'All-American Handyman': Carmen de la Paz judges Mr. and Ms. Fix-It

The ongoing surge in the popularity of competitive reality shows continues with "All American Handyman," a four-episode series currently airing Sundays on HGTV, where it premiered last week.

In each episode, men and women from across America compete in a series of timed "fix it" quizzes and challenges to find out who ultimately deserves the title of the country's best nonprofessional handyman. Their efforts are evaluated by three experts: Mike Holmes ("Holmes on Homes"), Scott McGillivray ("Income Property") and, in the Sept. 12 episode, guest judge Carmen de la Paz ("Hammer Heads").

The finalists in this episode are tasked with completing a mock living room, which includes installing drywall, windows and flooring.

"Mike strategically chose the challenges to test a broad stroke of skill sets, and those who were knocked out were the ones who clearly did not have the skills that they needed for that particular challenge," de la Paz says. "Installing a window, to my mind, is contractor-level stuff. It's structural, it involves insulation, and it involves both the interior and the exterior of the home. That one immediately separated the men from the boys, but the flooring challenge was something that everyone should have been able to do, in my opinion."

The contestants are competing for a $10,000 shopping spree at Sears, a show development deal with HGTV and, of course, bragging rights to the title of All American Handyman. De la Paz says the show has a broad appeal.

"Based on the fact that this show is being presented from the handyman perspective, we're not looking for a professional designer or contractor here," she says. "We're looking for those hardworking handyman guys who are trying to make a living. I think that means you'll have a much broader scope. You're going to appeal to that guy who drives a Ford truck, but you're also going to get that mom who is looking to save some money around the house, and that to me is really exciting."