The Block – Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch9
What better way for the teams to bond and celebrate Dan & Dani’s victory than to share a BBQ which is more a case of Russian roulette – which sausages will give you food poisoning!? Scotty appears to remind them this week is gonna be crazy with the expectation they have to deliver both the master bedroom AND the ensuite for this week’s room reveal. As he goes to leave, the knucklehead remembers he had something else to tell the contestants: given that the houses were built in the mid-1800’s it’s only suitable that the teams are entirely distracted by being sent to Sovereign Hill to go and dig up some gold to help them with their renovating cause.
To make it even harder, they’ll be staying overnight for a two-day challenge meaning there isn’t gonna be a lot of renovating being done by the teams in their absence. Dan’s near livid at the realisation. “Typical Scotty news,” says Dale, “He comes in, makes a lot of noise, shits on everything and then flies off like nothing happened – just like a seagull.” Even though they all had a pretty good night’s sleep, the full realisation of what this will mean is slapping them all in the face like a cold Melbourne morning breeze.
On the road trip up Mike & Andrew and Dan & Dani are on the phone working up plans and directing tradies – while Lara & Sophie snooze while their partner’s drive. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, I guess. Shelley is at Sovereign Hill to meet Scotty and the teams and prep them for the challenge.
There is up to $10,000 worth of gold spread throughout the property for the prospective prospectors to find. Everyone wants it all as it’s gonna help no end with what’s coming this week. They’re all sent on their way down into the mine as we hear Sophie off camera ask “What does eureka mean?” Oh God. This first phase of the challenge sees the team hunting for gold in the mine tunnels and grabbing as many nuggets as they can find. Dale & Sophie sneak into Brad & Lara’s tunnel and grab some of the small nuggets they missed at the start. “It’s always a very personal thing when you sneak into someone else’s shaft,” says Dale. Sophie rolls her eyes and can barely contain her contempt.
Phase 2 of the challenge greets them with Scotty on the back of a horse to direct them to another part of the park, this time to see open mines and there’s gold buried in them with only 10 minutes to find as much as they can. Each team is pretty much straight into it but they’re not having a whole lot of luck. A beautiful metaphor for their renovating progress this week. Dan even manages to kick their existing stash of gold all over the place. Time ends pretty quickly and Brad & Lara look to have pulled out the most nuggets with 7 little rocks found by the pair.
All the teams are head to the creek for the final phase of the challenge – panning for gold. SCotty tells the teams there’s HEAPS of gold in the little creek they’re at so they best get at it. There seems to be little pockets of it, though brothers Mike & Andrew find themselves in fits of laughter at how shit they are at finding gold. They couldn’t find anything. Dan reinforces himself as the goose of the series by celebrating the end of challenge with a big “Eureka!” as Scotty calls an end to the challenge. The teams are sent to the bank for weighing, with the total prize pool being $10,000 split between the teams based on how much gold they’ve collected. The money is divided as follows:
Dale & Sophie – $1,617.75
Mike & Andrew – $1,351.35
Brad & Lara – $3,282.75
Dan & Dani -$3,748.95
Lara wants to spend it all on lollies and moonbeams when Brad reminds her they’re in a renovating competition and they really should use the money for tradies and the like. Dan & Dani are stoked with their win, and the teams retire to their campsite to enjoy a beer and a chat. A great chance for Scotty to draw an analogy between gold miners and Blockheads. Tomorrow night, Scotty offers the teams the chance to double their money – or lose the lot – in a game of chance just like the miners of old. There’s also the ever present stressors of their renos which are in sore need of their attention. So much to do, so little skill/idea/time…