The Block All Stars – Sun-Fri 7pm, Ch9
Check out those Bondi folk enjoying their enthusiastic lifestyle. Exercising on the beach with their personal trainers, sipping organic lattes and riding skateboards ironically down the road. It’s enough to make you sick.
So everyone is SUPER tuckered out from decking out their linen cupboards and whatever from last week. Apparently this week is a big deal – KITCHENS – but hasn’t yet been given a stupid name like “Conan the Barbarian Week” or “Ebola Week.” I give Dan about thirty seconds.
Room reveals were last night and Josh is having a whinge to Dan about not getting good scores. He reckons that he and Jenna would have known if their room was bad and it wasn’t. The judges called it boring, and it was a bit, but it wasn’t too bad. The freezers in the floor were pretty stupid though. Focusing on styling in their previous season didn’t get their house sold, and they’re determined to focus this time on the buyer – not the judges. They then use a variety of colourful names to describe anyone who’d buy a house based on the artwork. There’s also some brouhaha about who got the first 9s in the competition. Amity gloats, Jenna bristles, Josh swears and I lose interest.
Mark and Duncan are cheerfully donning the lurid yellow Chump jackets. Clearly no one has told them that they’re supposed to be sulking and huffing about it. They think they’re pulling it off quite stylishly and quite frankly, they are. How much would you buy Mark and Duncan action figures?
It’s time to inspect each other’s houses. Let the sniping begin.
Dani thinks Mark and Duncan’s room is alright but she objects to the bookshelves being about 10% full. Far too many books. What you want is to just have three or four crisp orange Penguin classics fanned out, preferably by authors who have pretty sounding names.
Amity thinks the room is caving in on her.
Josh think it’s good, because they judges think it’s bad. Jenna agrees, she thinks the judges are idiots.
Mark and Duncan have decided to sell the gorgeous antique armoire that has thrown off the styling of their modern room. Their spray painted sign reads “4 SALE. 1 FBC (“French” big cabinet, let’s say) OR ARMOIRE. ENQUIRE WITHIN.” Here’s hoping that they get the $20 000 that it’s worth from one of the passing Bondi hipsters.
Oh, wait, they film this in BONDI?
Phil and Amity agree with the judges about the boring hallway. They think the formal lounge is bland. Amity complains about the sheer curtains.
Dan and Dani like it. Dan thinks it’s refreshing, and tries to drink the couch.
Duncan is well bored of white ceilings, white walls, white, white, white. Duncan wonders what will sell better on auction day.
Mark and Duncan try and find the ‘wow’ in the hallway but can’t, because that’s not a thing. They like the bedroom.
Dan thinks it looks like a hospital. They like the bedroom but resent the judges not docking points for execution.
Jenna sees paint drips. The bedroom is styled nicely, but she hates, HATES the entranceway.
Phil likes the man cave. Amity thinks the lounge is 70s-y.
Josh likes the man cave. Josh hates the judges. Josh and Jenna are outraged that Dan and Dani’s room didn’t win.
Duncan likes the lounge but wonders where the TV is. Mark thinks it’s a room for therapy.
Dan thinks that Amity is a passive aggressive cow, and Amity thinks that Josh and Jenna are cranky and rude. She’s annoyed that they didn’t congratulate her on her nice room.
From here on in, it’s all-new for the houses. Dan is stoked not to have to worry about the heritage stuff, which he’d much rather rip out.
A $10 000 win for Amity and Phil mean they can afford to build a mezzanine level above their kitchen. Keith said it was okay to build now as long as they ripped it down immediately and then put it back up again. Amity starts telling their builder that they don’t have to pull it down. Keith is going to eat them alive.
There’s a challenge this week to see who can use the least electricity. The winners will get the chance to lower an opponents kitchen score by one point. Evil. Josh and Jenna don’t think they have a chance as they have a fridge full of food and microwave dinners and Josh’s hair care regime to think of. A cunning plan is hatched. Dan and Dani will switch off entirely and spend the week plugged into Josh and Jenna’s house. There’s a lot of giggling and secretly plugging cords.
Amity and Phil’s builder Brad has thrown up the mezzanine floor in a matter of hours. They’re stoked, but it can’t last. Not only is Keith sure to materialise and demand it come down but also Brad is building the level with materials stolen from Dan’s work site.
Keith is unhappy and calls a site meeting. Dan says he’s had stuff stolen and he’s cross. Brad sits innocently. Keith starts questioning Phil and Amity about their mezzanine. They’re allowed to put up the perimeter to measure it but need to take it down so they’re not getting a head start on the rooms. Phil and Amity have timed it so it can be argued that by the time it was time to take it down, they were allowed to put it back up. It’s more than a little shifty and Keith is getting very annoyed. The trades get a 6 hour ban from the site, to counteract the head start, which is reasonable. Amity thinks it’s a conspiracy because they’re so totally brilliant at styling now.
Dan, Dani, Josh and Jenna are agreeing to split the money if their electricity plot offers up a win. They are determined to block Phil and Amity from another win. Phil wanders around outside and maybe hears the plan.
Phil and Amity are also taking the electricity challenge seriously by plugging in and unplugging Phil’s beer fridge. We are treated to about four different vignettes of Phil jovially liking beer and Amity being longsuffering. Then he pretends that a toilet explodes on him while Amity squeals and giggles. It is just the worst.
That night, the leaderboard for the power challenge is out. Dan and Dani have used the least, followed by Mark and Duncan and their cordless drills. Despite the fact that Josh and Jenna are providing Dan and Dani with all electricity, they aren’t even using half as much as Phil and Amity alone. Phil thinks it’s funny and Amity says ‘beer fridge’ threateningly.
Amity switches off the beer fridge. Phil pretends to die. More giggling. Errrrgggghhhhhhhhhhh.
Oh, hey, they film this in Bondi!
This week, Mark and Duncan’s secret weapon is a heritage oven fishtank. Mark is very excited, which he demonstrates with his excited face. It’s moustachey.
Today Phil and Amity’s kids are heading home to Adelaide. Amity is emotional. Phil is having a go with a sledgehammer and started bashing things. He breaks some things and has a laugh and leaves it for someone else to fix. The kids have to head off and they head around to all the couples to say goodbye. Everyone seems fond of them. It’s quite nice.
After picking some paint colours, J&J&D&D head down to the beach in the yellow Suzuki. Jenna doesn’t realise the car camera is on and says something slighting about Phil and Amity. They all have a good laugh but demand Dan delete the footage. He says he doesn’t know how and Dani tells him not to be stupid, he’s deleted a million things from the car footage before. This series of The Block is killing the escapism of reality TV. The contestants are rejecting the format – the judges, Keith, now deleting footage – and it just makes for depressing television. If the format has no authority or relevance to these people anymore then we’re literally just watching them renovate homes on their own terms, and my neighbours are doing that. You can’t be on reality TV and above it.
Back to talking about Phil and Amity’s mezzanine penalty. They’re in bed, having a lie-in and a laugh about it. Dan thinks they should have been fined more.
Mark is removing the back of a heritage fireplace to prepare for their fishtank. Duncan is stripping the bathroom at the speed of light. Someone is eating a banana.
Dan and Dani’s builder has a super mature fight with Keith about who gets to boss around which tradies. They are both super virile men and prove it with their Angry Words.
Mark is getting shaky on his feet and I think we’re about to see the health scare they’ve been advertising. We can hear Mark telling Duncan how he feels weird, his chest is tightening and he feels lightheaded. Duncan immediately wants to call an ambulance. We see people running and an ambulance pull into the street. Mark is wheeled out to the ambulance and Duncan looks frankly devastated. It’s gut wrenching to see him watching his mate get taken away.
Everyone is waiting anxiously to hear how Mark is. Eventually Scott calls everyone together to give them an update. Scott takes about seven million years to get to the point, and the point is that Mark and his family have decided that he won’t continue in the competition. He’s exhausted and he needs a break.
Duncan tells us that Mark’s stable, a bit dozy and with his lovely wife Jan, so he’s back at The Block. Everyone is keen to give him a hug and some love and he’s finding it hard to talk about it – but obviously appreciates the support. There are a lot of tears from Dan, Dani and Jenna and emotion from everyone.
Mark will obviously be greatly missed on The Block, not least of all by those of us who watch. What a lovely bloke.