Their elimination was one nobody saw coming. After a gruelling renovation at Graeme and Mary's fire-stricken house last week, House Rules favourites Katie and Alex were sent home.
Regarded as one of the more consistent teams throughout the competition, the pair's shock exit came about only because lowest scorers Tim and Mat gained an extra five points for their bonus room – placing them ahead of the NSW couple at the last minute.
Understandably, Katie and Alex were devastated by having to leave.
"It was surreal that it all came to an end so abruptly," Alex, 32, tells TV WEEK.
"I genuinely don't think they [the judges] had seen our best yet. We had a lot more to give. It was a really tough renovation and we were devastated that we didn't put our best foot forward."
Katie, 29, adds, "I don't think any of the contestants thought we'd be going. It was completely left-field."
Chippie Mat, 27, says he was "gutted" that Katie and Alex had to leave, especially given the circumstances.
"I guess you're escaping at somebody else's expense," he says.
But did he think it was fair, given he and brother Tim received the lowest score from the judges?
"I'm not going to say it's not fair, because if you look at it from another perspective, there were two weeks in the internal renovations where we finished on top yet ended up second because somebody got the early room reveal," he explains.
"But it did hurt. I hated seeing them [Katie and Alex] go."
House Rules airs Monday and Tuesday, 7.30pm, and Sunday, 7pm, Channel Seven.
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