the biggest thing. You give a guy enough time he can figure out how to do it properly,” he says.

The final episode airs March 19 and has contractor Mike Holmes on the judges panel. The following day fans who voted on their favourite contestants can find out who won their vote.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at or call (250)488-3065.

Video Credit: John Rousseau
Summerland handyman John Rousseau asks for public support to be the fans' favourite. He is competing on HGTV's Canada's Handyman Challenge. The first episode airs at 7 p.m. tonight.
News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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