New kids on the block
Reno-Rumble’s 2016 makeover starts with two new judges. By
COLIN McAllister and Justin Ryan’s stint on Reno Rumble is timely. The pair are front and centre in prime time just as Australia works towards a possible plebiscite on gay marriage.
McAllister and Ryan are a couple, both personally and professionally. They have a heap of TV credits including Trading Up in the UK and Colin and Justin’s Home
Heist in Canada. On February 15, 2008, they got hitched in a private civil ceremony in London. They honeymooned in the Caribbean.
“Justin and I are very different but we have shared goals,” Ryan says. “We’re not too proud to say, ‘You’ve got the better idea here’. We’re not jostling for position. We both support each other wholeheartedly.
“We are very happy that we’ve had this opportunity to be a gay couple in a prominent position (in the media). If we can in any way be a guiding light for a younger gay person who might be struggling to come to terms with various things in life, that is amazing.
“Neither Colin nor I had a particularly difficult time growing up or learning to be a gay couple. We didn’t ever have any of those issues. We have just taken everything in a very matter-of-fact way.
“Hopefully that inspires people. We don’t scream and shout about it. We’re never overly political. We just live our lives as Colin and Justin. It seems to appeal to people.”
Reno Rumble has had a complete makeover and one of the biggest changes is McAllister and Ryan signing on as judges.
The pair, who made a guest appearance on The Block last year, replace Darren Palmer and Romy Alwill. The makers of Reno Rumble have scrapped the Block versus House
Rules concept for series two. Instead, state-based teams of contestants renovate the homes of inspirational owners in an East versus West competition.
The homeowners are people who have endured hardship or tragedy or have dedicated their lives to serving the community.
“Reno Rumble is right up our street because when bad homes happen to good people, we like to sort it out,” McAllister says. “It is totally different to The Block where contestants are trying to achieve optimal sales prices.”
Representing the East are besties Sarah and Renee (Qld), Italian-Australians Lisa and John (NSW), and battlers Scott and Nadia (Vic). The West is made up of mother and son Dane and Leanne (SA), engaged couple Jim and Hayley (SA), and married pair Steve and Holly (WA).
The last team standing will win $100,000.
“Last year on Reno Rumble the judges filtered their opinions through Scott Cam but this year we meet the contestants face to face and that really doubles the drama,” McAllister says. “We don’t want to upset anybody but we have to be honest.
“I think we’re excellent judges on Reno Rumble because we have a flipping background. Twenty-five years ago we started to buy and sell properties. We are very much into the home being a money-maker.
“We have fallen in love with Australia. We are very keen to come back and do more television but we are also keen to buy a flipper property, a fixer-upper, in Melbourne or Sydney to create a second revenue stream.”
NINE, MONDAY, 7.30PM
Ready to rumble: Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan.