House Rules

2018 House Rules runner-up Mel has been shocked into action by online abuse

'I might help tackle cyberbullying.'

By Helen Vnuk

House Rules has been won by the clear public favourites, Toad and Mandy. Competitive couple Mel and Dave, who came runners-up, have had their eyes opened to how harsh people can be on social media.

"I just feel that people who write these disgusting things don't understand how hurtful they actually are," Mel, 33, tells TV WEEK.

"I think it's something that needs to be tackled and I think it's something I might look into in the future."

Mel and Dave have been hurt by the online abuse.
Mel and Dave have been hurt by the online abuse.

Because of Mel and Dave's "strategic" gameplay on the show, they've been targets for online abuse, with some people even bringing their children into it.

"I've had enough life experience to know that they don't know me, so therefore I shouldn't take on board their opinion," Mel explains. "But I think that young girls, especially, if they cop abuse the way I did, it could really destroy someone's life."

Mel admits that she and Dave were "a hundred per cent more competitive" than the other teams on the show.

They wanted to win the money so Dave could give up his job as a fly-in-fly-out worker and run a gym with her.

"I think it came across as all we wanted was the money," Mel adds. "It wasn't like that. We loved changing people's lives, their rooms and their backyards. But the competition – that word stuck in our heads from day one because that amount of money could change everything about our lifestyle."

Mel and Dave with their children.
Mel and Dave with their children.

The Queensland couple, parents to Westin, five, and Billy, three, are appreciative of what they've gained from House Rules.

"We're very lucky, very blessed," Dave, 34, says. "We've got a beautiful house and a beautiful landscaped yard for the kids to play in, to grow up in. It's just going to benefit us for the years to come."

Mel says all is going well now with Billy, who struggled while they were away filming the show.

"He would just be on the floor at kindy, just not really caring," she explains. "He's only a kid but I would describe it as depressed. He went backwards in speaking and toileting.

"Now we're back, he's just full on. He doesn't shut up now. He's great.

"Life could be better if Dave was home, but it couldn't be better in regards to my kids' health and them being happy with their new rooms."

Toad and Mandy (left) won the competition over Mel and Dave.
Toad and Mandy (left) won the competition over Mel and Dave.

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