Hosted by Emmy® nominated actor Cameron Mathison (All My Children, 54), the Vancouver-based series follows four teams of two amateur home renovators as they compete for the prize of a lifetime – a house and a plot of land to put it on. Produced by Great Pacific Media in association with W Network, Game of Homes premieres Tuesday, March 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on W Network. The action-packed series pits each team’s skill, ingenuity and teamwork against each other. Every week, two expert judges, Cheryl Torrenueva (Restaurant Impossible, Restaurant Makeover, Colin & Justin’s Home Heist) and Jeremy MacPherson (The Re-Inventors) assess the design and workmanship of each team’s room transformation.
Designer, Cheryl Torrenueva has become a hot commodity in the TV design world! She graduated with a Bachelor of Interior Design from Ryerson University and could have never predicted what was yet to come.
On a whim she entered HGTV’s Superstar Challenge, made it to the finals, and the rest is TV history. Cheryl’s big break came when she was chosen to be the feisty on-camera Design Manager for HGTV’s Colin & Justin’s Home Heist. A few years later, she started working in the USA as a design producer for HGTV USA’s Secrets From A Stylist, with her work featured on The Rachel Ray Show. She holds the throne as one of the top on-camera designers in demand on Food Network USA’s uber-successful Restaurant Impossible and Food Network Canada/Cooking Channel USA’s Restaurant Takeover.
For the past decade, she has continued her TV career as a designer, creating both elegant and innovative spaces for HGTV Canada’s hit shows Home To Go, Rooms That Rock, and Food Network’s Restaurant Makeover; art directed for HGTV’s Disaster DIY, Design Interns and SLICE’s Superstar Hair Challenge. In between shows, she is a regular contributor to The Marilyn Denis Show, Blanco Canada’s Kitchen Design Council, Metrie’s Design Council, and has designed feature spaces for IDS Toronto, Sony Canada and various Home + Interior Design Shows.
What did you enjoy most about being judges on Game of Homes?
I think the best part about being a judge was the fact that I could share some of the lessons that I have learned from my past design projects during the evaluations each week, and watch each team take those concepts, apply them and make it their own.
What surprised you most about the teams?
I was really impressed with how they managed to complete each task within the time frame, and basically living in a parking lot. They were taken out of their element, their normal daily routines and had to overcome a lot of obstacles. Imagine having to wake up every day to over 100 strangers with cameras in your face? That takes a lot of guts, determination and patience to be on our show. And in such a competitive atmosphere, I was surprised that all the teams seemed to get along with their neighbours, how Canadian! But then again, I haven’t seen the episodes yet, so I can’t wait to hear what all the contestants have to say!
Where you impressed by the teams creativity and workmanship?
Absolutely! I would think about the short timelines that they had to complete a challenge and think to myself, there’s no way that they can finish this on time. I’m used to having a large team of people help me when I’m renovating, so to be able to watch each team do everything from the design, to the build to the final accessorizing is completely mind blowing.
What is the best advise that you gave the teams renovating.
Communication is key! This is the best skill to have because even with the best design in the world, if your team doesn’t have a cohesive game plan, then you will never succeed. Even now, after a decade of working in television and design, I need to make sure that I’m always communicating with my trades, figuring out the best possible solutions and checking my ego at the door.
What can the audience expect watching Game of Homes?
Prepare to be shocked! Each week, the teams really surprised us with their renovations. There was never a clear winner, and I think that’s what is going to make this show great. I can only imagine the stress that they are under to produce high quality designs while living through the renovation, and knowing that your biggest competition is next door.
You have been dubbed ‘Cheremy’ by all the teams, was it hard to give criticism to the contestants?
When I heard that we were dubbed “Cheremy”, I had a good laugh. It’s way better than “Jerryl”. LOL. Among my friends, when you get a nickname, you know that you’re family. It was definitely hard to give our comments to the contestants, especially at the beginning because they don’t know us personally. Both Jeremy and I are super fun, but when we are in our Judging zone, we are serious, passionate and focused on trying to make sure that we are giving the best possible advice. Yes, it may come across as harsh, but it was all about “tough love”. We really wanted to make sure that we pushed them as much as possible because at the end of the day, they could be the team that wins their own house.
How did you enjoy working with Cameron and the rest of the cast and crew?
First of all, to work with Cam (he’s such a pro) and my hilarious co-judge Jeremy was an absolute dream. They are both so down to earth and I learned so much from them both professionally and personally. Coming from Toronto, I knew that I would be able to experience the West Coast hospitality and I was excited to come to set every morning and feel like I was seeing my Game of Homes family. Even when it rained, we managed to find time to laugh and have fun.
What did you take away from being on Game of Homes?
I learned that even after years of mastering your own craft, there is still so much more that you can learn from others. I loved hearing all the guest judges comments, being inspired by the contestants, and being able to figure out what my core values are as a designer.
Social Media Handles
Website: corusent.com, greatpacifictv.com, Wnetwork.com
Twitter: @Cher_Torrenueva, @GameOfHomesTV, @CameronMathison, @CorusPR, @GreatPacificTV, @w_network
Facebook: facebook.com/gameofhomes, facebook.com/wnetwork
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