The Block on Channel 9 – Pressure is mounting and some teams are starting to shift focus from their own house, to that of their neighbours.

House 1 are sitting pretty after their $10,000 challenge win and the all–important bonus point gnome, but Houses 2 and 3 are still salty about being beaten in a car driving challenge they thought was rigged.

Kristy and Brett have gone so far as to add Kyle and Leslie’s win to their rapidly growing list of conspiracies. “We see things play out or we predict that things are happening and then they come true,” says Kristy drily.

She outlines the full list of her and Brett’s conspiracy theories, including that Eliza and Liberty are an industry plant for Channel 9.

She’s wrong… but Eliza does reveal that she was a personal assistant to Hamish and Andy. Adjust that tin foil hat, Kristy!

Thus far, Steph and Gian have escaped the wrath of the conspiracies, although Kristy has admitted her friendship with Steph is fake and Brett says Steph would “stupid” if she believed otherwise. “You’re clearly messing with her,” he notes.

Steph is unaware of this. “We’re really close with Kristy and Brett,” she tells a producer.

She goes to get her lashes done with Kristy and tells her frenemy that she admires her confidence. “You’ve just got more experience in that ‘boss b—h’ way,” she adds. “I’m learning off you, which is good.”

The Block on Channel 9
Festive look, team. (Nine)

“I’m glad I can help,” Kristy says.

We’re not sure “help” is the right word.

We cut live to host Scott Cam, who is placing a Maccas drive through order for a colossal amount of food (including 100 hashies and 50 banana breads) and there’s literally zero point of us sharing this except to say, did anyone else suddenly develop an insatiable craving for just about everything he requested?

Scotty is fuelling up the Blockheads for some intense work on their master bedrooms and walk–in robes.

Liberty and Eliza are desperate to save cash, so Liberty embraces her sausage and egg McMuffin energy to jump on the jack, sledge and normal hammer and start demo’ing her room. “It was really fun,” she admits.

The Block on Channel 9
Thrilled. (Nine)

House 2’s curved ceiling is absolutely taking shape and looking magnificent in the process. It’s a laborious task, that involved gently shaping the gyprock, before sealing it carefully and sanding by hand.

Ash knows it has to be done right, or it won’t deliver the impact they’re after.

It’s all about the curves for he and Leah this week, as they are also installing a beautiful bench seat that sweeps along one wall of the room.

The Block on Channel 9
Now that’s wow factor. (Nine)

Steph and Gian are busy adding some luxe to their room this week too. They won a major wardrobe upgrade several weeks ago, and are keen to include every single bell and whistle possible to their massive walk–in robe.

Side note, did you know houses with walk–in robes have a median price of more than $39,000 vs houses that don’t, and spend eight less days on the market? Our Blockheads will be hoping that takes effect in their own homes.

Kristy and Brett are also throwing everything at their room – but in the form of lights. They copped some intense feedback about their lighting scheme in their living and dining space and this week, they’re determined to nail it.

When the electricians install the lights slightly off alignment, Kristy is rattled. They have to re-do the lighting and patch the errant ceiling hole.

That is all achievable… if there wasn’t a conspiracy theory at play.

And Kristy has a new one to add to the list.

Venting to bestie Leah, Kristy explains Steph is monopolising the time of the shared site electricians. That is causing major delays in Kristy’s own house.

The Block on Channel 9
Car fury in action. (Nine)

It’s party because Steph has made some major changes to her ceiling… which ironically came about after Kristy convinced her she should, simply to demonstrate she can smoothly get inside Steph’s head.

“I can easily suggest something as a throwaway comment and it will eat her away,” she explains.

That throwaway comment has created a ripple effect.

“The people that are organised get screwed over!” Kristy rages. “Because [Steph] makes f––king changes, constantly.”

“She’s definitely got some kind of strategy happening,” agrees Leah, adding Steph has a “façade” and doesn’t seem “authentic”.

“House 4 is becoming a pain in my ass!” Leah adds.

“Big time,” Kristy concurs.

Well, pop that sentiment to the side because it’s time for Scott and Shelley Craft’s walk arounds. They’re impressed by the curved ceiling in House 2, but when Leah and Ash dodge their questions around cost, they go straight to the source.

The plasterer reveals it costs at least ten times what a normal ceiling will set you back.

A lot, basically.

“We’ve always been thinking about the end game,” Ash explains. He says the pair are hopeful a buyer will turn up on the day and throw down enough cash to validate the expensive and extravagant statement.

“This whole house is a vibe,” Ash notes. “You’re either gonna love it… or you’re gonna love it even more.”

Shelley gently ribs the couple about whether House 4 is their biggest competition this week and reminds them Steph and Gian have a wardrobe upgrade and Hermes bag to showcase too.

“I don’t know how Steph’s gonna put that bag in her room,” Ash quips. “It’s not beige.”

Peering proudly up at his curved ceiling, Ash adds, “I don’t reckon she could handle something like this.”

Steph’s ability to ‘handle’ a curved ceiling is not the only thing being considered. In House 3, Kristy tells Scott and Shelley she thinks Steph is trying to convince the cameras (and audience at home, we imagine) that House 2 should only be considered as an Airbnb.

“She knows what she’s doing,” Kristy says. “She never takes a step without it being very thought out.”

The Block on Channel 9
A fresh conspiracy is spawned. (Nine)

Steph is then shown describing House 2 as “super exotic and different and bougie.”

“It reminds me of a place that you would go for an Air BnB,” she adds. “It’s like a getaway. It’s not necessarily a home. It’s something different.”

Cue Leah, who shares this isn’t the first time she’s heard Steph use this description, but she’s never said it to her face. She sees the description as a positive, however.

We’re confused. We’re not sure who’s insulted by this, but somehow we think it’s Kristy.

There’s more tea to be spilled in House 5, when Scotty tells Eliza and Liberty he thinks they were “robbed” at judging last week. He notes that House 2 had a two–seater couch, which Scotty clearly believes is outrageous.

“It is hard hearing that because we are so desperate for money,” Liberty admits.

The Block on Channel 9
“You was robbed!” (Nine)

That’s not an exaggeration. Tucking some money aside for landscaping, the girls estimate they have a mere $50,000 to complete the rest of the house.

Shelley gives the girls a good old fashioned talking to. She instructs the pair, Eliza especially, to stop wallowing in self–doubt. “Back yourself,” she says. “You’re a strong woman, take ownership of it.”

“No more of this,” Scotty agrees firmly.

“We need to now suck it up, stop making excuses, back ourselves, be a bit more confident…” Eliza lists.

“Time to put your big girl pants on!” Shelley finishes.

But that surge of confidence doesn’t last long. There’s a fresh mistake made. The two are instantly worried when they learn their team has worked ahead on their waterproofing.

Houses need a pre–inspection prior to waterproofing, which Elixza and Liberty’s team didn’t get. Thankfully, they do have photos of every single step leading up to it, proving they’ve followed process. (Aside from getting permission, that is.)

Foreman Dan is not pleased. “We’ve missed a critical step,” he says sternly. He decides the photos and the excellent work of the trusted waterproofer can suffice in this instance and jokes that a ‘fine’ will be in order.

That fine in in the form of a traditional building site currency of a case of beer, rather than actual cashola.

The relieved pair attempt to smooth things over with the peace offering of a slab of beer and a bottle of Kahlua. “And so… we bribed them,” Eliza notes.

This doesn’t sit well with some of the Blockheads… and we’ll leave you to guess which ones.

Houses 2 and 3 re-group and agree that there are “funny rules” at play, that don’t seem consistent.

“There’s double standards a lot,” Leah says. “It kind of does seem like the girls are getting an extra hand.”

“We are all having a hard time,” she adds, but declares the playing field just doesn’t seem level.

How the conspiracies affect Sunday’s room reveal remains to be seen…

The Block airs Sunday at 7.00pm and Monday to Wednesday at 7.30pm on Nine and 9Now. Catch up on all the latest episodes on 9Now.

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

The Block on Channel 9