The BlockMon-Fri 7pm, Ch9

That's some good quality leveraged cross-promotion.

So much tension. So much stress. So much drama. Someone’s gonna blow, and I hope for all that is holy it’s Dan or Dani – not for any malicious reason, just because I’d expect if they lost their shit it’d be a delightful thing to observe. Think of the words we’d learn! Everyone’s under the pump and everyone’s in a position where they may not get both their Master bedroom AND Ensuite completed for this week’s room reveal. A coup! Everyone bands together, rises up and refuses to deliver both rooms!? There’s only two days left and someone’s gonna have an aneurism. Here comes another one… BOOM!

The challenge done (and everyone back from Faggs in Geelong – snigger), the teams are back at The Block to suss out just what ACTUALLY got done while they were away. For Brad & Lara they’ve returned to a decent rough-in and their plasterer still hard at work (what a guy!). They’ve actually made some progress and that’s key. By comparison, Dan & Dani return to disappointment – their tradies have done a great job, but without Dan on site to manage them all and work with them some things didn’t get done. “But that’s OK, the waterproofing will be done tomorrow and I’ll be able to work nude then,” offers Dan.

Mike & Andrew, on the other hand, made the unprecedented decision to make a decision yesterday. Never before in Block history has one team been so decisive. They were getting trauma from their plasterer so they sent him off site with the view they’d sort it out on their return. Their return heralds the realisation they’re in a hole. “We’re at least two days behind now,” says Mike. “You didn’t carry the one,” says Andrew, correcting him. They both know they’ll need a small miracle to deliver their Ensuite this week. No indoor plumbing for them. “What doesn’t kill you only makes you more determined to kill the guy who put you in this position,” mutters Andrew, “So we’ll just keep getting better and better at hiding the bodies.”

All the teams dig in for another late night to try and have their rooms ready for their tradies the next day. Fatigue is setting in already, and The Block has become all consuming. Video diaries from Andrew, Dan & Dale indicate their buoyant and positive, if a little exhausted. The next morning comes all too soon. TOO SOON.

Justin, the brother’s plasterer, dug his heels in even after compromising on a solution with the brothers that Keith was happy with. After meeting with him again, Mike & Andrew have relented and it’s full steam ahead to get the plaster on the walls of their Ensuite. After another clunky sponsor tie in – this time with The Builder App – it’s over to Brad & Lara where we learn Brad has become his builder’s little bitch. Situation normal then. As the clouds roll in, Keith is in on the roof checking the tarps as the forecast isn’t good – floods, famine, pestilence, a dummy spit from Sophie. The end is indeed nigh.

This *IS* Keith's happy face.

Keith’s site report reads like this:

  • He’s concerned that Mike & Andrew are too far behind as they’ll only have a day and a half left to complete everything after their two coats of waterproofing is dry.
  • Brad & Lara’s communication with their builder’s has been good which has helped them stay on track. They should do OK.
  • Dan & Dani have one coat of waterproofing down with the other due tonight – they should be OK. Except for the fact that Dan moved some electrical cables himself (he should have left it for the professionals) and he’s wired the point wrong. It’s a serious offence – NEXT time, he’ll be fined and it’ll come out of their budget. “Yeah, fair enough, mate,” offers Dan.
  • No report for Dale & Sophie.

Staying off Keith’s radar is critical. If he’s paying attention you must be doing the wrong thing, so that Dale & Sophie are clean must mean they’re OK. So OK that Sophie has Dale scrounging doors from Mike & Andrew for their bedhead. Ugh, more shitty chic this week. Dale negotiates a six pack for their spare door, and brings his prize home ready to start when Sophie arrives home with another hair-brained idea. This time she’s bought a small dressing table that she wants Dale to cut in half and form into the bed head as side tables/drawers. She can’t see the physical issue of cutting the piece in half and how it will need more work and bracing to keep it in one piece. She thinks it’s a great idea, and Dale just sees structural failure ahead.

Mike & Andrew have been so busy the rubbish pile out the front of their place is getting a little unsafe with loose boards with nails popping through and so forth. Keith calls them to account and advises it has to be fixed now, despite Andrew’s protestations that they’ve got a labourer coming this afternoon to help them out. Andrew takes it in his stride as he knows there’s no winning when you battle Keith – Grand Overlord of The Block.

Dale’s dived in and is stripping the many layers of paint off his rescued doors. “Just as long as this paint stripper doesn’t get on me arms and I start loosing me tattoos,” says Dale. “I’ve paid too much money for that.” As usual, Sophie watches on. Mike & Andrew are hard at it still, but with only an hour left in the day before it’s power tools down, they’ve arranged 10 tradies to turn up and help knock a tonne of stuff off. Many hands may make light work, but 20 hands can sometimes get in each other’s way a little bit. It’s worked to their favour – they’ve caught up at least a day’s work so they feel they’re back on track. But the clouds of doom cometh…

The rain buckets down, and the teams scramble to ensure as much of their gear is protected from the rain as possible. It’s set in, however, and at least Dale & Sophie’s place is leaking like a sieve. “All part of the fun of having no roof, I think,” says Dale. “Another day in paradise.” Given how close it is to room reveal there’s still lots the teams can be doing, namely: painting. As ludicrous as it sounds this seems to be the only way the contestants can let off any steam and they’re quite happy to do so. Dale proves that as a dancer he makes a great landscaper.

Collective noun: A clusterfuck of Tradies.

The rain has cleared for the next day – time to get busy. Dan’s ready for a massive day and he’s confident they’re on form to deliver and, in fact, he reckons they’ve caught up to the other teams. Dani’s been shopping again but she’s keeping very Mum as to how much she’s spent. “So we need a win. We need at least five grand to help us along,” says Dan. “To pay off a quarter of the room,” says Dani. That’s a big surprise for Dan as he thought they were working to a $15,000 budget for the two rooms combined.

Dale & Sophie have lots going on today. They’re ahead with the built-ins going in, the tiler’s hard at it, there’s the final plastering details getting completed and Dale’s well pleased with his tradie management skills. Scotty & Shelley decide to pop by for a surprise inspection and spread the fear. “What’s gone wrong today?” asks Scotty of the brothers. “Nothing today – we’re back on track,” says Andrew, “But yesterday we were swimming upstream without a paddle.” When you’re working this hard, the metaphors are the first things to go. Scotty makes far too much of the brothers being well organised. No harm in that is there? Just because, by nature, tradies aren’t?!

There’s time for a pop-in at Brad & Lara’s place to see the biggest master/Ensuite on The Block. “Wow!” says Shelley, “And I don’t mean that in a positive sense. There’s a lot of work and you guys are shit.” There’s lots of painting to be done by Brad’s admission. Scotty’s calculated they’ll 10-15 people to paint the place tonight (sounds like one of his invoices). Lara hows the walk-in robe to Shelley, who has a closet-gasm, and Lara’s pleased to be able to show someone else the space that enjoys it. Scotty likes the width in the Ensuite – Brad says they stole 200mm out of the wardrobe to make it that smidge wider. With glass on most of the walls there doesn’t seem to be a lot of progress but it’s all about to happen.

Dan & Dani admit they’ve had a nightmare of a week but they’re back on track. “Everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong,” says Dan. He runs a checklist through with Scotty & Shelley, but omits their massive budget blow out. At least everything’s happening tomorrow. “There’s so much to do in here I can’t even focus on… ooh, something shiny I can spend money on,” says Dani, getting increasingly distracted. “We’ve got 60-70 hours of work to do in, like, 30,” offers a bemused Dan. “But that’s The Block.”

The quirkiness of Dale & Sophie never ceases to surprise Shelley & Scott when they pop around. Today it’s the use of the wardrobe as the Ensuite wall and the door bedhead creation. Continuing to live in her delusion Sophie’s enthusiasm is hard to squash. The very tall bedhead will certainly be a “feature”. Shelley & Scotty check off their Ensuite progress: Tiles on the floor and walls – check. Taps/toilet/vanity – nope. The ceiling’s got undercoat on it so the hosts feel the team are doing OK.

I don't think Shelley likes the choice of scaffolding as a bed.

With the knock-on effect well in play for Mike & Andrew, they’re trying to negotiate with their wardrobe installer to deal with a carpet layer working in the room with him at the same time. Keith’s on board as there’s a time limit with the team having to deliver the room on Saturday. The installer’s not keen, but there’s no other way. It’s good when the insistence of Keith is working in your favour. For once.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from five season of The Block: the location may change but the challenges and surprises stay the same. Dani’s brought in their artwork that her friend Emily has painted specifically for their bedroom. At $1,500 for the single piece it’s not unreasonable but when you’re trying to work to a limited budget it doesn’t seem like the smartest spend. “We’re just looking for the judges to see it and go ‘WOW’,” says Dani. A tattoo of two W’s on your arse cheeks would do the same for a whole lot less.

Mike is still worried about the many tradies working on their room having enough time to get things done. He and Andrew are stressing over the wardrobe installer trying to get it all done by 3pm (at their insistence). The least they could do is offer to help. Maybe not. The brothers do have some luck though. The installer has busted a gut and the wardrobes are in and look smashing before 3pm. Finally the tide is turning for someone.

The situation has gone from alert to alarmed for Dan & Dani. The cabinets can’t go in until tomorrow, which means the bulkhead can’t go in until then, which means the plastering can’t get done until after and then it has to dry. The vanity they ordered hasn’t showed up, and the waterproofing hasn’t dried overnight as expected so that’s delayed the second coat. “We just keep hitting snags, so I’ve given in – I don’t think we’re gonna finish it, so let’s just do a quality job,” says Dan. Finally, some sense out of the chippie’s mouth. “I’d like to think we’re gonna get there, but I’m being realistic that it’s not gonna happen.”

Dan opens the packaging around their vanity which has finally arrived, only to see it’s cracked through and completely ruined. They can’t even get another delivered today as they come from NSW – a re-order would have it there on Tuesday (planes don’t operate on an hourly basis from NSW to Victoria?). Dani’s gone to the vendor to work it out, who are contacting a stonemason to see if he can replicate the vanity by tomorrow(!), but by Dan’s admission “It’s not looking good”.

Dan is as broken as his vanity.

Woe is Dani. She’s done. It’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. She doesn’t think they’ll deliver an Ensuite this week either. Dan’s trying to think laterally to see what they could do to put a vanity on the wall for the room reveal as an interim measure. “We’ve been punched in the face with this room already, it can’t get any worse,” says the chippie. “Touch wood.”

FINALLY we get to see the other contestants checking out the first week room reveals – something that happens after the judging but has been delayed for broadcast until the end of the week (feels far too kludgy). What will the other contestants think of Dan & Dani’s winning room? What will they think of each other’s style choices? What will Jesus do?