Tonight is the season premiere of Home Free on FOX. If you missed last season, the premise is this: Contestants come on the show to compete to win a dream home. Last season, couples competed against one another to win themselves a new house (or in the case of a couple of sisters, a home for their parents). This season is a bit different, in that it’s individual competitors, not couples, AND they are all competing to win a dream home for their personal hero (from a mother-in-law and brother to a woman who donated her kidney to the contestant’s father and a soldier who saved another soldier’s — the contestant’s — life during the war). This season, whoever wins the dream home for their hero also wins $100,000 for themself. The biggest twist (for both seasons)? EVERY contestant (or their hero, in this season’s case) wins a new home! The houses get bigger and better (so they say… Personally, I liked some of the earlier houses in season 1. *shrug*) as they go along. And this season, as opposed to houses in different areas of the city, the houses are all located in a brand new neighborhood development called Home Free Boulevard.
I absolutely loved last season, which was hosted by celebrity contractor Mike Holmes and his son. This season, Mike is back, and with him is new co-host, professional football player Tim Tebow. Tim recently spoke to the press about how he came to help host the show and what it means to him. Check out what he had to say.
On how he got involved with the series
Tim Tebow: When they came and were pitching the idea to me, I was obviously, kind of — I’d heard about this show and knew what they did in Season 1. But then I really understood what they were going to do in Season 2, and they were going to have 11 contestants competing to try to win a dream home for their personal hero, but then one of the twists is that every single one of the contestants gets to give away one of the homes to their heroes. So, everybody walks away a winner. But then you really start to understand the stories of these heroes, and these contestants, and why they’re really special. It’s because the heroes have done so much to sacrifice to get the contestants where they’re at, and now it’s the contestant’s chance to really make a dream come true for these heroes. I think that’s really special. And then you really get to understand the stories of sacrifice, whether it’s Nick, who was the war hero in Afghanistan, who’s competing for the man that picked him up on the battlefield and saved his life and brought him to safety. Or the contestant that we had that was competing for a young lady who does random acts of kindness all the time and donated her kidney to save his father’s life when he was going through dialysis. And I think when I really began to understand the stories, and how the contestants really had a chance to change the lives of the heroes, I think that’s what really gripped me. To really understand the narrative of it, it’s people loving and sacrificing for other people to make a difference in their lives. And when I heard that, I knew it was something that would be a lot of fun to be a part of.
Jump with me to read more from Tim.
On how his personal experience with charity work plays into what he’s doing with this show
Tim: Well, I think it definitely plays into it, just coming from the place of wanting to help other people and wanting to make a difference. I think it’s also the theme of what you’re trying to promote, and I think this show promotes to young people, and even not so young people, is that it is such a blessing to be able to help other people, and sacrifice for other people. Whether it’s your money, your time, your energy, your effort, whatever it is, it’s worth it, and it’s not just worth it when they return — they give you a home in return, but it’s worth it because of the lives that you’re able to change. I think that’s something that I’ve really learned through a lot of the work that we do at the Tim Tebow Foundation, and the work that I’ve done in third world countries. I think it’s also just as important to be able to do it here, in our own communities, and our own homes, because people need help, and they need hope. Sometimes that’s as little as a hug, and sometimes it can be as much as giving away a home, but I just think it’s so important. I think to be able to tell that story and have people see that, I think it’s good, especially in a day and age when it can be so much about me, me, me, and how can I get mine, where this show is totally about helping other people and that’s really cool.
On what it was like to be a part of a reality program
Tim: It was fun. It was exciting. I got super close with all the contestants and everybody, all the crew. I think that was really fun building those relationships, and investing in everybody on set. Especially contestants who, they go through so much, right, they put pause on their life to be able to do this and so, to really invest in them, and hear their story, and why they’re doing it, really understand the why behind it all, I think that was really, really cool. And another cool thing about it was, to be able to see some of them grow, throughout the — whether they were there five weeks, or ten weeks, whatever it was, to be able to see some of them grow, whether they’d start to believe in themselves, or find their confidence, or to be able to overcome obstacles. It’s a lot for people to be away from their families, and put their job on hold, and their life on hold, to be able to try to win a home for someone else. It was really cool to be able to experience that with them.
On how it was to host with Mike Holmes
Tim: It was so much fun working with Mike, obviously, as everybody knows, he’s the master builder, and I am definitely not. We were — the whole — how everyone competes, is skill, will, and strategy. So you have to learn the skill and Mike’s going to teach you that. For me, it was to try to push them and encourage them with their will to push past their limits. Then for them, it was to figure out how, whatever strategy they wanted to use. But, what was also really important in their strategy was how they treated everybody else. So it was really fun working with Mike, and we’re just so absolutely different, but we got along so well. We would tease each other, we’d go back and forth. He thinks that everybody should know how to build certain things, we’d go back and forth, I was like, people just don’t know how to do this stuff. I would give him a hard time about wearing overalls every day, that I just call a fancy onesie, but he’s awesome. We really did get along really well. He tries to put on that really tough man exterior, but he’s got a super soft heart; he loves helping people. A little tidbit about this show, is you might see him cry once or twice, which he probably won’t like me saying, but he even gets emotional, so you know it’s doing something good.
On his personal heroes he’d build a home for
Tim: Well, I’m blessed with so many heroes in my life, and role models, but I think more so than any, it would be my mom and my dad. My dad for having the most passion and courage I’ve seen out of any man, and then my mom, for being the sweetest lady. They’d definitely be my top two heroes.
On what he hopes viewers will take away from the show
Tim: I hope a lot of things. I think people are going to watch it, and they’re going to see that it’s probably the biggest build show America’s ever seen, so if they like building, it has a lot of that. It has so much competitiveness, which was so fun for me, really fierce competition. It’s obviously got its fair share of drama, but I think, more than anything, I’d want them to take away that it can be cool to be able to love and sacrifice for other people and give for other people. And I just believe that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. I think that’s something that this show really — I think that’s something that it really shows every single week in this show.
Thanks so much to Tim for taking the time out of his schedule to chat. Don’t miss the season premiere of Home Free tonight on FOX at 9/8c. I promise, you don’t want to miss this fun, inspiring show!