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When doing it yourself may not be the best bet.

Byline: Nancy Sheehan

Jeff Autenrieth would never call himself a handyman, and those who watched him attempt a kitchen renovation on the DIY network apparently agree. Autenrieth, of Worcester, has been nominated as one of "America's 10 Worst DIYers" in a show that will air at 9 p.m. Thursday on the DIY Network.

DIY taped Autenrieth and his wife, Shauna, struggling with the kitchen upgrade for five days in June of 2010 and the segment aired last November. "We were doing our renovation anyway and it seemed like a fun idea," he said, about volunteering to appear on the show. "We thought it would give us some moments to look back at and enjoy and some good footage to show the kids later." The children, now ages 2 and 3, appeared briefly in the show.

Autenrieth said he and his wife thought November would be the end of it and were surprised to learn they would be part of a "10 Worst" show almost a year later. "We were on season five and had never seen a `10 Worst' of any sort," he said. "It's something we didn't even know would ever exist."

The couple would rather let sleeping renovations lie.

Although he doesn't have the skills to build Rome in a day or even several lifetimes, Autenrieth said the November show made him even look less skilled than he actually is.

"I took on a project I had no business taking on in the first place," he said. "I would have been fine if I could have had help from a family member every now and then, but you could only have just you and your wife doing it. And it would have been OK if the project was not that big, but there was some creative editing that made me look foolish in a sense, and I'm not really that bad."

The finished kitchen also looks a lot better than it does on the show because work continued long after the TV crews left.

"I hired a neighbor to help finish some of the work," he said. "It took months to get it up to an acceptable standard."

The public was allowed to vote on the "10 Worst" finalists through Oct. 3 and, when we spoke to Autenrieth on Monday, he had no idea if he would be winner ... or loser, depending on how you look at it. "They haven't told us anything yet," he said.

His summation of the whole TV experience: "It's just what happened and the way it works," he said, of the editing. "Overall it was favorable. Everyone said they thought it was funny and a good portrayal of how Shauna and I work with each other. But I wouldn't say she was terribly excited about it coming back. We enjoyed the (first) show. We were excited and it was what it was. But we thought it was done when we finished the kitchen, and we didn't really want to relive it."


CUTLINE: Jeff and Shauna Autenrieth of Worcester will appear on "America's 10 Worst DIYers."

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Title Annotation:TELEVISION
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 5, 2011
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