Saratoga County

Saratoga native doesn’t win TV’s ‘Handyman’ competition, but comes close

Saratoga Springs native Allison Oropallo didn’t win HGTV’s reality competition “All-American Handyma

Saratoga Springs native Allison Oropallo didn’t win HGTV’s reality competition “All-American Handyman,” but she did finish in the top three.

Oropallo, who teaches technology education at Ottoson Middle School in Arlington, Mass., graduated from the College of Saint Rose and formerly taught at Maple Avenue Middle School in Saratoga. She was one of 20 contestants selected from a pool of 3,000 applicants to participate in the show, which was filmed during 10 days in New York City this past April.

Oropallo, 28, outlasted 16 other contestants to make it to the final four on Sunday’s finale. Then, she earned a spot in the final three by designing what judges Mike Holmes and Scott McGillivray deemed to be the best shed among the four.

Holmes noted that Oropallo had methodically planned out her drawings the night before the shed challenge. “That’s the smart way to do it,” he said.

“I have no idea we could build a shed in such a short amount of time,” Oropallo said on the episode.

For the final challenge, each contestant had five hours to design and build a kitchen using old cabinets and a Kenmore dishwasher, refrigerator and stove, as well as $1,000 in other furnishings.

Oropallo, who could not be reached for comment Sunday night, continued her meticulous ways on this challenge — writing and rewriting diagrams of her plans.

“My walls were just covered in lines — lines everywhere,” she said on the show.

The judges found some fault in each of the three finalists’ kitchen designs. However, they said they couldn’t believe that this was Oropallo’s first time designing a kitchen. It was simple, but the placement of her appliances got high marks. But the judges didn’t like some of the details, such as the placement of the sink.

The winner was 39-year-old Jared Polston of Pottsville, Pa. He receives a $10,000 Sears prize package and a developmental deal to be featured in a future HGTV show.

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