There’s no prize money. There’s no parade. There’s not even a trophy. So why do HGTV stars get so competitive on “Rock the Block,” vying to be crowned the winners by a judging panel of other HGTV stars?
One of the current contestants on season 4 of the show, designer Michel Smith Boyd, just spilled the beans to his hometown newspaper in Thibodaux, Louisiana, on one of the main reasons winning matters so much to him and other competitors.
In an interview with the Daily Comet, Boyd said that for him, winning the competition, which he called “the Olympics of HGTV,” would likely guarantee another season on HGTV for his freshman series, “Luxe For Less,” which premiered on December 1, 2022.
And other stars likely feel the same, given that every winning team from the last three seasons still has a show on the network. The first season’s winner, Jasmine Roth, stars in “Help! I Wrecked My House,” which HGTV says will air its fourth season in the fall of 2023. Mika and Brian Kleinschmidt of “100 Day Dream Home” won the second season and, according to Reality Titbit, its fourth season will premiere on May 5. Meanwhile, the third season of “Rock the Block” was won by “Married to Real Estate” co-stars Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson, whose series was renewed for a second season shortly after their big win, per Deadline.
Interestingly, Boyd already just got word that the remainder of his first season — which was put on hiatus for the holidays — will be returning to the airwaves in April, just as “Rock the Block” wraps up.
Michel Smith Boyd Says ‘Rock the Block’ Winner Gets to Be ‘King’ of Network
In his interview with the Daily Comet, Boyd said whoever wins the competition gets bragging rights and lots of respect.
“It’s like king of the network for the entire year,” he said. “Hopefully it would guarantee one more season of my own show.”
His participation and rising visibility on the network may have already helped his show get back on the air this spring. He told the paper that he’d just learned “Luxe For Less,” which went on hiatus over the holidays, will be returning to HGTV in April.
He said, “I can only be ambiguous about that, legitimately, I just got the green light to tell people that we are re-airing in April. We just shot some new things to promo the show coming back.”
On “Rock the Block,” Boyd is paired with his “Luxe For Less” co-star and friend Anthony Elle, facing design challenges together in one of four identical houses being renovated for the show in Berthoud, Colorado. In the competition’s premiere episode, Boyd said their plan was to “honor Colorado, but also bring in our more contemporary POV, and our house is designed for empty nesters.”
Though the duo didn’t win the first two weeks of competition — which have been judged by fellow HGTV personalities Dave and Jenny Marrs, Mina Starsiak Hawk, and Jenn Todryk — he told the Daily Comet that while the winners of the weekly contests can feel confident they’re accomplishing their goals, their individual challenge wins don’t technically matter in the grand scheme of things. That’s because the ultimate winners will be the pair who adds the most overall value to the 5,000-square-foot homes, which each began with a value of $1.9 million.
“The stakes are crazy though,” he said. “We don’t actually get to see what our teammates did week to week until the very last episode when the winner is announced,” he said.
Past ‘Rock the Block’ Winners to Crown Season 4 Champs
According to HGTV, past winners Sherrod, Jackson and Roth will all return for the season 4 finale to announce the winning team on April 10.
“Each duo is well aware of their competitors’ brilliant renovation and design skills,” said Loren Ruch, HGTV’s new head of content. “They know they can’t hold back in any way and expect to win.”
In addition to getting bragging rights for a year and, as Boyd pointed out, a likely continuation of their own series, HGTV will make a donation on behalf of the winner to Warner Bros. Discovery’s effort Turn Up! Fight Hunger, which will provide up to 100,000 meals to kids living with hunger through the nonprofit No Kid Hungry. In addition, they’ll get their names etched into the “Rock the Block” street sign, so every future visitor knows who won.
“Honestly, it’s a really fantastic competition,” Boyd told the Daily Comet, referencing some of his favorite moments including the hot air balloon rides the teams took during the first episode. “I did things that I never expected that I would, like for instance in the first episode I’m in a hot air balloon,” he said. “I never thought I’d ever have any reason to be 500 feet off the ground, in a basket, but I had a great time, and it really expanded my point of view about design.”