So Long Season Five & Hello Napier Girl #2

All things must come to an end and so has season five of Home Town. (Thank goodness for #HomeTownTakeover, right?)

We loved watching Brooke and Robbie Jefcoat’s story of their new beginning together after a devastating loss. We saw how the Helen House was restored into a calm and uplifting place for women who are recovering from difficult circumstances. We envied every southerner’s dream home created for the new Laurel Main Street director and her doctor husband. We even saw Ben’s little brother, Jesse and his wife Lauren, move into their first home together just in time to welcome their first child! 

This season ranked higher than any other season in Home Town history, and it’s no surprise to us, but Erin believes there was something different about this season that can be attributed to its success. She thinks it’s far beyond the appeal of newly renovated homes. 

“It’s amazing that this season has the highest rated episodes ever, but I don’t think that has anything to do with us. I think people really loved this season, because there was a lot of heart behind each episode and most of our homeowners were going through hard things. Viewers needed to see people overcoming loss and hope winning after all we’ve been through this past year with COVID. That’s what this whole season was about,” Erin said.

Off camera, Ben and Erin admit there were many unforeseen challenges that played a role in season five, including the one that plagued the entire world.

Ben says, Our producers considered if we should mention COVID on the show, since these will be reruns forever. It was the main character of the show behind-the-scenes, but everyone ultimately decided to let the show’s focus remain on the restoration of Laurel in an evergreen way, without mention of the pandemic.”

Followers of Erin and Ben’s personal Instagram account have learned that the Home Town crew are not just a set of people who make a TV show. In fact, Erin refers to their crew as “Camp Home Town,” because of the family-like connection that comes with working together for five years. 

Erin says, “COVID changed everything about our jobs, because we didn’t get to have the usual camaraderie that comes with each season. We couldn’t eat crew lunches together and we had to wear masks all the time. You couldn’t get to know the new crew members. Plus, we were all working so hard to film three different shows. Every moment was so intense.”

 Ben found his new show, Ben’s Workshop, to be a reprieve in the midst of their new work life.

 Ben’s Workshop was something I wanted to do for years. Even though there are only four episodes, there was a lot of blood, sweat and caffeine put into the show. I would start at 6am, and we would film all day. I loved it so much though and that it made it all worth it.” — Ben

 While filming three shows, being full-time parents and the pandemic, there was a surprise that was far more unexpected than anything that could happen in 2020. Ben and Erin discovered they were expecting their second daughter.

 The Napiers anxiously await her arrival in late May 2021, but they are most interested in how this will change the life of their three-year-old, Helen.

Ben says, “I’m happy to know Helen will have a playmate for life. It’s fascinating to see my nieces and Helen playing together. Girls just play so differently. I grew up with three brothers, and it’s been a whole new world to me. Helen hates getting dirty and rough-housing. She’s not climbing up the bookcase and jumping off, which is what little boys grow up doing. Myself included.“

 “I’m most interested to find out if they’re alike or very different. You just never know what they’ll be like, but I know that Helen will be a good sister. They’ll be there for each other and that’s what matters most to me,” Erin says.

We’re so thankful to see the Napier family grow and the cities of Laurel and Wetumpka be restored, despite one of the hardest years in history. We can only imagine what’s next.

 P.S. —Stay tuned with what’s happening with Erin and Ben, Home Town and Downtown Laurel right here on the journal and don’t forget to watch #HomeTownTakeover on Sunday at 8/7c!

 P.S.S. — If you watched tonight’s episode with Miss Ella, check out the #HomeTownTakeover collection of products seen in Wetumpka here!