The Block – Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch9
Sleep has become a complete waste of time for brothers Mike & Andrew – they’ve now been working for 25 hours straight with lots still to do. The pink elephants helping them paint the room at least ease the tiredness and fatigue they’re feeling. An issue with Keith the demon plasterer puts the boys behind and they’ve been playing catch up all week. Today is special, however. Today the brothers get to see the glass wall sheeting installed for their Ensuite. They also get to see the Beatles in their Yellow Submarine if they look outside, but they suspect that’s simply due to the ecstasy they took to help make it through the night. Mike & Andrew are planning to get some sleep when the glass arrives as they’d rather be oblivious to everything that goes on in case there’s a drama. Considering they gave the measurements ahead of time instead of measuring off completed walls, there well could be.
Dan & Dani are trying to scrape in a few hour’s sleep, but that’s broken by the manufacturer in person arriving at 4am with their REPLACEMENT vanity. He’s driven down from Nowra in NSW with it especially for them to install today. Brad & Dale were up to greet him but it was Dale’s joy to wake the couple to receive the delivery. To add a little insult to extended injury the replacement unit isn’t manufactured to the right specifications – the waste is too small and the unit is longer than they asked for. Dan’s not sure what to do with it but then right now Dan’s not sure what colour is Tuesday.
Brad & Lara are trying to catch a few hours sleep while their builder is hard at it finishing things off and directing trades for them. Dale crashed at 6:30am after painting all night, though Sophie has managed a reasonable 5 hours. WHAT THE HELL IS SHE ACTUALLY DOING?! “He can have a long nap now – It’s OK, I’ll let him,” says a refreshed Sophie. How nice of her.
Dani’s on the phone with Reece and the supplier trying to sort out what they can do with the ill-fitting replacement. Nothing. Enter backup #3 which is a borrowed vanity on a backup shelf. It sticks out too wide and the shelf is too long. “Now we’ve gone to Plan Z, which is completely getting rid of this, and going with a whole differently designed basin,” says Dan. You can hear the cracks in his voice – he’s over it. “Just another day on The Block, I guess.”The glass is going into the brother’s Ensuite (obviously they haven’t gone to get some sleep). There’s lots of held breaths as each sheet goes into place just like a bought one. The relief on Andrew’s face is clearly visible and it looks amazing. The Stegbar guys are pretty relieved that it’s worked out too. Brad & Lara get out of bed to come and see the last of the glass sheets go into their Ensuite too, and their breath is taken away at the amount of crack exposed above the installer’s pants. And how good their room looks. That’s two wins from two for the glass wall sheets, and a bloody good advertisement for the manufacturer.
The bedhead Sophie designed that Dale has made has come up OK if you like that sort of thing – they’re pretty happy with it and that’s all that matters. “It’s just cool to have these weird ideas and watch Dale bring them to life for me,” says the thoroughly-modern Sophie. Dale’s conscious that he’s probably been a bit grumpy this week as he’s been doing pretty much everything to get their room done. So while Dale’s painting the sealant on the door bedhead – something Sophie could be doing – she instead is inside trying to convince someone to cut her dresser in half to turn it into bedside tables for their room.
Sophie asks Andrew – no dice. She asks Keith – nuh-uh. She asks a passing chippie – “fingers crossed I don’t stuff it up,” he says. He cuts it in half for her and tells he the next steps to complete it… then goes off to finish it himself. Sophie’s happy she got her way again.
Dan arrives back at The Block with their “backup backup” Plan Z basin. It’s not going to be fixed or plumbed as it’s a temporary measure just to finish the room, and just as well as it’s much shorter than is practical. “Dani says it’ll be alright, but…” It’s just safer not to finish that sentence, Dan.
Keith’s on a prepatory warpath to ensure that everyone is aware that the power tool noise rule is adhered to. Everyone seems OK with this, except when he visits the brothers to find the carpet getting laid – it’s a ‘no builder’s noise after 6pm’ rule. There’s plenty of tradies running around in Mike & Andrew’s room and Keith isn’t expecting them to finish – there’s not enough hours. “It doesn’t make sense,” he says.
When Dani returns from shopping – AGAIN – she’s upset at the backup backup basin being too short. Dan’s arranged for a 100mm kicker to come to place under it, but it won’t be here until next week and therefore they can’t connect the waste yet either (so the backup backup has become Plan A). “I just don’t know why this wasn’t the fairytale ending, instead of having to deal with more shit,” offers a teary Dani. I don’t know, Dani – maybe if you helped a little more and paid attention, it could have been.It’s the day after the night before after the day before that. Given it’s now delivery day there’s been some midnight oil burned by some teams to make sure their rooms are finished. Exhibit A: Mike & Andrew. They’re on their third straight day without sleep. Andrew makes it 49 hours up so far, and by the time they finish it’ll be well over 50. Brad & Lara are in a similar bucket – no sleep last night and minimal sleep the night before. “No sleep last night and 2 hours the night before. Probably not the best way to go but… anyway…” says Brad, measuring the same space he’s already measured 15 times in the last 5 minutes.
Sophie’s worried about what the judges will make of their ‘eclectic’ style. She’s confident that she’s mixed enough of the reuse/recycle theme with designer gear to make sure it still looks luxurious. For a uni student’s hovel. Dan & Dani meanwhile are wondering if they’ll get their Ensuite finished as Dan’s currently grouting the wall tiles and they’ve still so much to do. “We may be the first team to yada yada yada,” says Dani. Everybody wants to be the first.
Brad & Lara are sweating on 8am so that their Electrician can cut a couple of holes in the roof to install their electric blinds. Brad points out the massive alarm clock they’re dressing their room with and Lara goes to show him that it works. She can’t get it to go off because “it’s probably the wrong time”. It’s probably time they had more than 2 hours sleep in two days.
The last minutes race by and the teams vacuum, dress, decorate, fluff, bitch, panic, clean and tjuz the room into readiness. They boys decide not to fit the master bedroom door furniture as they’ve seconds and all the holes aren’t drilled. Then it happens – Scotty’s whistle. TOOLS DOWN! The teams assemble out the back for roll call with Scotty. The delirious octet stand before Scotty wide-eyed and ready to smash someone that looks at them sideways. “Congratulations on surviving Hell Week,” says Scotty. He checks through each of the teams to hear how little sleep they’ve all had (except Sophie). The teams are sent somewhere to sleep(!) while the judges are summoned to go through the completed rooms.This week, Her Royal Highness Queen Shaynna Blaze the Magnificent and Neale Whitaker are back, joined temporarily by interior designer Darren Palmer. Neale’s immediately threatened, so couches his welcome to Darren in the guise of a smug pleasantness. Dale & Sophie get the treatment first, and it seems to be all winning for them. Shitty chic FTW! Neale notes what a difference a week makes, and Queen Shaynna is pleased with the addition of decent window treatments. Darren really, really likes the textured paint finish of the door bedhead – they’re very cool. “They’ve really grown up in a week, haven’t they,” says Neale. The judges like the beside tables too (“They’re off the wall!” jokes Her Majesty), and overall it’s an impressive room, though that comes a little unstuck when they observe the Ensuite. They enjoy the mirror and basin – the taps have a real WOW factor(tm). The depth of the toilet is a concern for the Queen of Style, and Darren pipes up that they should have been more creative with a shallower toilet or locating the cistern elsewhere. Neale suggests they should move on, but HRH Queen Shaynna’s OCD kicks in and she suggests “one should stay here and keep washing one’s hands”.
Mike & Andrew wanted their room to have “all the luxury of a hotel room but with all the warmth of a home environment”. The boys need not have worried, as all the judges let out a wow when entering. Queen Shaynna is impressed with the bed, the blinds (particularly the lowered ceiling to hide the curtain tracks) and large wardrobe. Neale feels if he had to offer a criticism (and who said he has to?!) it’s that the room feels a little bit soulless and hotel-like. But that’s only taken from the butler standing in the corner. “I beg to differ, you snivelling publisher!” declares Queen Shaynna. They’re all excited to see the ensuite now based on the quality of the bedroom – and it delivers too. “Sexy,” declares HRH. The glass walls are a winner, and the side/hidden cistern is noted as well-considered design, though the lack of towel rails prompts Her Majestry to storm out in a huff. RAILGATE.
Next up is Brad & Lara. They’ve done everything they can to maximise both the space for their Master bedroom AND Ensuite. “Dare I say it,” says Neale, “but this has got a bit of WOW Factor(tm).” The touches with the original rose and cornicing is noted and appreciated by the judges. So much so they pause and soak in the refined opulence. Darren notes just how light and bright the room is, due largely to the fact there are NO CURTAINS on the windows. Poor treatment. The walk-in robe is felt to be “luscious” by Darren, and he notes that whoever owns it will feel they can walk and and know “I can keep my whole life in here and still not be cluttered”. As long as you only own one suitcase of clothes. The judges dig Brad & Lara’s bathroom hard – the glass, the size of the basin. “The tiles on the floor are the cheapest and nastiest tiles available, and I shan’t walk on them again,” decrees Queen Shaynna. She opens the drawer on the vanity closest to the door and it won’t open because the door is open. “That’s a real shame,” says Darren. “I take back absolutely everything I said about the entire two rooms – this ruins everything. Even Christmas. I can’t even…” He runs crying from the room and is inconsolable for an hour.Last as always, Dan & Dani’s two rooms get the once over. “I’m in love with our master bedroom,” says Dani, “So much so that I’ll marry it if I get the chance.” Dani loves every bit of what she’s done funnily enough. A shame pretty much all of it was SHOPPING. The judges are not so forthcoming with their praise. “I have a real issue with this room,” says Queen Shaynna. “All we’ve seen from this couple are bedrooms and they haven’t changed. I feel like I’m in a twighlight zone.” Neale agrees with her, and Darren offers it has no soul while still wiping his eyes from the trauma of the last room. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Enough soul for you now, Darren?! Neale likes the lamps and the ottoman and not much else. Nothing is jumping out to Queen Shaynna that says ‘gorgeous’. Note to Dan & Dani for next room: hire a flamboyantly gay man to stand in the corner at the next room reveal. Fab-U-lous.
Dan & Dani *LOVE* their Ensuite (especially given all the pain they’ve suffered because of it). “It so chic and simple and the design I brought to it was amazing,” says a humbled Dani. “When we win today it will be all because of me and my hard shopping.” The central opening is noted as being different to everyone else, but they instantly spot the damage to the roof and no grout on the floor. “They’ve run out of time,” says HRH. “They really should have purchased more slaves to do their bidding.” Once it’s explained that slavery is no longer in fashion, Queen Shaynna moves on promptly. Darren likes the choice of tile. They note the vanity looks nice but seems too low to be practical. “I always employ the shaving test, Queen Shaynna,” says Neale, who whips out his shaving kit, un-buttons his shirt and starts shaving his chest. “Yes, it’s too low for shaving anything but your pubic area,” he proffers. They test the vanity for splashing by turning on the tap and not only does it splash but water drains out from the bottom. “Something has gone wrong here,” says Queen Shaynna. “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!”
The team are summoned to Scotty’s House of Pain to hear how they each went and who won Hell Week. “I was feeling a little bit nervous as I know everyone wants this bad,” says Dani. “So bad I can smell it.” “Sorry, that was me,” says Dan.“Overall, the judges said what a difference a week makes on The Block,” says Scotty as his opening. The judges have chosen one winner based on the overall combination of Master bedroom and Ensuite. The winner will walk away with a much needed $10,000, and Andrew already has plans to use it to overthrow a small African nation to secure much needed minions to finish off their next rooms.
The direct feedback was pretty spot on:
Dale & Sophie: The bedhead was fantastic – a really clever idea, well executed that respected the heritage of the home. The rooms were well considered but still showcased their unique style and personality, BUT they should have used a toilet that wasn’t as deep to save some much needed space.
Mike & Andrew: Curtains – brilliant. Loved the wardrobe and stunning colour choice. Ensuite was sexy and beautifully finished, BUT a towel rail solution is needed. A sophisticated design and classic statement which should be rewarded on auction day.
Brad & Lara: A real wow factor – great styling, great colour palette. They need to choose a better quality floor tile when they get to the main bathroom. The biggest issue was THAT. DOOR. – once opened, the vanity is inaccessible. The judges suggested replacing it with a shorter one or hang the door from the other side. An amazing job done appealing to a broader market of buyers.
Dan & Dani: The choice of furniture was very good, and the judges liked the choice of tiles BUT where was the grout? All that effort to make up the room and they fell short. After winning Week 1 the judges expected more from the couple and they didn’t deliver.
Scotty drags out the reveal of the scores – making public Darren’s scores for the teams to mull over. Those that pulled 8’s seem to think Darren should hang around. Scotty turns the board to fill out the rest of the scores and mutters wildly to himself like some kind of Mad Scientist-turned-Carpenter. Before he turns the board he asks Dan & Dani if they want to use their bonus point – they opt not to considering they feel they’re so far behind after seeing Darren’s score.
The scores rolled like this (Shaynna; Neale; Darren; Total):
Dale & Sophie: 7 + 7.5 + 8 = 22.5.
Mike & Andrew: 8 + 8 + 8 = 24.
Brad & Lara: 7.5 + 7.5 + 8 = 23.
Dan & Dani: 6 + 6 + 6 = 18.
Lara’s a little bit gutted they didn’t win, especially considering the boys delivered a bathroom without towel rails. Sophie’s wondering what it is they’re missing that is getting them close, but not close enough. “You bewdy! We’re chumps!” laughs Dan. “At least we won something.” “I’m a pretty sore loser, so I’m gonna go all Carrie on the other teams later tonight,” smiles Dani.
Scotty takes great delight in announcing that this week, the teams will be facing ANOTHER two room week: The upstairs guest bedroom and the downstairs toilet under the stairs. Why can’t it be a storage or bedroom? Why a toilet? That’s just crazy talk. “Another bloody bathroom type thing,” says Dani. “I’m personally worried it’s just gonna be another big week like last week,” says Mike, obviously still delirious from lack of sleep.
As for this week… it’s more of what we’ve come to know and love from The Block, punctuated with challenges designed to distract and further fatigue the contestants. All for the lure of the almighty dollar. By this stage you’d just about be ready to forego the challenges and rob a bank, wouldn’t you?