The Block All Stars – Sun-Fri 7pm, Ch9
Would it not be intensely annoying to have polka dots fly out of your hair?
I don’t know about you lovely folks, but I’ve spent the last 24 hours fantasising about a fireplace and TV in my bathroom. Yesterday we left Josh and Jenna resentfully getting the cheaper showerhead, Mark and Duncan without a floor, Dani hating on her granite tiles and Phil and Amity… well, they were there, probably…
Scott has rounded up the teams for an early morning challenge on a pretty little piece of beach that has absolutely no swaggering posers on it. We’re not in Bondi anymore, Toto. Scott then introduces surprise guests, Olympic rowing team K14. I have no interest in any rowers who are not singing about fruit in jelly. Amity is more gracious however, and openly admires their burly forms tightly wrapped in Lycra.
Duncan has noticed four kayaks behind them and predicts a race. 80’s movies teach us that the moustachioed are wise and 80’s movies are never wrong. A race it is. Each couple will pick an Olympian and take turns rowing out into the water and around a buoy. Winners score $1000.
Dan explains that he and Dani are chumps without energy or morale. We know, dude. Cheer up.
And they’re off! Duncan and Olympian shoot off like a rocket but Dan makes it back to the sand first. He gives Dani and Other Olympian the head start they need and they score the $1000. Everyone cuddles.
The second challenge is beach flags and this time, they’re playing for a safe combination. Everyone puts those stupid life-saving bonnets on and lies down in the sand at the starting line. In the first round, Mark tumbles early and Phil is bested by a lunging Duncan. Amity and Josh drop out in the next round, and then Jenna and Dani. It’s down to Dan and Duncan. Dani is almost pink with glee in the interview, so it’s to be assumed that Dan pulls this off. Sure enough, there’s some pushing and shoving but Dan enjoys a convincing victory. Dan and Dani have won money, a safe combo and confidence and as a consolation prize, everyone can take off the stupid bonnets.
Before they head back to The Block, Scottleton offers $500 to anyone who can kayak around the red buoy. It seems deceptively simple. Everyone decides to have a crack, for no other reason than there’s no reason not to. Josh, Jenna, Mark, Duncan, Phil and Amity immediately fall in. Dan and Dani find that arguing loudly is a successful strategy until they round the buoy and promptly fall in and cheer up. Odd pair.
During the ads we learn that taxi drivers are people. Huh. I didn’t know that, The Age. Please, tell me more.
Turns out the four Olympians are two plumbers and two not plumbers. They are offering a full days labour for The Block. The teams, starting with Dan and Dani, will do a schoolyard pick for the Olympians. Dan and Dani end up with a full-time athlete – pffft, useless. Mark and Duncan score a plumber, as do Josh and Jenna. Phil and Amity have an architectural graduate, which is apparently good, because Amity says they have no work for a plumber at the moment anyway… does she know what a plumber is?
Back at the Block and the plumbers are put to plumbing, the architect does some drilling and Dani drags off Dave the athlete to give his opinion on the ugly granite tiles. He wants to go shopping. Good pick there, Dan. Dave and Dani skip off to look at tiles while Dan heads into the bathroom to do some actual work. We are treated to about another five minutes of this insufferable circular narrative. Dani liked the tiles. Now she’s not sure. Can’t change them once they’re up. Dan and Dani’s bathroom last year sucked. Dani now has no self-confidence. She liked the tiles. Now she’s not sure. You can’t change them once they’re up. WE GET IT. THE TILES ARE CONTENTIOUS. Seriously, isn’t there some kind of Mitre 10 service they could be spruiking? Some paint drying somewhere, Keith talking about regulations? This is excruciating. Finally, infuriatingly, Dani decides to stick with the tiles she already has. GOSH, I hope they’re okay because you know, YOU CAN’T CHANGE THEM ONCE THEY’RE UP.
Josh and Jenna weren’t going to tile from floor to ceiling, but now they have to. In far more worrying news, Keith is over at Phil and Amity’s place trying to ruin the magical bathroom fireplace idea with his stupid safety. He’s worried the shower glass will be too close to the heater and will shatter. Yeah, okay, that sounds horrible. Fix it, Amity!
During the ads, we learn that Swisse will give us gender-specific energy and well-being. Thank goodness. The gender-neutral energy and well-being I get from food and water is completely useless for darning socks and baking pies.
The bathrooms are big. Like, wow, big. A tradie comes in to talk to Phil about the solar panels. He starts jovially complaining about people he doesn’t know coming in and out of his house. I can imagine that as a concert promoter, he would struggle to talk business with people he doesn’t know.
Turns out the fireplace – as an electric heater posing as a fireplace – can be as close to glass as they like so Keith is happy. It’s disconcerting.
Dan is pretty sure that the TV in their bathroom will be a unique feature. Unbeknownst to him, Phil and Amity have a magical mirror that transforms into an HD TV at the push of a button. Seriously, I just want to go live in their bathroom. Mark and Duncan have now cottoned on to the idea of a TV in the bathroom, and hope it’ll give them the edge. At the moment, Josh and Jenna will be standing out as the only bathroom sans TV. Unfortunately, the boys’ TV guy doesn’t think he can get them out to it in time. Do you know what would help them stand out? A waterslide.
Apparently Phil and Amity’s floor is stuffed. Admittedly I wasn’t paying much attention to that bit but their builder does not seem very good. They’re now behind a day and running out of money.
Glass measurements are happening and everyone is tense about it. Despite all the busyness, Jenna and Dani feel a bit useless. Dani knows that people watch the couples bickering on the show and judge them because she watched Josh and Jenna in 2011 and thought they were awful. Jenna thinks this is hilarious. The moral of the story seems to be that any relationship will be transformed into shrill and constant fighting in the presence of power tools and plaster dust and people sitting at home on their couches shouldn’t be judgemental of a situation that they can’t possibly understand. I’ve already written 1155 words though, so I’ll probably keep going.
Everyone’s supposed to be getting underfloor heating. My bathroom seems more and more inadequate by the minute. Dani wants it but their design means they can’t have it, and she’s disappointed. Dan says he never wanted it because they were the only team to have it last year and it didn’t help at all. It might have, if they didn’t also have the world’s ugliest vanity – that leaked – with a rotting ceiling and a rubbish paint job. No amount of toasty feet was going to salvage that train wreck. They go outside to fight about it, and a missing shower screen, and whether to have a double showerhead or not. Apparently the design and the build have been different from the start and they’ve only just figured it out. Dan cleverly observes that the bathroom isn’t a spaceship, which doesn’t cheer Dani up much. Dani declines a tête-à-tête with the camera and speeds off for some alone time.
Josh and Jenna are speeding ahead and are enjoying a sneaky visit to the stonemasons. They check out some fancy marble and a bloke called Amir does them a good deal. It’s smooth sailing for the hipsters.
Phil and Amity are off to get a new hot water system, which is exactly as interesting as it sounds.
Dani is back after a breather and ready to talk to Dan again. They immediately start arguing about something new. Dan is frustrated and Dani tearful. They still haven’t agreed how to proceed with their bathroom and since most of the fixtures seem to be undecided at the moment, even I’m anxious about how they’re going to figure this one out.
Mark and Duncan are trying desperately to get things ready for their waterproofing before tools needs to go down for the day. Everyone is exhausted after a massive day. Twilight falls and Dan and Dani are still bickering and blaming each other for a terrible day.
It’s barbeque time, which is edible foreboding for Scott making the teams do something they don’t want to do. Everyone is suspicious. Sure enough, as soon as everyone is eating, Scott drops the bomb. He scolds them for not removing the heritage tiles at the front of their houses. It’s a mammoth, fiddly task and one that needs to be completed before they finish their bathrooms. Each tiles must be documented – patterns, placement and condition. It’s costly, it’s time-consuming and everyone is silently agreeing to murder Scott in his sleep.
The night ends with the two young couples bickering happily about the best way to tackle the tiles. Mark and Duncan just start doing it.
Everyone is annoyed about the tiles, hopeful about the bathrooms and desperate for sleep.
Meet you back here tomorrow.
I don’t watch the block but I loved Liz’s recap of it. Very amusing. Well done Liz.
I was a huge fan of The Block for at least 2 seasons. Then it got weird. Then tired. Now its just plain dreary. I sadly flick from channel to channel like a lost dog. I started doing this during the (endless sponsor) ads … and then found it harder and I got slower and slower to return to The Block All Stars Extravaganza until last night when it finally happened … I didnt go back. Is what about the time when we heard .. again … that Dani was worried about the tiles.
I find myself hoping for more .. or anything else. Like..maybe, the couples could build something, in their own house. I would get a higher feel good factor if channel nine simply donated money to (insert worthy childrens charity) and ran a ticker tape across the bottom for the duration of the raggedly ending timeslot, than suffer through another tedious ‘challenge’.
And what happened to Scotty? I mean .. seriously .. what happened. He was um..jovial and … kind of had the authority and purposefulness of some nuggety builder type. Then he morphed into Uncle Scotty. Then he got a motor bike .. and this season, I dont know whether I am meant to think he is cool, hilarious or just plain charismatic. It has not worked.
I am not sure what persona Shelley is aiming for, but it also doesn’t work. And the judges … I have no doubt they know their stuff .. but they, and I mean all of them, simpley do not have the personality or the skills to be on tv. They are poor performers. Who tunes in to watch a show because people ‘know their stuff’. We wont watch if that’s all they have going for them.
The show looks over worked. It looks like someone thought ‘hey, the audience loves this’ so they got their hands on it and wrecked it. What was spontaneous and engaging is now tortured and creepy. In short, who ever is in charge of The Block these days sucked the life out of it. The clumsy manipulation is apparant and increasingly desperate. I know we only get free to air channels if people watch the shows that are fueled by the advertising dollar.. I get that. And we the audience could look past, or turn the blatant product placement into a drinking game, when it was fun.
But the (irritating) suspense, the (turgid) story lines, the (meaningless) challenges, and the lack of actual building stuff is the reason why people are leaving this show in droves.
I would happily watch paint dry, in preference to hearing them answer questions to camera … the whole time I am thinking, what moron is asking the questions? Over and over? Or .. is that what they think the audience is thinking … explain it to us one more time … if the tiles are stuck on the wall with the sticky stuff, can Dani change her mind. No really, please explain.