A good old battle between Good and Evil!
Now, we’d enjoyed Season 1 of Channel 7’s Instant Hotel, and we were so excited to see Season 2 uploaded to Netflix – but was it as good as the first stay?
For those who haven’t watched Instant Hotel before, Instant Hotel is a reality TV competition where home owners who are dabbling in the Airbnb market, open up their instant hotels to the critical eye of other Airbnb home owners and celebrity judges Juliet Ashworth and new judge Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. And whilst for normal people, the thought of opening up your home to be mercilessly critiqued by others who are out to find fault about your prized possession, is not something you’d readily volunteer for, at least at the end of this ordeal for the competitors, was the chance to pick up $100K in prize money! And for those who didn’t stack up on top, at least they earned themselves a healthy amount of free advertising for their money-maker, exposure which money can’t buy! So if you enjoy interior design and you enjoy reality TV competitions, then Instant Hotel is a must watch for you!
The only critique we had on Season 2 was that there just wasn’t enough episodes to go around! In Season 1, the 8 pairs of contestants were split into 2 groups of 4, with Group 1 taking turns rotating around to the 4 locations – fighting over who gets to sleep in the master bedroom, while trying to subtly plant doubt and shade on the places they’re staying at, as in the end everyone but themselves were a direct competitor. And once the first group of 4 had circled Australia, then host Luke Jacobs packed his bags and joined the second group of 4 and repeated the process with another 4 instant hotels. Then the top scorers from Groups 1 and 2 repeated the process again in a final round – but with the critiques still ringing in their ears and pockets full of spending money from the show to be used to improve their property ($10K), they fixed up their place and the overall experience – and when they opened up their doors again to a hand-picked guest judge panel who stayed one final time, the guests and Juliet pooled their points together to select a winner! However in Season 2, Luke Jacobs is long gone, replaced by a disembodied voice-over. And adding a second judge in Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen added gravitas to the collective scores, but probably with the increased cost of on-screen talent, and the increase in the cost of the prize, most likely they had to slash the teams and episodes by half to keep the production under budget! But did the second season suffer for it?
We think so. In the end, the competition wasn’t all that fierce as they only had to beat out 3 other instant hotels to be crowned the best Instant Hotel in Australia! And all too soon, we the viewer were returned to the same old homes, opened up for scrutiny a second time in the final round – for one instant hotel, we literally saw their home in episode 4 and then we saw it a second time in episode 6, and then poof, the entire season was over! A bit of a fizzle I thought……
But what we did like, was that the 4 pairs of contestants were funny, charming and likeable in their own unique way. The 4 destinations we were taken to, were stunning pieces of Australia- from an underground home in the Opal mining town of Coober Pedy SA, to the tourist trap of the Sunshine Coast in a 2 story penthouse apartment, to a mansion in Cairns where it seemed like the couple literally owned their own suburb, there was so much land out there!……… No rando home in Pennant Hills this time. Haaha. And like all of these reality TV competition shows, it followed a proven recipe of injecting one real b*tchy team to stir up the pot, which kept things interesting. And all too soon, the grand final was a battle between the good and the evil (the aforementioned b*tchy team), battling it out for the title!
And it was nice to see that the producers had taken on feedback from Season 1 and had upped the winner’s stakes (previously it was just an all-expenses paid trip for 2 to California to stay at a luxo Instant Hotel, I’d estimate the total value of the prize to be worth no more than $30K?), but now it was a cash prize of $100K, the contestants called it a ‘life changing’ prize……. I wouldn’t call it exactly life changing, but def enough to pay off a few bills and lighten the load for a year or two. But yeah, it was good to see the winners take home more, for their troubles and for opening themselves and their homes to scrutiny – but it was a shame that the increased winnings came at the expense of the quality of the show.
But Instant Hotel season 2 is still worth your while, even if it’s only 40mins x6, so if you’re interested to check it out, click HERE!