Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

Jul 16

Ask the Producer: Brother Vs. Brother Finale!

Congratulations to our newest Brother Vs. Brother champion, Melissa! We’ve got one final round of questions and answers with producer Loren Ruch. See his favorite behind-the-scenes moments and observations from the final episode.

Jonathan, Drew and Producer Loren With Brother Vs. Brother Winner Melissa

Jonathan, Drew and Producer Loren With Winner Melissa

Blog reader DB Coop asks: “So what’s to keep Jonathan from sneaking over to his team’s assigned house late at night and secretly powering through all kinds of value-added renovation work? Seriously though, to keep the competition fair and balanced, are both teams held strictly to the same time clock each day or do they have some leeway into how many hours they can put in?”

Good question! Yes, both teams are kept on the exact same time clock. They start at the exact same time and end at the exact same time. We have producers at both houses who are in communication with each other to make sure that this is 100% fair and accurate.

Blog reader Deb asks: “Who makes the final decision on the winner once the judges select the final winning team? If the twins choose the winner, who breaks the tie if they disagree? Please tell me it’s not rock, paper, scissors or selection by puppy.”
Puppies are cute, but they don’t decide the winner. Here’s how it works…The guest judges decide which TEAM wins and which TEAM loses. But then the Brother of the losing team ultimately decides who goes home. For the finale episode, Jonathan and Drew decide the winner of the series together. They go through a recap of each of the episodes throughout the season including the finale, and then choose the person they think should win. They have never disagreed so far, but the rules of the show make the brother whose team won the tie-breaking vote for the finale.

Why do you think Jonathan and Drew ultimately chose Melissa as the winner?
I truly think they liked her design sensibilities, teamwork, sense of humor, and work ethic. It was a close call but in the end they thought she contributed just a bit more than Eric.

What was the funniest or most memorable moment from the filming of the finale?
In all honesty, poor Hilary had a terrible eye infection in her right eye, so if you watch the show closely or carefully you’ll notice that her head is turned in a profile for the entire show! I felt terrible for her at the time, but now that I watch the series I’m blown away by the fact that she was brilliant enough to keep her head angled of the whole evaluation!

Have a question for Loren? Ask in the comments below.

Posted at 2:58 pm

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  1. PLEASE, please – can someone tell me how I can find out about paint colors from the finale?? In particular, looking for the paint color used in Team Jonathan's master bedroom! I've been looking online and cannot find this information. Thank you!! :)

    Mel on July 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm
  2. Where do Jonathon and Drew get their amazing clothes? They are so tall I wonder where they shop. Do they have stylists that do all the work for them now? No doubt they have great fashion sense naturally.

    Michele on July 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm
  3. Thanks for answering my question. The puppies and rock,paper, scissors part was a result of having watched Toddler vs Toddler. I intended to ask only about the process for the finale, when the winner is chosen, but guess I wasn't clear. Thanks for spelling out the whole process. Enjoyed the season very much!

    Deb on July 16, 2014 at 5:23 pm
  4. On the subject of Brother vs. Brother paint colors, some of the choices went beyond bold. I'd also like to know the names of the colors used — so I can be sure to avoid a few of the worst offenders when its time to refresh rooms in my own home.

    DBCoop on July 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm
  5. I hope in Season 3 there will be more unique design challenges. The last 2 Seasons have been great. Love when the contestants form bonds and love Bro Vs Bro. JDs behind the scene interviews are great.

    patricia on July 16, 2014 at 5:42 pm
  6. Are the Homeowners bound to the Brother vs. Brother design if they really don't like it? I'm not an Interior Designer but there were some things in the last 2 episodes that shocked me. My cousin is an Interior Designer with a BFA in Art but she also holds a JD Degree. She's married to a Surgeon and is a Gourmet Cook and Impeccable Seamstress. She left a law practice when she married but is actively involved in community activities and is a helpmate to her husband. Her design style and mine are at opposite ends of the spectrum. She's not just talented, she is gifted. If you have the right skill set, you can be taught a craft. But an innate gift cannot be taught. You either possess it or you don't. Your gift will make way for you and open doors and place you before people of influence who will celebrate you.

    May I speak candidly without stepping on anyone's toes? I'd like to be as delicate as possible. This season showed you exercised great care in the selection of team members and you took Brother vs. Brother to a new level. Choosing people who were more experienced and well rounded made a difference in the personal interaction and kept drama to a minimum. I commend you. You had a classy group of people. Every person who competed was challenged, stretched and grew from the experience. As disappointing as it was to send people home, the exit interviews were reflective of a positive nature.

    What concerns me is the time allowed for projects. I'm not familiar with the protocol associated with bringing a show to production but it seemed the teams were stressed by deadlines that were too tight. Did restrictive timelines cause choices that did not result in the freedom to produce a design that was stellar as opposed to completing a project and working fast because a deadline was imposed? A project completed fast is not always synonymous with excellence of spirit or a design that is so stellar it takes your breath away.

    I understand budgets and production deadlines come into play but is it possible to make allowances when emergencies arise that are unplanned and cannot be controlled? Is the purpose of BvB to Mentor or select talented designers as potential Property Brothers proteges? This season you made some bold and unprecedented moves when Drew's team member got sick and was sent home. That was a good judgement call not to send anyone home from Drew's team. It would have skewed the dynamics unfavorably. It was a surprise move to send Rick to Drew's team and back to Jonathan's. It reflected Rick's flexibility and maturity to work with both teams.

    Jonathan has the benefit of life experiences that I have not seen in any person…not even Drew. They are two different people when it comes to design styles and the way they interact with people. Even Drew admitted Jonathan deals with more stress and he's wired for it more than Drew. They are sounding boards for each other and know how to accomplish goals in light of their differences. Because they are so seasoned, is it possible that expectations for timelines are based on setting Jonathan, the Contractor/Designer, as the "standard"? Perhaps the majority of viewers don't share my perspective but my Uncle, who is a retired Judge, made a comment about being realistic. He is a true Renaissance man and before he had a stroke 5 years ago, he did everything around the house and he was meticulous. When he moved to the house in which he lives and replaced carpeting on the main floor with wood floors, he had me stay with the installer to make sure he completed the work to his satisfaction. I had a concern about a few things and when I pointed it out to my uncle, he had the installer return to replace some boards. That was when when he was still on the bench. If my Uncle did not know how to do something, he got a book and learned how to do it himself. He liked doing many things and he paid attention to detail.

    How much consideration is given to whether a home owner will be pleased with a design? At what point does the urgency to work fast overlook a design installation that is permanent with which a homeowner must live? For the first time watching Brother vs. Brother 2, I reacted emotionally with the Judge's choices the last 2 weeks of the competition. This is my opinion based on my preferences, but had I owned the last 2 homes designed by Drew's team, I would have not just been disappointed, I would have been extremely upset to have to live in the house with the design they chose. I don't know what goes on behind the scenes or see the interaction, but I could not make sense of the choices. It was unsettling.

    Wouldn't it be better for a team not to complete a project in order to reflect quality craftsmanship than to compromise excellence and a stellar design for the sake of speed just to produce what is in essence a "commodity"?

    marilyndeane on July 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm
  7. This year Brother vs Brother added JD to the mix—-how did that change the dynamics on the set — and the overall production. What role did Social Media play in this years challenge. The brothers were everywhere on facebook/twitter.

    Gerri on July 16, 2014 at 8:08 pm
  8. I love this show- in fact all of their shows- I was especially happy to see JD added to the show- maybe next season we could see a bit- or rather whole lot more of JD- in the show not just at the end.
    Speaking of the homeowners not really knowing about the design picked- what happens if they look at it and say OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED!!!!!! Do they have to keep that design or can they get it done without any cost to them? I agree some of the color choices where way out there- Or do the families give a sort of rendition of what they actually would like to be done to those rooms.. Again love the show.. Keep up the good work Jonathan, Drew and of course JD.

    sandra on July 17, 2014 at 5:28 am
  9. I somehow missed the final episode. When did it air

    Virginia on August 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm
  10. Hello to Liz the Blogger and Loren – My name is Robin Bull and I am the Director of Programming for Understanding the Law Radio. I can't find any other way to contact the producers of the show or the Brothers. We would like to have the Brothers on our legal and business podcast. We have a very large listenership (65k) and we've had an impressive list of guests including best selling authors and reality TV stars. Could someone please contact me or forward the information that will allow me to contact the appropriate person about my request? Thanks. My mother in law LOVES this show.

    Robin Bull on August 29, 2014 at 7:48 am