The Block – Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch9
Dani’s been shopping, so that can’t have been it. Everyone has to deliver their main bathroom so surely it can’t be that hard… or that difficult. That’s what tradies are for (in both cases). Lara’s shopping too, and found a tallboy with which to replace Brad. It’ll look nice in the bathroom. Brad was unimpressed at being usurped. All that effort for Lara to go shopping in her best painting shorts and Brad’s underwhelmed. “Please don’t disappoint me because I got really excited about it,” says Lara. I’ll bet she did. They’re the original odd couple.
Dan’s pushing to get all the tiling done in their bathroom. He’s so busy helping the tilers that he’s got time to shoot the breeze with Dale while pretending to paint a door. Mike, on the other hand, has been out shopping all day, proving that anybody can shirk the responsibility of renovating while on The Block. He’s caught himself in the local florist to ensure the flowers match the colour scheme. No, that’s no joke. Andrew’s working but takes five to see what Mike’s purchased, constantly asking how much he spent. Mike’s avoiding the question – they’re the original odd couple (as the music keeps reminding us).
Dan & Dani are reliving the drama of their ensuite so are keen to ensure they complete their main bathroom, but at 6pm the night before reveal there’s still a LOT of tiling to be done and Dani thinks they may have to go offsite with a cordless grinder and “do a dodgy” to cut the tiles they need to finish. Dan & the tilers nick off down the park with the tiles to cut them and they race back to The Block to fix them to the wall. Oh the chortles of the naughty schoolboys as they bend the rules. But it’ll get worse than that, according to the pre-ad break sizzle. Even Dale’s not happy about it & he’s cruisy at the best of times. Where the bromance once was strong, now it has lessened.
Mike & Andrew joke about getting some sleep tonight – a sure sign that there’s chaos on The Block with lots still to do before bathrooms are revealed. “There’ll definitely be no sleep,” says Dan. “We’ve got so much tiling to do, and then we’ve got to put carpet over the top of the tiles and fit a bed in there somewhere.” The renovating delirium sets in.Dale & Sophie are pretty much left with cleaning their bathroom and laundry – lots of wiping and taking stickers off and the like. “Sophie’s pretty good at sleeping all night when there’s work to be done,” says Dale. “I will, so heads up on that,” replies Sophie. I’m losing track of who the original odd couple are. Brad & Lara are on clean-up/touch-up as well, and while Lara thinks it shouldn’t take too long Brad doesn’t have a lot of confidence there’ll be too much sleep tonight. Mainly because Brad was planning to nick out and “clean up” a few longnecks once Lara’s gone to bed.
It’s cleaning everywhere in Mike & Andrew’s house too, though the brothers have basically become the undead so there’ll be little sleeping for them either. Dan & Dani’s tiler is confident – at 11pm – that they’ll get all the tiling done tonight with ease. Lara’s saying goodnight and it looks like everything is pretty much going to plan… until Dan overtightens a screw holding their bathroom mirror in place and it cracks said mirror. “[Unprintable word]!” says Dan. “What? What did you do, Daniel?” says Dani, “Oh well that’s [unprintable word]-ing great!” Tensions rise, with good reason.
Andrew’s come out at 12:15am to see Dan’s tiler has been sneaking over to the church across the road to cut the remaining tiles they need for their bathroom. He pops over for a joke about handing out earmuffs to the neighbours to ensure nobody hears them, but Brad & Lara’s video diary isn’t so jovial. “I’ll be filthy if we lose a day we can work on the houses because this,” says Brad, pinpointing the reason there are noise restrictions in the first place. “I hope he doesn’t stuff it up for the rest of us, you know?” Let Tilegate begin.
The morning after the night before, and given three of the couples tried to have a good night’s sleep there’s a lot of dirty looks from The Blockheads as they rise. Dan & Dani’s tiler and his faith-based tile-cutting throughout the night has meant little sleep was had. Dan & Dani are confident they’re OK as no one complained & the Police didn’t come, but since Sting started talking about tantric sex so much nobody wants them to come anyway.
“There’s a possibility we could get a fine,” says Dan, “but it’s that or no room delivery.” He and Dani are pretty pragmatic about the noise issue but figure the end justifies the means. It’s what Joseph Kony thought too and that seems to have worked out pretty well for him, so why not?
With an hour to go until room reveal Dale’s still pretty upset. “There’s competitive and there’s whatever they are,” he says of Dan & Dani. “I’m sure the guys understand – they’re in the same sort of boat,” says Dan as he finishes hanging their bathroom door. “I’m sure if they were doing it we wouldn’t whinge about it,” says Dani in her trademark peace-keeping mode. “Actually I probably would, just to make a scene.” Me-ow.Dale’s moved into analysing Dan & Dani’s relationship, noting that Dan’s nice enough “when it’s just him, but when she’s around he’s just got no balls”. He accepts Sophie’s the dominant one in their relationship too, but he doesn’t let her get away with it. Someone should be writing this down, as this entire scene is providing acres of insight into both couples. Filming it will be evidence enough when someone has to front up for homicide charges.
Plaster touch-ups, cleaning, vacuuming, dressing, arse-cracking, bitching – it all happens in the last minutes before Scotty appears and The Block time machine races us back to where we started – Scotty whistling for tools down out front the morning of the room reveal. Everyone’s pleased with their results, and it’s time to gather out front to face the music. It seems there was time for “good mornings” and smiles – just for Scotty and the brothers and Brad & Lara & Dale & Sophie. None for Dan & Dani. How on EARTH did they think they were gonna get away with it???
Things are tense, no question. Dan, being the ever sensitive guy that he is, could sense that something was up. Scotty’s pretty perky and plays up that everyone should have slept well last night given how advanced everyone was with their bathrooms. Dan fesses up that people may not have slept because his tiler was cutting tiles to all hours “otherwise we wouldn’t have delivered a room”. He apologises to everyone for keeping them up and it makes no dent in the stony silence that follows it.
Scotty asks when it was & Brad & Lara tell him it was after 1am, that it was selfish (thanks Lara), and that they hope it doesn’t cruel weekend work for all of them (thanks Brad). Even the usually placid Mike & Andrew are a little riled up about it. “I’m pretty sure if you were all in the same position you would have done the same thing,” says Dani, firing a shot across the bow of the other teams. Every team absolutely disagrees with her. “There’s no way we would have done that,” says Dale. As expected it’s defensive manoeuvring from Dan & Dani and high road posturing from the other couples. Who’s to say what they’d do – bottom line is it’s not them in trouble for this and it could have real impact on all of them.
Dani’s crying. ARE YOU HAPPY, ANGRY OTHER TEAMS? WHAT HAS SHE EVER DONE T… oh, that’s right. The whole 1am tile grinding thing. And the bitchiness. As you were.
“Well Dan & Dani, rules are rules, and you’ve broken those rules,” says Scotty. It’s only a $1,000 fine as it’s their first offence, but “if you do it again, it’ll be a lot more”. “Should be a lot more,” says Sophie almost under her breath. The teams are excused, & in their after-the-event interview Dale & Sophie are still pretty dirty given Dan & Dani could still win this week, they could do it again next week and they’ve only been slapped on the wrist with a $1,000.The aftermath is as expected. Dan & Dani are upset because they feel “ganged up on” and for all the bitching that’s been going on behind their back. Dale & Sophie and Brad & Lara are upset with the outcome as they don’t feel the punishment matches the crime. Who cares – they’ll all love each other again once this judging round is over, won’t they?
For some reason, Scotty completely recaps what’s happened in the last 30 minutes just as the judges arrive, oblivious to all the drama. Neale & John return, along with Queen Shaynna the omniscient, who is able to change outfits in the blink of an eye.
As usual Dale & Sophie’s House #1 gets the once over first. The couple have worked hard amidst tradie issues and Sophie’s migraine (which stopped her from shopping at least once this week). It’s the smallest bathroom on The Block, and the judges note they’ve shrunk a lot of the fixtures to account for this. “Their first room was 80% vintage/20% modern and they’ve switched that around in here and it works a lot better,” offers the Queen of Interior Design and Throw Cushions.
For Mike & Andrew they’ve maintained their high-class hotel-style bathroom look, and while they may have had some glass wall issues this week you wouldn’t know it. The luxury hits the judges to start with, and Neale notes how glamorous it is, but Her Maj thinks that glamour stops at the bath they’ve selected. “It’s so very plain, I shan’t look at it again,” she says. The cherries are questioned, but Mike explains that, “People who can’t afford cherries buy strawberries.” If only he understood what that meant. John likes the practicality of the cabinetry, though Neale thinks they’ve over-styled. “Overall, it’s pretty damn good,” says the baldy man.
The largest bathroom on The Block offered it’s own set of challenges for Brad & Lara this week. Heavy baths meaning extra support beams below it; dodgy concreting jobs; design changes. They need a win pretty soon if only to assist their budget. The judges love the sophistication of the bathroom. “It’s very zen,” says Neale, who for some reason is now dressed like Bhudda. The tallboy is appreciated to break up all the tiles/glass in the room, and the matt tiles help break up the shininess of the room. Neale is left to meditate as the other judges move on to the final house.Dan & Dani have been their own worst enemies this week. It it’s not the issue of power tools, it’s spending $5,000 on wallpaper they didn’t use(!). “I reckon we’ve spent nearly $30,000 on this bathroom,” says Dan. “We really need the win,” says Dani. More on that later. The judges are taken by the initial feel, and while squeezing the laundry into the bathroom might seem neat, John thinks they’ll pay for that later. The mirror Dan broke is noted, as is the time when he did it – “probably only a couple of hours ago,” says Queen Shaynna. Neale really likes the styling: “For me, it’s working, it’s not over-styled,” he says. The shower is deemed “cute”, and the styling is what sets it off for John. “It makes it feel lived in, and not a display bathroom,” he says. Too many choices, but a decision has to be made.
The couples gather at Scotty’s house of pain to hear the results of this week’s judging. Dale’s of the opinion that Dan & Dani should be disqualified and not even in contention to win this week. The winner takes home $5,000 for whoever has delivered the highest quality bathroom. Dale & Sophie and Mike & Andrew admit they want to win it, but Dan (in a recap interview) notes he doesn’t want to win to ensure there’s no more tension. “That’s the coward’s way out,” says Dani abruptly. “I don’t like conflict,” says Dan.
Scotty’s pleased with the efforts of everyone, after all, “Bathrooms are a b… well, they’re a tough one, aren’t they?”. What a fella. The feedback from the judges is good – Neale said to Scotty earlier that all four bathrooms are worthy of a spread in Belle Magazine. The individual feedback delivers some surprises for the couples though:
Dale & Sophie: The couple have a very good eye for design and colour. Their finishes are very good, BUT the room did feel a little claustrophobic with the inclusion of the laundry.
Mike & Andrew: Well done – the brothers delivered a bathroom fit for Hollywood stars, BUT the bathtub wasn’t very nice. When it comes to styling: less is more.
Brad & Lara: The judges loved the open plan wet-room and they thought it was like a zen retreat. Not putting a laundry in the bathroom was a good idea, BUT the styling still needs some attention.
Dan & Dani: The judges loved the spaciousness of the bathroom and the shower was fantastic. The couple have a great aesthetic and when it comes to styling they couple are the team to beat. Great choice of tiles throughout, BUT putting the laundry in the bathroom is a big risk (cue Dan & Dani disagreeing about the powder room – again).
Scotty reveals the scores from John & Neale first, and it’s tight across the board. Mike & Andrew and Dale & Sophie are tied on 14, while Brad & Lara and Dan & Dani are tied on 16. “Gee a bonus point would be handy right about now,” says Dan wryly. That sounds like the mating call of the Loser bird. Scotty goes dark to write up the scores from Queen Shaynna and before the reveal he asks those with bonus points (Dale & Sophie and Brad & Lara) if they want to use them. It’s all secret squirrel with the girls whispering in Scotty’s ear if they’re going to use them or not. The board spins and it’s no surprise (John; Neale; Shaynna; Total):
Dale & Sophie: 7 + 7 + 7.5 = 21.5.
Mike & Andrew: 7 + 7 + 7 = 21.
Brad & Lara: 8 + 8 + 9 + 1 bonus point = 26.
Dan & Dani: 8 + 8 + 8 = 24.
What goes around, comes around. The zen bathroom strikes back and punishes the cheaters for their efforts. The tension between the teams is bubbling more than ever, but one thing is sure – this week on The Block we can expect more interruptions which will offer more chances for everyone to become great friends again. Or play out their passive aggressive feelings in ways we can all learn from to ensure we avoid all future opportunities for conflict resolution.