The Block on Channel 9 – Can you believe it’s already been six weeks since our Blockheads started renovating their 1950s homes?
Today marks the halfway point and everyone is shell-shocked by the realisation.
House 4’s Steph sums up the overall vibe. “We don’t want it to be over… [but] I just want to sleep.”
Kristy and Brett have no time for nostalgia. Kristy says she’s gotten “more savage” over the last two weeks and Brett chips in that “it’s nice to mess with people.”
Let’s hope that doesn’t involve Eliza and Liberty, who are teetering on the very edge of being totally broken. “We’ve got to turn this around somehow,” Eliza notes.
Relations with their builder are tense. Yesterday, he tried to explain he and the team needed a plan much earlier, so they could try and work smoothly.
This made the girls feel more pressured than ever. “We’re not having fun,” Eliza maintains. (She could always talk to Brett for some tips?)
Leah and Ash are forging ahead with their curved, fluted, scalloped ceiling (pick your preferred word, they’re using them all). It’s a tricky thing to execute and foremen Dan and Keith are close by to watch the progress.
“If it goes pear shaped, it’s going to be expensive to fix,” Dan notes… and a pear shape was just about the only adjective not used to describe this ceiling so far.
Kristy and Brett recently admitted they’ve been faking friendly relationships to make the most of the Block game. We’re about to see both these things in action, as the couple listen to Steph explain her plans for this week’s master bedroom.
Kristy admits it’s easy to get inside Steph’s head. “I can easily suggest something as a throwaway comment and it will eat her away,” she says.
Steph exposes her jugular, as she tells her frenemy that she’s feeling insecure about the plans she’s made so far.
Brett is filled with mirth as he watches his wife in action.
Kristy cooly plants the seed that Steph should have maximised her ceiling height and perhaps included beams. Next minute, Steph’s rallying her team to add beams in both the walk–in robe and master bedroom.
Steph claims it was something she was always considering, but privately, Kristy smirks as she explains to a producer and her husband Brett it was her mind trickery which led to the decision.
Brett peers at his wife. “If she thinks you have a genuine relationship with her, she’d be stupid,” he says. “Like, if she believes it. Because you’re clearly messing with her.”
“Are you?” queries the producer.
“Yeah,” Kristy says simply.
“[Steph] does gravitate to me and I don’t know why,” she admits.
But Kristy and Brett have more to focus on than mind games. They aren’t just working on their master bedroom, they’re also working ahead on next week’s kitchen and laundry spaces – something that usually isn’t allowed, but which has been permitted under strict conditions this year.
They’re not alone. Many contestants are hard at work demolishing the downstairs spaces, as their teams work away upstairs.
But for House 2, the attention is solely on their curved ceiling. Ash demonstrates the intense attention to detail the foremen were after, as the painstaking job gets underway.
He’s very happy when the plan takes effect. “I knew it would work,” Ash says.
We hear Scott Cam’s voiceover say that Foreman Dan is about to “eat his words” – and sure enough, he does.
“Mate, I’m actually really impressed,” Dan says, as Ash grins.
The couple even allow themselves to dare to dream of a third room win in a row.
One couple who is desperate for a win however, is Eliza and Liberty. The pair are cash–strapped, tired and doing their best to catch up. “This life is not for me,” sighs Eliza, as she tackles insulation and carries giant lengths of timber around site. “It’s just been God–awful.”
She’s in hell, while Leah and Kristy are in heaven. Well, their form of heaven anyway. They’re at a local op shop hunting for some unique pieces to style their wardrobes this week.
Unique is what they find. The pair embrace the wilder side of the items on offer by playing a fun dress up game that sees them decked out in op shop glam for the entire day. “We were looking ex-tra-va-gant,” Kristy drawls.
Kristy also manages to find a ‘replica’ of Steph’s fancy Hermes handbag, which she and Gian won several weeks earlier. She’s delighted. It’s even available in a Steph–friendly shade of beige and a budget–friendly price of $7.99.
“I’ll ask her if she wants to swap,” Kristy declares.
She and Leah are filled with delight as they follow up their shopping with a trip to the hairdressers. “And they say that The Block’s hard,” they trill in unison.
They return to the building site full of glee, and sporting some fresh locks.
This concerns Brett. “When Kristy goes blonde she’s usually much more of a b—h,” he says.
Leah heads upstairs to check out the curves and dances with delight when she sees how sexy they look. “I can’t believe it!” she says.
But a challenge is about to wipe that smile off Leah’s face.
The contestants tackle a driving challenge aimed at revealing how they handle both pressure and attention to detail.
Kristy and Brett are self-professed ‘car people’, and think the challenge is theirs for the taking. But they may be forgetting Kyle in House 1 is actually a fireman and can drive a vehicle at high speed in dangerous situations, if the need arises.
And the need arises.
There is a lot up for grabs. The contestants first learn that a brand–spanking new, electric Mustang will go home with the winner of Week 12 (Garden) week, which sharply pulls into focus the need to save (and win) money towards that renovation.
The pairs also learn that whoever wins this week’s Room Reveal will, along with a couple of their choice, get to join Scott Cam and hipages’ Tom and travel via chopper to the famous Phillip Island racetrack, where they’ll take a hot lap and get to navigate the track themselves.
But today’s winner will also score a much–coveted prize. A gnome (if they don’t knock it over), plus $10,000 cash.
The couple that finishes the car challenge course in the fastest combined time, while maximising safety along the way, will claim the honours.
And it’s an epic course. They need to reverse through witches hats, knock a golf ball off using just a tow ball and of course, not smash into the cutouts of the hosts and key Block personnel.
This should be fun.
Competitive juices flowing, it’s Kyle and Leslie who take out the win (despite Leslie knocking over the cut out of Shelley Craft.)
Houses 2 and 3 are furious. They think the whole thing is rigged and Scotty’s stopwatch must have been faulty. They firmly believe they were faster than Kyle and Leslie, and are outraged by the result.
“That ain’t right,” Kristy says. “I feel like we just got robbed,” Brett adds, as Leah says they should have done their own timing.
Both couples complain the entire way home, before reuniting at a quick stopover on the way back to site, where they continue their rants.
“That was a lie,” Kristy says, as she exits her vehicle.
As all the teams assemble, a producer assures them that everything was properly checked.
“How does that make sense?” Brett asks, as Eliza and Liberty roll their eyes at the emergence of yet another conspiracy theory.
“There was definitely very quickly, a lot of questions, as opposed to congratulations,” Kyle sighs.
But Houses 2 and 3 ‘s attention quickly turns to a new focus… how to win this week so they can take a “life-changing” trip to Phillip Island together.
This recap has been used with permission from Channel 9
Special thanks to Lulu Wilkinson at Nine.
Link to 9Now HERE
Link to Lulu’s full recap including with extra video content and info HERE
About The Block
Get ready, Australia. The Block, the number one renovation reality program, returns for an incredible 19th season on Sunday, August 6, at 7.00pm on Channel 9 and 9Now.
Set in the family-friendly Melbourne suburb of Hampton East, the new series features five houses designed and built in the 1950s and located on the aptly named Charming Street. These grand old dames are now aged in their 70s and way overdue for a contemporary update.
For the first time in Block history, host Scott Cam will be providing contestants with the full renovation schedule ahead of time this season. So get your cameras out, Blockheads, it’s photo time.
Adding to the year of Block firsts and amping up the stakes at play during the 48-hour House Decider Challenge, contestants will be seeing all finished designs of the houses on Day 1. Who will prevail and get the house of their choice?
Not only will they get the schedule and designs up front, but in another first, they’ll receive their entire budgets as well.
However, the Blockheads will soon find out that it’s not all smooth sailing when renovating an original 1950s home – structural issues, extreme weather events, and a mountain of demolition will test our five keen couples every step of the way.
Plus, The Block’s state-versus-state rivalry will be amplified by the sheer closeness of the houses this year. Who knew being able to peak into your neighbours builds would cause such tension?
The couples in contention are: sisters Eliza and Liberty Paschke (personal assistant, 37, and integration producer, 34, VIC); parents Kyle and Leslie Cottone (firefighter, 36, and teaching aide, 34, WA); parents Leah and Ash Milton (first aid officer, 31, and builder, 36, QLD); married couple Kristy and Brett Beames (project manager, 34, and safety officer, 34, SA); and newlyweds Steph and Gian Ottavio (architect, 27, and start up worker, 27, NSW).
Real estate expert Marty Fox isn’t the only new addition to the lineup this season. The formidable foremen Keith Schleiger and Dan Reilly will be joined on site with the fan favourite from last year, Tom Calleja.
The nation fell in love with Tom and his wife Sarah-Jane because of their work ethic and relatable marital bickering, and he jumped at the chance to work with Scotty and come back as this year’s official Block plumber.
The designs of the amazing homes in this series again come from The Block’s resident architect, Julian Brenchley.
At stake is $100,000 for the overall winner of The Block, on top of any profit the five couples can all make on the critical auction day. Plus bragging rights for the winners’ state.
Since premiering on Channel 9 in 2003, Australia’s richest reality program has awarded a total of $32,592,807.65 in prizemoney.
The Block – on Channel 9 and 9Now
Media Release – Nine
TV Central Nine content HERE