The Block All StarsSun 6:30pm; Mon-Thu 7pm, Ch9
The Block: All Stars is back for another night!

The Blockheads have been dragged to Cockatoo Island, where they have twenty-four hours to create an outdoor sculpture/piece of furniture. Would just making a big cockatoo be too obvious? Or would NOT doing that just seem weird? I mean, how passionate are the people of Cockatoo Island about their cockatoos? Maybe they’re just sick of hearing about the friggin’ things. “From Cockatoo Island, hey? Boy, you must love co-” “I GET IT.”*

*That could EASILY have gotten dirty, and I avoided it, because I am a PROFESSIONAL.

So the teams are sitting around with sketchbooks, planning their sculptures. Phil suggests an ice sculpture – for something that will be going outside in summer and have to function as outdoor furniture – and Amity rightly gives him the stink-eye. I think she let him off lightly; nobody would have blamed her if she tried to jump to another team.

Phil ultimately lands on the idea of a piano which is also a table which is also a water feature. Darn it, Phil. You have to take this seriously! This is The Block!

Duncan and Dale, meanwhile, want to make an adult-sized, two-seater version of the springy animals toys that you find in playgrounds (at least, I think that’s what they’re describing, I was typing the last paragraph while they were talking. This is the eternal struggle of the TV recapper. The other struggle is figuring out another way to spend your time that’s actually beneficial to society).

Dan and Dani are just making seats that sort of resemble the Sydney Opera House. It seems simple, but then, it won’t be made of ice, so they’re one up on Phil.

Phil and Amity are pump-shopping for their piano/table/water feature, because that is apparently a real thing and not a funny joke that Phil was playing. I… see. Then they nickname the thing the “Pumping Piano”, and I’m totally on board (as is Amity, finally). The Pumping Piano! It sounds like a gay bar in Diagon Alley!

Later, Dale and Duncan go for a massage, while everyone else is shopping for their materials. It’s like they’ve just given up entirely on pretending that any of this is urgent or relevant, and it’s kind of awesome.

Over at Mitre 10, Josh and Jenna are getting the bits and pieces for their outdoor seat/pot plant. They hold up the paint that they’ve chosen in front of the camera, making sure to mention the brand name (Wattyl!), and I wonder if that’s just how everybody shops for paint. Is that how it works?

At the workshop, post-massage, Dale and Duncan notice that it’s seven o’clock (I think you’ll find that’s “seven o’BLOCK”, Dale), and they’re the only team there. Maybe everyone else is going for their massages now, hey guys? Or getting some other errands done? Maybe Josh is at the post office. It’s not as if time is of the essence.

The other teams eventually arrive, and Duncan and Dale are half done. Their seat doesn’t look like anyone would actually be able to sit in it, but finishing time is more important than functionality. Right? I mean, that’s The Block‘s whole thing.

While they’re working, Scott shows up and sends Shelley home. He tells the gathered contestants that – while they thought they were going camping later (…why?) – they’re now going GLAM-ping. Is that just camping in Kiss make-up? Because that’s how I go camping anyway.*

*Hey, every family has its own traditions.

Dan and Dani pour their rapid-set concrete, and Dan mixes it up with his hands. Careful, Dan! That’s RAPID-SET! Your hands will be trapped in concrete forever! You’ll either have to kill yourself or become the deadliest boxer the world has ever known.

“We’ve always known that these types of challenges are not our strong suit,” says Amity when questioned by Scott. We kind of figured that out when you signed on to your team’s idea solely based on it being nicknamed “The Pumping Piano”.

Then we cut to the “glamping” site, where Scott is sitting by himself, very disappointed that nobody has joined him. Hey, man! YOU set the challenges!*

*I assume that Scott devises, scripts and produces the entire show himself. I have studied television production. I know how this stuff works.

Then everyone heads to bed, to finish their sculptures in the morning. When the sun rises, Duncan rouses Dale, and they make plans to have showers and get coffee and generally not do their work. What is up with these guys? Massages and now this? Are they just really good at this, or really, really bad?!

The other three teams are at the workshop while Dale finishes writing his novel and Duncan works on his tan. They’re all just generally making a mess of things, but the sculptures are starting to come together. Phil and Amity are adding the water pump to their piano-shaped table, Josh and Jenna are filling their giant plant pot with plants, and Dan and Dani are putting the finishing touches on their Opera House seats. None of it makes a goddamned lick of sense, but then… that’s art!

Soon, time is up and there is nothing left but horrible, soul-crushing judgement.

That job is left to interior designer Darren Palmer, and the general public. Jeez, Scott. Leaving this sort of thing to the general public is an invitation for disaster. The general public like Tony Abbott!*

*Ooh, political!

Darren loves the Pumping Piano, and Duncan and Dale’s metal love seat. He likes the design of Josh and Jenna’s giant pot plant, while he seems less enthused about Dan and Dani’s… thing.

The general public are then allowed to cast their useless votes, after which, the teams are gathered for the results.

Darren announces that his choice is Dale and Duncan’s piece, earning them three and a half grand for their renovation, and five grand for charity. Everybody is happy. I am happy. Let’s leave it there!

Except, wait, no, there’s also the people’s choice. Sigh.

So the people’s choice award also goes to Duncan and Dale, making that bit redundant, but at least everybody is still happy.

After the results reading, Scott brings out five tradies, each of whom practices a different trade. The teams each get to pick one (with Dale and Duncan getting to pick two), but they’re not allowed to know the tradies’ respective trades. D’n’D wind up with a painter and a landscape gardener, Phil and Amity with a plasterer (but all of their plastering is done! OH NO!), Josh and Jenna with a carpenter, and Dan and Dani with a handyman.

Wait, aren’t they all handymen? Are these guys saying that carpenters and landscape gardeners aren’t handy? I wouldn’t say that to their faces. Those guys look pretty big.

Join us tomorrow, when everyone will (hopefully!) get another chance to prove their own handiness.

Dan Hall is a frequent TV watcher and occasional TV recapper. He can be found on twitter @danieljohnhall. You can read more of his writing at