TRURO - Tatamagouche native Maggie Stewart is building a following after flushing away the competition during the east coast elimination round of Canada's Handyman Challenge.
The 27-year-old handywoman, who lives in Windsor Junction, finished among the top four during a show stop in Halifax when she captured the attention of celebrity handyman judges Bryan Baeumler, Mike Holmes and Scott McGillivary.
"I was shocked," said Stewart, during Tuesday's episode, which aired on HGTV. "It feels incredible. I never thought, never thought I'd make it to the final 10 (nationally)."
The east coast round began with dozens of people vying for a chance to win the national title by showing judges unique woodworking creations using a single piece of plywood. Stewart's custom wine rack stood out in the crowd of benches, bookshelves and other items scrutinized by the panel.
The group's first challenge was to build a seat to match a unique table in just two hours.
Stewart's piece was an antique box-style table and fashioned a bench mimicking some of the same angles in the table.
"It's a love bench," she said to judges as they inspected her fresh creation.
Her bench-building skills earned her a place in the top seven that moved to Round 2 of the east coast contest.
During the second challenge of the day, Stewart didn't even look flushed when she installed a toilet in a mock bathroom.
"When I finished the toilet I knew I deserved to go through," she said.
Her bathroom renovation talents were enough to once again impress judges. She is the only woman who will represent the region during the national leg of the competition.
"My strategy is to go in with confidence and intimidate some of them," said the handywoman.
The judges have already selected four contestants from the west coast and will travel to Toronto for the next elimination round.
The winner will be decided following a two-day showdown in Hamilton where the knowledge, skill and creativity of contestants will be throroughly tested.
The next episode airs Jan. 24, at 4 p.m. on HGTV.