The BlockSun 6:30pm/Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch9

Dan & Dani's Backyard

Tonight all the Blockheads are over the moon that it’s the last full day of work on The Block – that’s if they can make it there all in one piece. Brad & Lara and Dan & Dani have got neighbour struggles, and Dale & Sophie have got communication issues. Add tot his Lara and Sophie have discovered someone’s broken the rules and that needs to be sorted out too. It’s all drama, drama, drama, and yet: Here comes another one… BOOM!

It’s the final day and the teams are on the final push to get everything done before Scotty has his whistling fingers shoved up his arse for the final time. Dan & Dani are relieved, and are just finishing their fence ‘addition’ to provide some extra privacy into their yard – a major surprise to Brad & Lara since they weren’t told about it or asked, but it’s easy to suspect they missed the meeting about it they were never invited to.

Dan think’s Brad & Lara’s trellis is too close and that’s why they’re using the screen, and so he defers to Herr Keith to bring down the ruling of Solomon. Keith checks with the surveyor and confirms that Brad & Lara’s trellis is OK, but not the fence extension on that side without neighbour approval. Dan & Dani lose this round, and Dan declares that Brad & Lara will be off the Christmas party invite list. Brad’s gutted, and Lara falls to her knees, rips her shirt and weeps openly at the rejection. IN DAN’S MIND.

All the while Sophie has been sitting in the car waiting for Dale to give her a shopping list. So she calls him on the device she could have called him on FROM THE SHOPS for the shopping list after waiting for 30 minutes while Dale paints the house. It’s a classic he said/she said blue, capped off with Dale attempting to appease Sophie by coming to the car – which she could have gotten out of – and speaking with her in calming tones reminding her that spending that extra $4,000 they won shouldn’t be this much of a drama, after handing her a cup of concrete. She leaves in search of art and self-respect.

Sophie has decided to buy a couple of bikes that will “sum up the kind of person who wants to live in the house”. Dani is shopping too, but the budget differential is decidedly stark though all Dan wants is his wife back at home helping paint. Lara’s concerned at the height of the bamboo that Dan & Dani have installed, and Dale’s invented roller-trees. It’s a positively green-themed week with everyone doing their bit to pretty up their outdoor rooms. As long as “bit” can be just that for a couple of female contestants.

Brad & Lara's Backyard

Lara gives Scotty a ring to call a point of order over the upholstery challenge – neither Dan & Dani or Mike & Andrew have used their chair from that challenge in a room to be judged (which was deemed to be a rule at the time of the challenge). “Being teachers both Lara and I are very rule orientated,” says Sophie, mangling her english. Lara expects to be off every one of Dan & Dani’s lists when it comes to celebrations, and it’s clear to see that it’s not exactly a concern for her. This could be fun.

Scotty appears and announces a Body Corporate meeting at which the situation regarding the upholstered chairs is revealed. Lara & Sophie are called out, much to the surprise of their partners and the other teams. When the issue is raised, both Dan & Andrew raise their hands and admit their guilt. Dan offers they’ll place their chair on the balcony that now sits out front of the master bedroom, but Mike admits their chair is still at the upholsterers. Scotty decrees that if the chairs are not part of the judged space tomorrow that a one point penalty will be applied.

Naturally, Mike & Andrew and Dan & Dani are dark at being called out for not doing what they should have done weeks ago. Lara pops around to apologise to Andrew for it becoming more of an issue, but he’s all “you could have said something earlier” while she’s all “uh, whatevs” and Mike’s all “it’s pathetic if you ask me”. Meow.

With so much to do, the pressure’s on all the teams to get everything done ASAP. Dani pops out the back to tell Dan to get back to work as he’s sharing a beer with some of the tradies who’ve helped get their backyard done. Dan’s in a jokey mood but Dani will have none of it. “I hate painting and I don’t want to paint any more, so hurry up,” says the precious.

Mike & Andrew know they’ll be up all night paining. So much painting. With noise restrictions in place, so will all the other teams spend the night montage painting. Andrew time checks for us a 4:50am so we can all see that they’ve really been up all night. Dale notes that sleep is for people who aren’t on The Block, and “I can do that any time I like, once I’m finished”. Potential buyers take note – some of the finishes may need some attention.

Mike & Andrew's Backyard

The brothers are debating how they’ll get their chair back, even allowing their landscapers to offer their disdain at the possibility they could lose after everyone’s hard work but they manage to come up with a possible solution. The last hour is the usual frenetic cleaning and last minute dressing (particularly Dan & Dani who seem near ready to explode at each other), though there’s still the case of the missing chair for the brothers. Will it make it? Can the chair be delivered in time to ensure the brothers don’t lose one valuable point in this final judging?

It’s chaos. Cleaning, tape removal, fire-starting, cushion placing, painting, primping and preening. 10 minutes to go and the chair finally arrives – now where to put it? The brothers quickly find it a home as everyone finishes off their final bits… and it’s done. Time to move out. Hugs and celebrations out the front for the couples as they get to take in the streetscape of their Dorcas St properties as they realise everything they’ve achieved. They’ve still to sell them, but that’s next week’s recap.

Scotty announces that seeing as everything is done, once the judging is complete whichever team takes out this week’s room and scores the normal $5,000 gets it in gold bullion and gets to keep it. Smiles all round for that. The teams are sent off for a shower, sleep and a sneaky one while the judges step in to pontificate on all things shrubbery.

Before they judging starts, Scotty has to show off one of the affiliate sponsor’s products in the keyless entry door (which all three judges feign interest in). Love that subtle product placement. Dan & Dani’s exterior gets the once over first for this final judging, and the party space they’ve created is noted. John doesn’t like the styling (the couple had to get their carpenter to buy the paper for them), but the screens get the thumbs up as do the feature maples. Queen Shaynna appreciates the bamboo and the effect it offers in screening out the world and taking you to another place, much like the acid she dropped before judging started. “Everyone should have a fire pit,” declares our drug-addled deity and her charges agree wholeheartedly.

The edible garden in Brad & Lara’s place is a decided feature, including their pizza oven. Neil thinks the weird chairs don’t add to the overall look, and having them in contrasting colours is even less assistance. The judges see the iPad left out for them with reams of notes as to what it can do – control lights, tv, music, children – and the only downside is that everyone will want to join in. All three like the BBQ/oven combo, and agree that once the plants have grown it the garden will be even more spectacular. In the WORST DECISION EVER MADE, John decides the judges should leave before Queen Shaynna can hit the beers. That’s no fun at all.

Dale & Sophie's Backyard

The ads reveal a different truth… while the teams think they’re moving out after this, there’s a whole other house for them to renovate, together, in one week. Spectacular.

The backyard that Mike & Andrew have prepared is very easy to ooh and aah at. From the tasselated pavers to the Mediterranean appearance, it gets wows from Her Maj. “I love a palm,” says Neale, confirming everything everyone thought about him from day one. With the backyard complete the judges can see how swapping the kitchen and lounge have completely paid off. The extended deck is smart in John’s eyes.

Dale & Sophie’s “quirky vintage” (that’s what shitty chic is now) yard brings the smile. Everything gets the thumbs up from the roller-trees to the tin animals to the butterflies they paid to fly around their garden during judging. The grass is noted as a point of difference, as is the side gate which can open up opportunities for the new owner to set up off street parking. The yard is very family friendly, though Neale has designs just to buy the house for his dogs. As the judges leave all three gush over the four houses with Scotty. The frontscape gets a big push, and the judges confirm they have a winner picked and now all that’s left is for Mr Cam to draw out the judgement announcement.

The teams arrive to Scotty’s praise the Blockheads for their efforts and how good the places look on the street. Reinforcing the prize, Scotty reveals the minute blocks of gold that make up the $5,000 – all that effort for so little metal. John McGrath’s comments to the teams is that in all his time on The Block these houses are the best he’s seen (of course) and they should all reward the couples on auction day. As for specifics…

Dan & Dani: A great party space. Outdoor kitchen – terrific. Maple in the corner – stunning.
Brad & Lara: It’s the garden with everything. Love the pizza oven and herb garden. The esky is a great idea. Overall it’s a good garden that will be a magnificent garden in a couple of years when things grow up.
Mike & Andrew: First impression – stunning. Great plant choice and love the palms. It felt like a Mediterranean resort. The judges know the buyers will love it.
Dale & Sophie: Your garden – magical and beautiful. You can’t beat the feeling of a lawn underfoot. 100% personality from day one, and the couple finished with it.

The scores are part-presented in front of the couples, and with Queen Shaynna and Neale’s scores in it’s tight – Dale & Sophie on 18, Mike & Andrew on 17.5, Brad & Lara on 17 and Dan & Dani on 16. Scotty goes dark and runs the final scores up, which play out as follows (Shaynna; Neale; John; Total):

Dale & Sophie: 9.5 + 8.5 + 8.5 = 26.5.
Mike & Andrew: 8.5 + 9 + 8 = 25.5.
Brad & Lara: 9 + 8 + 7.5 = 24.5.
Dan & Dani: 8 + 8 + 7.5 = 23.5.

The final scoreboard...?

Congratulations to Dale & Sophie on such a massive score, and also in taking home $5,000 in gold bullion. The other teams are very supportive of the couple from House #1 taking the win, though Dan & Dani note that their score would have won it any other week, so he’s happy and she’s meh. Scotty declares a chump-free zone as it’s their last week, so all is well with the world.

And then we cut to the start of tomorrow night’s episode where Scotty reveals the teams are NOT moving out of The Block and instead have a whole other house to renovate. In just one week. Now THAT is how you twist the end of a reality competition. Bring on the auctions this weekend, and the finale next Sunday night.