As one gay couple prepares for their stint in the unreal world of reality TV, another prepares for a momentous end. While Manly renovations from Gold Coast couple Stephen and Richard kick off on The Block this weekend, Perth dudes Brett and Jeff are almost at the end of their strange time in Channel 10’s The Hothouse.

In the past two months Brett and Jeff have remained calm in the face of crises -“ the poorly rating reality TV show, the closure of their gym business and a swag of anti-gay abuse from inside and outside the house.

Now, they’re at the business end of the program billed as Australia’s richest reality television experiment, which is finally starting to show some form after dangerously bad ratings. The couple is competing against fence-sitting everyday Australians Simon and Jules (We call them Switzerland, Brett says) and horror-couple Pete and Tina. If they beat Simon and Jules this week, and beat Pete and Tina the week after, they’ll own a home on Bribie Island, Queensland.

But they’re not expecting to win, they say. In fact, they are amazed to have made it further than the 11 couples who have already been dumped from the show.

I’m not sure Australia is ready to give the house to a gay couple, Brett says.

Despite regular abuse, threats and intimidations from fellow finalist Pete -“ who has faced eviction from the show almost every week, and survived -“ and catcalls from members of the public standing at the fence, Brett says his time in the house has been a positive experience. They’ve met some good people as well as bad, and come through with their relationship intact.

One of the most interesting moments on the series happened this week when Brett’s father Alex, an ordinary bloke from Perth, came to visit The Hothouse set. While he was there, he heard someone in the crowd around the fence call Brett a poofter.

Alex called Sydney Star Observer on Wednesday to encourage people to support Brett and Jeff.

The crap, the foul, filthy, disgusting language that came across the fence, prompted me to go and threaten to punch some joker out, which got cut off on the TV, Alex said.

I have a strong sense of social justice, right? I have a strong sense of right and wrong. And nobody should have the boot stuck into them and shit heaped on them just because they’re gay or whatever. They deserve the same tolerance, the same understanding, the same consideration, as anyone else on this God’s earth.

Brett and Jeff deserved to win, Alex said, because they were honest, hard-working and straight shooters.

Note The Hothouse screens on Channel 10 @ 7pm, Monday to Friday. The elimination show is Monday.

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