Can Coquitlam handyman nail it?
Could Coquitlam's Guy Belair be Canada's next top handyman?
It's possible but the gas technician and self-taught jack of all trades has been sworn to secrecy on what's to come in the HGTV show Canada's Handyman Challenge — and just how far he has gone on the road to winning the $25,000 prize.
Belair, originally from Coaticook, Que., figured he would take a shot at the Vancouver auditions last year against about 100 others. Tasked with making a project out of a single piece of plywood, Belair came up with a large salmon that so impressed judge Bryan Bauemler (who hosts the show, Leave it to Bryan) that he actually bought it.
And it was enough to get him through to the next challenge, in which contestants were given two hours to build a door frame and hang a double door in it.
"The two doors were totally different sizes, it doesn't make sense," Belair said. "It's pretty stressful because you only get a certain amount of time. It's something that would normally take you five hours but you have to do it in two."
The remaining 10 hopefuls were whittled down to seven who were sent on to the next challenge — building a stand for a hammock in only an hour.
Belair recalls a lot of rushing in that tense 60 minutes but his creativity shone through and he secured one of the five top spots, and a ticket to the next round of handyman challenges in Toronto, where he'll be up against the top five contestants from auditions in Halifax and another five from Toronto.
"The show has already been done but I'm not allowed to say how far I went or whatever we did," said Belair.
He'll be up against contestants who already work in the construction trade and those who don't; like Belair, they've picked up their skills along the way. Belair said he has become a handyman after years of buying and renovating his own houses, and helping friends and family with their projects.
Whether it's enough to pass muster from judges Bauemler, Scott McGillivray (Income Property) and Paul Lafrance (Decked Out) — as well as final judge Mike Holmes (Holmes Make it Right, Holmes Inspection) — to earn Belair the coveted Handyman Challenge title remains a mystery.
• The next episode of Canada's Handyman Challenge plays Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. on HGTV. To vote for Belair in the Fan Favourite contest, visit www.hgtv.ca/canadashandymanchallenge/poll