The BlockMon-Fri 7pm, Ch9

Ooh!... That looks expensive...

It’s the middle of Hell Week, where someone might end up in the Blockomless Pit (Oh. My. God.), and what better way to get the teams focused on the task at hand than to send them offsite for the day to work on a challenge in Scotty’s Workshop. What a guy. And fancy that – in the midst of the chaos, someone doesn’t complete a challenge, for the first time in the history of The Block. There goes all the thoughts that grab played earlier in the week was about someone not delivering a room. Here comes another one… BOOM!

For the record, the mobile number that sends the text message in the intro to Dan is +61 412 121 177. Try your luck.

“What do you call a crowd of tradies working under the pump in an enclosed space? An accident,” says Scotty. I would have thought they were called “expensive”. As we saw yesterday, something happened in Mike & Andrew’s Ensuite that meant someone (read: apprentice Cam) cut a water pipe while trying to cut out for the shower recess. “I normally give whoever does that 150 push-ups,” says Keith. Water off with minimal damage, Cam’s using it as a learning experience while Andrew’s using it as a panic experience because the Stegbar rep is (still) onsite and needs his Ensuite measurements. The rep’s happy with the measurements as long as Andrew gets the flooring measurements right – if not, he’s in a lot of trouble.

Dan’s only just starting work on their Ensuite – at least a day behind the other houses due to supplier issues. Less than five days to go and the plaster isn’t even on the walls. Crikey. Dale & Sophie have also missed their chance at glass but they’re much further ahead. “As far as I know I’m on track,” says Dale. So far. Dan & Dani can’t pick a tile and their tiler needs a decision NOW. Dani can barely manage to decide which boot goes on which foot. When Dan suggests they go look at tiles to make a choice Dani nearly punches him with rage as she’s got to go somewhere else to make curtains. Trouble in paradise?

The entire ceiling rose collection vision with Brad getting it off Dan & Dani’s ceiling was already played last week. Who do the producers think we are? Iijuts?? Still it plays out again and we can pretend it never happened. Having picked the biggest house in the first place, it plays to their advantage as their master bedroom is a little bigger than everyone else’s. They’re restoring the period features as long as Brad doesn’t step on the ceiling rose they colle… oops. At least their baldy man plasterer can fix it for them.

The brother’s plasterer isn’t going to cut the corners like Mike & Andrew want him to. They want him to direct stick his plaster on the shoddily prepared wall and he’s not going to do it (and Keith doesn’t want him to either, for that matter). The boys have to hang a baton on the wall to affix the plaster to, and this could compromise the glass wall measurements they’ve ordered. Andrew’s “decidedly and directly opposed” (read: shitty) on the concept but they’ve no time to waste so they’re trying to recess the batons into the wall as much as they can.

Ooh!... That looks expensive too...

Dani’s made a decision with the tiles (and it’s the way she wants it), and then she’s quickly out to purchase a portrait to hang in the bedroom. When there’s work in their room to be done, she can always find a little more shopping that’s necessary. Scotty pops in to see how things are going, and Dan announces they’ve been doing OK but they’ve hit a hurdle – the entire room. It’s a special moment between special tradie mates, one they’ll always share up on the first floor and their wives will never understand. Dan’s convinced their room will look a treat in 24 hours with plaster and tiles on the wall. They don’t have a walk-in robe behind the bed, instead going for built-ins as you enter the room on your right. Dan’s just the builder, Dani’s the brains.

Dani’s conscious they need to win due to the amount of money they’ve spent on the bedroom/Ensuite so far, and then she announces she’s spending $2,500 on some artwork just for the bedroom. “Two and a half grand just for a bit of art,” says Dan. He’s not convinced but then he doesn’t have a choice. “$1,500 on plasterers – you were gonna hang the gyprock yourself, weren’t you?” says an increasingly angry Dani. She leaves to try to negotiate on the price of the artwork, leaving Dan to wonder how he’s gonna cut any of the trades he needs to do their jobs tomorrow to save a little cash.

There’s a LOT of work to do in the other rooms as well in the next three or four days. A LOT. What better way to deal with impatient and frustrated contestants than to bring on a rainstorm which will limit what can and can’t happen. Brad, on the other hand, has left his plasterboard out in the rain and it’s gotten very wet overnight. “I’m hoping it’s just the top and bottom boards,” says the mining fitter and turner. Given how much water is about, he could have buckleys.

Dan on the other hand, is ripping into it. The wet sealer is coming tonight so he knows exactly what to do but he’s got a ton of tradies on site today so it all should be good as long as he’s there to supervise. BEEP BEEP! It’s the previously sizzled text message telling the teams to be at Mitre 10 Geelong in an hour. They’re all puzzled as to why they’re headed that far away, but off they zap down the freeway for their next challenge. At least it will bring someone some money… just as long as it’s not Dan & Dani.

Make of it what you will, but the team arrive at Fagg’s Mitre 10 in Geelong and there’s not a Fagg in sight. Outrageous, darlings. Scotty welcomes the teams deep into the bowels of Fagg’s Mitre 10 and their timber shed. The Fagg’s used to be gold miners, so they moved to Geelong and set up a timber shop. The challenge today is for the teams to make an… ad break.

Yes, it's a real place. Yes, I'm giggling at it. Yes, I am a child.

After successfully assembling the ad break (it was one from IKEA, so the flat pack thing was a breeze), the teams learn they have to make a treasure chest. They’ve got 5 hours and Scotty’s the judge who’ll be focusing on design, execution and originality. The team who wins the chance to pick one of the two chests presented as samples to open – one contains $3,000 and the other one bonus point to use any time they like during the competition. Only one team can open one box, so there’s serious strategy involved. Everyone’s happy to get in but they’re also eyeing off their mobiles constantly to ensure they can keep their tradies working back on site.

After a briefing from Scotty on how to build the basic frame, and with full access to everything at Fagg’s Mitre 10 (HELLO!), the teams launch themselves into the challenge. They can spend a maximum of $300 on materials for the challenge, so they have to keep an eye on that too. There’s a little bit of tension about the place, but nothing a joke can’t handle… for the moment. Dale & Sophie are keen to stamp their originality on the chest by turning it into a wagon. As you do.

Dan’s entirely distracted and spends half the morning on the phone to tradies back at their house who can’t seem to get along without him. This also means no one is building their treasure chest. Dan’s got his cranky pants on trying to deal with excuses from tradies who aren’t doing what he wants. WELCOME TO OUR SIMPLE MORTAL WORLD, O TRADIE. They have to focus on getting the room done in their absence so they can waterproof the Ensuite tonight, but with all the stuff ups it looks like that won’t happen and that would spell disaster for delivering two rooms on time.

Mike & Andrew are also trying to manage their tradies while they’re onsite, and therefore they’re missing details in the challenge due to the distraction. Lara sources the mini-orb for their chest, and Dan is pleased to announce while Dale beat him on the run back from the screw aisle(!) he’s won because he’s using shorter screws because he’s sinking them into the timber which Dale hasn’t realised. Oh the pettiness of it all.

“I think I’ll just go simple… like Brad,” says Lara when selecting handles for their chest. Then there’s some euphemistic chat about a certain kind of screw being called a ‘brad’ and how the brads are in the top two screws in the world.

This is another one of Sophie's many "I really hate what you're doing" faces.

Dale & Sophie have a mini-meltdown that ends in Dale wishing he had a brother to come on The Block with. Communication is the key, people, and Dale & Sophie are not communicating properly at all. Scotty comes over to find out what’s happening and he “can’t be fucked doing it any more, I’ll just do what she wants,” he says. Ooo-mah! Dan & Dani are focused back on the task at hand in the hope they can deliver a good chest and win the money.

Mike & Andrew on the other hand, are now completely distracted by the snooty plasterer who calls to tell them they’ll likely need the glass measured again for their Ensuite. “I’d rather trust the people who’ve been doing this for 25 years,” says the passive-aggressive plasterer. What a dick. Now he’s just being super awkward – he’s forced the brothers to make a big call: they’re sending him home as they don’t want to deviate from their plan. Scotty pops by to ask what’s going on back at The Block and finds out they’ve negotiated a solution with Keith and the plasterer had agreed, but now he’s backflipped and they’re sick of the hassles so they’re sending him offsite. They intend on sorting it out when they get back – so maybe it’s the boys who won’t deliver a room this week? “We’re probably gonna be the first people to not deliver a room on The Block. Sometimes you’ve got to make the tough decisions, and we’ve made it,” says Andrew.

Just as things looks grim for Dan, he gets a call to hear they’ll have their plastering and waterproofing done tonight. Dan bounces straight back and they get serious about the challenge again. Scotty announces 45 minutes left and it’s panic stations. A montage flashes past showing the general shenanigans at the shop and then it’s time up. Dale & Sophie have delivered a planter-box with a front-garden feel; Brad & Lara have delivered their mini-orb/industrial chest; Mike & Andrew offer a traditional pine-board entry; and Dan & Dani present a very traditional looking chest. Scotty declares Brad & Lara as having pipped Dale & Sophie on exection as both were very original.

Brad & Lara get to choose which chest to open, and they make their pick which upon opening gives them a much-needed $3,000. “That’ll be good as we’ve had to have a lot of tradies in this week so this will help to pay them,” says Brad. Brad & Lara go to leave with the other contestants when Scotty calls them back to collect their money – oops! Back to The Block they all go, to try and salvage what they can with not many days left before the week 2 room reveal OF DOOM. It’s Blockalicious.