The Block Sky HighSun 6:30pm, Mon-Thu 7pm, Ch9
Everyone’s favourite Block is back, with more Blockheads and more Keef. How *will* we contain ourselves?!

The “Ode To Joy” heralds a triumphant return to Melbourne and yet still Scott Cam is here to mangle the english language. To remind us that this time it’s personal, it’s five teams making it state vs state vs state vs who cares about Tasmania. Six stories, eighty rooms, all converted into five single floor apartments that will ensure sleepless nights and more relationship issues than ever before.

Yet yo be named contestant shows us her skill in understanding space by telling us that this Block is so different to any other Block. Natch. At least HRH Queen Shaynna of the Throw Pillow, Herr Neale & the other one have returned.

Melbourne couple George & Bec arrive first in the foyer of the Block pretending to be a hotel. This is gonna be just like the Hotel California – you can check out but you can never leave.

Alisa & Lysandra are here to remind us that they’re the South Australian team and they’re twins. Also, they’re ladies. Their spidey senses are tingling and they reckon something is up.

Jarrod & Madi from NSW arrive with a flash forward(?) but they check in and head to level three.

Johnno & Trixie arrive from Qld with expectations of five star accommodation. If only their room wall fell open so that they got five million stars.

Matt & Kim from WA (my faves already) check in with little fanfare. More to come from them for sure.

With all the teams in lockdown not knowing how many other teams are involved and what challenge will come they turn to the menu. “Lobster – five dollars?!”. Mmm, sounds classy. The walls are closing in for the contestants – it’s haunted, the TV reception is crap, and already there’s a swearer in the group. Delightful.

It’s day one on the Block, and so the Blockheads are paged to ascend to the roof of the hotel. Surprises in store all round.

Bec & George are doing everything they can to break all the Victorian Greek/Italian stereotypes – and by everything I mean nothing. At least there’s handshakes and kisses for Scotty. They’re followed closely by Johnno & Trixie – Johnno’s name is Mark apparently, so we’re already through some kind of looking glass.

Jarrod & Madi are the young beautiful ones of this series who have a lust for success. Team True Blood. Matt & Kim tell us Matt proposed by putting burger rings on her fingers. That’s not an engagement, that’s cannibalism.

Because twins are involved we have to have each one labelled after Scotty advised the “extra” couples were coming up. Scotty then announces that rule one on the Block is that they are full of surprises – no eliminations, these five teams are it. Rule two is nobody talks about Fight Club. Rule three is that there’s a surprise number two – not only are they on The Block, but they are standing on the top of The Block. SURPRISE – the roach motel they stayed in last night is their new (temporary) home and they have to turn each floor into a luxury apartment.

Of course everyone wants the penthouse, so the first challenge is thus: with $10,000 each they have to transform the room next to the one they stayed in into a five star boutique hotel room in 48 hours – including the bathroom. The winners get first floor pick and so on through the results until all floors are allocated. Surprise three – the challenge started 24 hours ago.

Something that is always appreciated by the Block-watching audience is the seamless way the sponsors are ‘integrated’ into the program ever so subtly. I wonder if we can pick them…

The Twiins are amazed to simply just be on the Block so they spend their first hour agog at the camera.

George & Bec are keen to hold onto the fifth floor but are surprised the room isn’t gutted. When they open the cupboard Bec finds the sledgehammer and becomes a bad Pacino impersonation – “I know good cawfee.”

The Twiins are on the fourth floor and getting into it, Jarrod & Madi slide into the third floor, Johnno & Trixie open the door on their second floor mess and WA couple Matt & Kim are ready to argue over every little thing on the first floor.

All the teams land on the phone and push their newly-branded Blockhead status. Even Scotty arriving to check on the Twiins isn’t enough to get them off the phone (and screw your floating labels, the girls will simply be branded a collective).

Surprise number four – they each get a Suzuki with an unpronounceable name to drive around Melbourne with to collect their bits as the minutes tick by…

George & Bec (Posh & Becs?) reveal to us their property portfolio before spending precious minutes being spent shown around Reece by a needy sales person. Naturally all the others arrive and EVERYONE likes the same vanity. “On the Block, you snooze, you lose,” Scotty reminds us, before nicking out for a kip.

Madi secures the sink, and the Bonfire of the Vanities is on beween her and Becs. Somehow Goldilocks pops up as well, and Posh & Becs pre-sell their panic from the next break. This is so formulaic the next thing we can expect is problems with a tradie or the delivery of stuff they’ve bought.

Three hours in and everyone is off buying things – except Jarrod who decided to trust Madi and let her shop while he demolishes. He’s a builder, she’s a creator so “we’re a perfect match,” says Madi. “He also does everything I say.” Noting this first strategic(!) move, the other teams start to splinter so stuff is getting done onsite while the shopper… shops.

The Twiins are married (but not to each other) and they’re confident they’ve an advantage over the other contestants: one of them is a man and the other is a woman (at least that’s what Scotty just tried to point out to us). Matt & Kim are sourcing their tiles and it’s proving to be harder than it should be – but it’s just like their home in Perth reflecting their eclectic style. And their ADHD.

Becs continues to be demanding of the shop assistants while Madi forgets she has a sedan and has to fit all the stuff in her car as well as get it all back to her beau in time for him and the tiler to be able to use. Becs has bought her tiles and now can’t fit them all in her car in one trip – because she knows Posh’s anger management issues aren’t to be dallied with.

Calling Posh is enough for Becs to race home to lend him moral support. He’s in the midst of an anxiety attack and she’s in need of a make up touch up.

It’s all go for the bathrooms on the top three floors – the other two haven’t done much because they’ve all been out shopping. Some have no tradies, some have a veritable flood. Scotty meanwhile is enjoying standing out the front and commenting on the form of the contestants as they carry out the detritus from their rooms. He’s paid his dues.

Jarrod & Madi’s hand is revealed with another flash forward to Madi in hospital. So much sizzle there better be some sausage to back all this up.

Becs returns home announcing she miscalculated the square meterage of the room and has purchased too many tiles. eBay? Returns? Tile the ceiling? There’s hugs like she’s been away from him for weeks and not the few hours it’s actually been.

Trixie is suffering from the cursed GPS and when she finally gets to the carpet place settles on the first sample shown her in a teary haze. Johnno & Trixie’s audition tape shows the pretty incredible reno they’ve already completed (while Trixie was preggers). They’ve got game if they can keep it together.

Twiin 1 is shopping and a little vague and tradies are dropping like flies for Twiin 2. Same for Johnno & Trixie. About time a few of these guys experienced the same woes we all face when trying to get a plasterer/tiler/plumber/whoever. All possible illegality is smoothed over because – remember: the Twiins are coppers. We’ll only be reminded of that 4 times every episode.

Coming up Johnno & Trixie have turned on the tears at the memory of their kids on night one in the most obvious attempt at currying viewer favour since everything. Well played indeed.

Tiling. Sawing. Hammering. Destroying. The Block is in full swing for challenge one.

“Hard yakka, followed by exhaustion.” Like you care, Cam. Like you care. Don’t let the dust get under your french manicure.

No lifts available for this challenge – it’s all up and down the stairs. That won’t get old quick (at least Kim has realised the benefits of a lower floor – at least for now).

Posh & Becs have hired family to save their day. There’s so much going on it’s hard to keep up with five teams (let alone the normal four), though again the Twiins feature prominently – albeit on the phone trying to find tradies. Night sets in (well, 10:30pm to be exact) and the cavalry arrives for the girls – everyone’s in for an all nighter.

Isn’t it time for someone to learn to do something via YouTube already? We’re overdue at least that. At least Matt & Kim’s tiler knows when you’re on the Block that sleep is for the weak (and the sneaky).

Trixie’s tears are delivered as promised and they’re all for their kids who they miss terribly.

With that, the first ep of The Block Sky High is done, but not without significant sizzle for tomorrow night’s ep that includes hospitalisation, dramatisation, and budgetary blowouts. Timely considering Federal Budget Tuesday this week. I wonder if the Government are sponsors?…