The first thing Lance Broussard of Early wanted to do when his wife, Joey, won the Hands On A House contest Sunday afternoon was to get a tape measure to find out how much fence he was going to need to take down to get it in the family’s backyard.
The first thing his wife wanted to do was to put on some makeup and comb her hair before photos were taken.
“We’re going to use it as a game room,” Lance Broussard said as his wife opened her purse and accepted the congratulations of dozens of spectators, including family members and other contestants.
Luke Broussard, 11, said it was going to be great.
“Have you been inside yet,” Lance Broussard asked him. However, that tour had to wait until all the photos were made.
Among the first to give Joey Broussard a hug was the winner of last year’s Hands On A House winner, Brandi Buitron.
As noon came and went Sunday, the competition became more demanding — and it dwindled to three finalists — Broussard, Mike Helms and Kristy Keith. The three contestants were standing on the west side of the house, only partially protected from the sun, with both hands touching the side of the house and above their heads.
A karaoke entertainer singing rock ‘n’ roll oldies next door broke into an upbeat tune, and Mark Campbell of contest co-sponsor Coldwell Banker urged everyone to, “Clap your hands!”
“Don’t do it!” a supporter of one of the finalists said with a laugh.
Seymore Construction is also a co-sponsor.
Without warning, Keith lowered her hands, shook her head and walked away from the house. The focus of the audience turned to the remaining two.
Within minutes, one of several judges reported seeing a flinch — perhaps involuntarily — from Helms’ hands.
Campbell conferred with other judges, and Broussard was proclaimed this year’s winner.
Applications to be a contestant were taken between Aug. 11 and Sept. 12. Up to 20 contestants were allowed to participate in the endurance event in which they were required to remaining standing in contact with the house around the clock. The contest began at 7 p.m. Friday. Short breaks were allowed for eating and going to the restroom.