The BlockMon-Fri 7pm, Ch9

The hardest working arse in Australian TV

Now that we have our teams – Dan & Dani, Brad & Lara, Dale & Sophie and Mike & Andrew (brothers – not that there’s anything wrong with that) – it’s time for them to meet and greet each other, and come into the realisation that the competition doesn’t start when they move into the Block… it starts NOW as they compete for a position in the order to pick which house on the Block they want. Sight unseen, naturally.

If you’re scared of clowns or saws, look away because this is where it gets icky. The teams are told they have a series of challenges to complete inside St Kilda’s Luna Park and the team with the most points at the end of today get first pick of the flats/houses on the Block. Let’s get busy as we’ve only got 22 minutes.

Welcome to Scott’s House of Fun (House = Luna Park; Fun = schadenfreude). In introducing the first challenge, we meet Scott’s apprentice – Wazza, who with girlfriend Polly won last season’s the Block! It’s all falling into place. In the first challenge (the ‘saw’ point) the teams have to saw through three different types of timber as quickly as possible, with each team member taking 30 second shifts. Pine, cypress pine, Australian hardwood are their foes and they go into battle with only the saw they could grab off the shadow board at the start of the challenge. The teams saw as quickly as they can and it’s Mike & Andrew victorious. Look at the scoreboard!:

Mike & Andrew – 100
Dan & Dani – 75
Brad & Lara – 50
Dale & Sophie – 25

“We didn’t come last; we came fourth didn’t we?” says Dale to Sophie. Fourth is the third loser, kids.

Hang on – we can find out extra stuff on a website for the Block? I wish someone had told us all earlier. Pink’s “Fun House” pipes through as we come back from the ad, reminding us that Luna Park is now full of evil clowns. Scott offers the teams the next challenge which involves going on one of the ride – Dale looks at Sophie and knows that she’s not keen. “You’re not a rider, are you?” he says, giving her a hug. Any other recapper would make some form of snide sexual innuendo at that, but not me. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Roll up! Roll up!

Scott puts them all on the rollercoaster and advises them to keep their eyes peeled. “You can even see the Block from up there,” he tells them. With the ride over, the teams reassemble and Scott tells them they were looking for pictures of tools common to renovating and they’ll now need to collect those tools from a messy pile on a table down the lane and put them on the bench in the order they saw them. Dan didn’t see anything – he was looking for a big floating arrow in the sky pointing to the Block house (seriously – that’s what he said). Who’s the tool now, Dan? If they make a mistake, they have to ride the rollercoaster again to try and find the pictures to sort it out. This is gonna take forever. Australian Survivor challenge, anyone?

Somehow, after only two additional trips, Dan & Dani get it right.Mike & Andrew come second, Brad & Lara third and Dale & Sophie last again. Lara tries to be supportive but instead sounds like condescending school girl. The scoreboard now looks like this with one challenge remaining:

Mike & Andrew – 175
Dan & Dani – 175
Brad & Lara – 100
Dale & Sophie – 50

“Anyone can win it from here,” says Scott.
“We probably can’t,” says Dale, proving the landscaper can add up better than the chippie. Check your invoices, people.

In this challenge (“Putting Scotty back in his box”), the couples have to nail four lids on the top of four boxes containing jack-in-the-boxes. Everything they need is hidden in one of four classic carnival challenges: find a house under a duck collected with a fishing rod; pop a balloon that has a house image underneath it; throw three tennis balls into an old milk barrel; and drop a ball into a moving clown head so that it ends up down one of the channels marked with a house image. Sounds like hours of fun condensed into minutes.

This is taking "Celebrity Apprentice" a little too far...

To ensure everyone has a chance, the winner of this challenge gets double points – so Dale & Sophie CAN still win. Hooray for everything! Those with clown phobias will not like this segment as all the game helpers are dressed up as clowns. Not pretty ones either. The challenge races on, but not so far on that there isn’t time for Andrew to realise he’s spent “10 minutes putting balls in clown’s mouths”. Ahem. Brad & Lara are spearing through it and manage to just pip Dale & Sophie at the finish. So, this is how it all ended up:

Brad & Lara – 300
Dan & Dani – 225
Mike & Andrew – 200
Dale & Sophie – 125

There is way too much One Direction used as music beds in this episode. That’s what makes me beautiful.

Congratulations to Brad & Lara who get first pick at their flat in the Block. Second choice to Dan & Dani, third to Mike & Andrew and “whatever’s left” for Dale & Sophie. As they leave, Scott reminds them to go and get a good night’s sleep as it’s the last one they’ll have for 10 weeks. Wazza chuckles knowingly. Scott looks at Waz and tells him to clean up the mess – welcome to your apprenticeship, mate.

It all begins on Monday, when the teams move in proper and meet their renovation nightmares. Good luck kiddies – you’re gonna need it (and we’re gonna love watching you).