• Russell J Holmes was a cast member on the show "Garage Rehab"
• He is now the star of HGTV's "Renovation Impossible"
• "Fast N' Loud" was canceled in 2020
• Russell was born in Long Island and moved to Texas as a child
• He and Richard Rawlings have remained on good terms since their time on "Garage Rehab"
Although it’s been a couple of years since “Garage Rehab” left TV screens, the show is memorable for their stunning renovations, dynamics between the cast, and especially for bringing many talented designers and contractors into the spotlight. One of the most famous is Russell J Holmes, whose creativity made him the perfect addition to Richard Rawlings’ team, quickly but steadily growing followers on his own, even when cameras were off.
However, given how easy it is to lose track of some of our favorite TV stars, we’ve prepared this follow-up to tell you all about Russell’s whereabouts, his current projects, TV shows and the status of his relationship with his former co-star Richard Rawlings.
Stay with us to know it all!
Where Is Russell Now?
While it’s been a while since Russell J Holmes debuted on TV, it’s just recently that he started building a path in his own in the entertainment world. After making some brief appearances in “Fast N’ Loud”, and taking the co-star spot in “Garage Rehab”, it was just due for Russell to star in his own series.
That finally became true in late 2022 with the premiere of his own show “Renovation Impossible” on HGTV. The series goes on a different route compared to his previous projects, as instead of flipping cars and garages, Russell is now showcasing all his creative skill by giving a new face to the homes whose owners are too indecisive to continue renovating on their own.
Besides “Renovation Impossible”, Russell is also doing well in other aspects. To date Russell has accumulated over 400,000 followers on his social media combined, gaining him a spot in important events of the car industry, such as the yearly Specialty Equipment Market Association, SEMA shows, as well as in charity events, and as the face of some brands in the field. All in all, life and work are looking great for Russell right now.
Was “Garage Rehab” Canceled?
While the concept of turning poorly-performing businesses into highly successful ones isn’t new in the reality genre, it was quite innovative seeing it applied to garages in need in “Garage Rehab”.
However, every good thing has to come to an end and that also counts for popular shows. Ever since “Garage Rehab”s second season wrapped up in 2019, every cast member has been focused on their own projects, such as the later-canceled “Fast N’ Loud” and business Gas Monkey Garage in Richard Rawlings’ case, and the automotive shop Eurotech Classics for Chris Stephens. This has unsurprisingly worried “Garage Rehab” fans about the show not returning to the screen, something confirmed by Russell J Holmes when news about his new show “Renovation Impossible” hit headlines: ‘I never worked for Richard or Gas Monkey. I was there helping with a big project, and when it was done I decided to move on’, he answered a curious fan on Facebook in October 2022.
Even though “Garage Rehab” wasn’t officially canceled, it seems there’s little hope of the show resuming in the near future.
What Happened To “Fast N’ Loud”?
Although Russell J Holmes owes most of his current fame to his memorable work in “Garage Rehab”, his brief work as a casting assistant in “Fast N’ Loud” was also a good platform for him in his early career on TV.
That being said, “Fast N’ Loud” is a thing in the past now. After airing for eight years on Discovery channel, Richard Rawlings put an end to the show which made his name known in the automotive industry all around the world: ‘it was time for me to expand and grow a little bit, and I’d kind of gotten to the top of that mountain being there’, he announced in an interview with the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast in 2020
Despite the end of “Fast N’ Loud”, Gas Monkey Garage kept on in business just as before, and their activities are now featured in weekly videos on their YouTube channel, which now has almost a million subscribers, and has accumulated over 100 million views combined. The business has also done a good job at keeping the brand alive, by selling a wide variety of merchandise, car care products, and joining automotive events and auctions. Overall, everything is looking great for Rawlings and his crew, regardless of being away from TV.
What Is Russell’s New Show About?
As attractive as the concept of giving a new face to some of our believed spaces at home might be, renovations aren’t easily taken to completion by just anyone. It’s not only the large amounts of money and time which are invested in these projects which make them not so easily accomplished, but other factors such as design preferences and lack of knowledge of risks and technicalities which turn the dream of flipping a house into a complete nightmare.
When the latter occurs, it’s the right time for Russell J Holmes and his new crew to step up. By taking on projects stagnated by financial or technical factors, the staff of “Renovation Impossible” turn those projects once thought impossible to complete, into a reality in only two weeks for Texas-based homeowners: ‘We open their eyes to what they can really do with their money. Now they can move forward and make new memories with their families’, as affirmed by Russell.
Although the show’s main goal is to renovate these people’s houses, Russell and his staff surely take pride in using their limited resources as best as they can, while not losing sight of what homeowners really want: ‘We focus on the people first, then the house’, he told HGTV, following the show’s premiere in September 2022.
Who Are The Cast?
For now the “Renovation Impossible”s cast has few people, but they’re talented and hardworking enough to make the best out of every project.
Although Russell J Holmes is in charge of planning and envisioning the project’s goals to fit the homeowners’ requirements, his team of experts are just as pivotal in taking every project to completion. Firstly, designer Paige Poupart chooses everything aesthetic-related, using her extensive knowledge about trends, material and space management in Texas’ real estate field.
Surprisingly, “Renovation Impossible” isn’t Paige’s first deed in the genre of house flipping TV shows. In 2017 she debuted in the HGTV series “Renovation Gap”, along with her father and their joint business The Masters Dallas. Her job experience also includes contributing as a writer to magazines in the field, added to being a broker, artist and contractor.
Paybacks are tough…🤣#RenovationImpossible is coming up tonight at 9|8c #OnHGTV
Posted by HGTV on Thursday, September 29, 2022
For his part, crafter and designer Steve Mabry is in charge of providing custom-made furniture and leather items to seamlessly fit the design efforts of Russell and Paige, by incorporating an original but modern approach of the Texas style in every project. Steve’s business, The Rusty Buffalo also repurposes all types of items with the same philosophy of bringing back the past in a stylish way. Needless to say, all point out that the “Renovation Impossible” team is more than fit to turn these projects around.
Who Is Russell J Holmes?
While Russell’s involvement with Richard Rawlings in “Garage Rehab” made him a known name in the automotive flipping world, it’s for sure that audiences from the home renovation field aren’t necessarily familiar with his work and life, but that’s what we’re here for.
Even though Russell now lives permanently in Texas, he was actually born in Long Island, New York State in 1972, the oldest of four children. Russell’s life is interesting, even from the beginning, as having a twin sister was a unique experience which most children don’t have: ‘With Colleen, I had a partner in crime, one of us would always be on the lookout for the other’, he said in an interview with HGTV.
After their parents divorced, Russell and his siblings moved to Texas very early in life. Russell’s interest in entertainment was evident from his early childhood, and inspired by “Moonlighting”s detective David Addison, he joined his school’s drama club to act, sing, dance and take part in talent shows.
Regardless of Russell’s love for the stage, some difficult events in his life led him to choose a different career. According to an interview with HGTV, Russell revealed that his father dying from alcoholism and losing his mother to suicide after several attemps on her life, prompted him to become an emergency medical technician: ‘I never wanted to feel helpless again when it came to assisting someone in need, and these days I’m passionate about anything that deals with suicide prevention’, he confessed.
Although Russell made a living both in the health field, while slowly but steadily gaining a spot in the local house renovation industry, getting there wasn’t an easy task. Russell dropped out of high school, and only obtained his general educational development credentials in his 30s, when he realized he wanted to set an example to his children: ‘It was important to me to get that degree, because how could I tell my kids they have to get an education when I didn’t finish mine?’, he revealed in the same interview, referring to his sons who nowadays are in their mid-20s.
After facing so many difficulties in life, it’s inspiring to see Russell having such a successful career, and fulfilling personal life.
Rise To Fame & “Garage Rehab”
As with many things in life, Russell’s opportunity to become a TV star was a mix of luck and hard work. A long-time fan of “Fast N’ Loud” and Gas Monkey Garage, Russell didn’t hesitate to send his resume after reading a Facebook post of Richard Rawlings looking for talented people for a new show.
While Russell thought he had a good chance at being chosen, he missed the first phone call from Pilgrim Studios, the company producing “Fast N’ Loud”. Not paying too much attention to it, he didn’t phone back until the next day, when he learned that the network wanted to meet him. Fast forward to a couple of weeks and interviews later, and Russell was officially offered a place in the then-upcoming show “Garage Rehab”, accepting immediately.
Needless to say, Russell’s experience at home design and renovations made him the right choice to take “Garage Rehab”s spot as a project manager, but his great dynamic with Richard played an important role as well: ‘He tells everybody he and I are the same person. I said, yeah, except you have a lot more zeroes in your bank account than I do’, as Russell joked in an interview with Riverhead News-Review in 2017.
Story With Cars
Even if Russell’s work in “Garage Rehab” was limited to design and architectural matters, the show’s close involvement with the automotive world, the talk about cars unsurprisingly included him as well.
Regarding his relationship with autos, Russell recalls loving them from his early childhood: ‘I used to have the old remote-control cars on the track, and being able to use the eraser to clean the contacts off to make them go faster’, he told Hollywood Soap Box.
I hope you all have a relaxing #labordayweekend and be safe and smart and don’t forget tonight a 2 hour @fastnloudtv with @MrBarryWilliams on @skyscraperlive and the #discoverygo app @gasmonkeygarage garagerehabtv… https://t.co/LgTYBUneCI
— Russell J Holmes (@RussellJHolmes) September 2, 2019
At 12 years old, Russell taught himself how to drive by taking his grandfather’s 1972 Pontiac Catalina for a drive without permission, but despite being discovered in the act by his mother, he was allowed to drive back home with no problems. A couple of years later, it was his mother who taught him how to properly drive for his license, and nothing has stopped Russell since then.
According to a 2019 interview with MotorTrend, Russell owns several cars, some of which include every day rides such as his 1994 Chevrolet Pickup and 2015 RAM, added to some more classic acquisitions such as a 1968 Corvette. Last but not least, he’s a Harley-Davidson guy, but he doesn’t ride as much as he wants: ‘I love my 2011 bike, it was the only year they manufactured it in orange, but it’s just too hot to ride a motorcycle in Texas’, he told the magazine.
Is He Still Friends With Richard Rawlings?
Now that every “Garage Rehab” cast member is focused on their individual projects, many people wonder if Russell J Holmes and Richard Rawlings aren’t friends any more.
While it’s difficult to tell if the men were actually friends at some point, it seems that they’re on good terms despite taking separate ways, as Russell affirmed in an Instagram video in August 2022: ‘(he) took someone who had no idea, never wanted to be on TV and taught me the road. I have nothing but appreciation for that man’, he admitted, also calling Richard his mentor.
Now that it’s clear that Russell and Richard aren’t on bad terms, the possibility of “Garage Rehab” resuming doesn’t seem as unlikely. However, whether that ultimately happens or not, the best we can do in the meantime.is to support their projects, such as “Renovation Impossible”.