The Block on Channel 9 – Auction Day is rapidly approaching, the Blockheads are working on their very last spaces and frankly, we’re beside ourselves at the thought of this all coming to an end.
Never fear, we still have front yards to finish… so grab a shovel and let’s dig in!
This week, the teams also need to complete their defects, hallways, garages and staircases, along with their façades.
You only get one chance at a first impression, so they’re looking to make them as impactful as possible.
That’s not simply because they want to build a beautiful house, however. It’s also because there’s a Mustang Mach-E up for grabs for this week’s winner and everyone wants to win it.
But nobody wants it more than Leah and Ash in House 2. They’ve forfeited two wins already, simply to hang onto their gnome for Front Yard Week so they have every possible chance to take that car home with them.
At this very moment, House 5 couldn’t care less about the car. They’re absolutely reeling from last night’s judging. They can’t find the motivation to rally and they’re rattled that they received barely any positive feedback on the space they put their “heart and soul” into.
“I just can’t even be here,” says Eliza, choking back tears. “I just feel really low.”
The two make the big decision to take a breather and sit out of the usual Open for Inspections.
The rest of the Blockheads were eager to see the spaces, especially given the mixed feedback the judges served up.
Oh, everyone except Brett. He isn’t blown away and ponders what else they could have spent their funds on.
Leah and Ash’s yard is commended for being practical and stylish and Leslie is baffled that they spent so much energy worrying about her space next door.
“It’s annoying that they had so much focus on what we were doing,” agrees Kyle. “What a shame,” says Leslie before quipping, “Camerich chair’s nice.”
When Leah finally does clap eyes on House 1’s yard, which she had been so fixated about, she has some harsh sentiments to serve up.
“Can’t say I’m loving it,” she states. “[The] grass is horrendous.”
The teams are taken aback by House 3’s yard, and Ash dubs it a “DIY job”. Kristy and Brett’s Backyard Week was plagued with drama and culminated in a showdown between the couple and their landscaper, so it comes as no surprise that he’s no longer onboard to do their front yard.
The judges may not have found too many positives with House 5’s yard, but the other teams have a tonne of compliments to hand out. After the visits are complete, some of the teams gather around the shattered sisters and offer their support.
The girls had believed they had no option other than using concrete, which the judges slammed them for.
What they didn’t comprehend was that they actually could have put a material of their choosing on top. “You’ve gotta push back,” Ash concedes. “You can put decking on a slab,” Steph adds sagely. She and Gian explain they liked burnished concrete, and have a slab of it in their own home.
But Eliza and Liberty are now fretting that the judge feedback will impact the sale of their house.
“It will not jeopardise your sale, girls,” Leah reassures them.
They remain very overwhelmed and no amount of soothing words or advice will help. Eliza sobs as she admits she just wants to go home.
It’s a public holiday, so they’ve got some time to get a small break. The others are pressing on, as there is a lot to be done, despite not having trades on site.
“This week we’ll go as hard as we possibly can and leave nothing in the tank,” Ash confirms.
That may not be enough… because Kyle and Leslie are still stinging about everything that went down last week. That has not been helped by the fact they threw everything they had at their backyard, only to be roundly criticised by the judges once again.
The fact is, they’re skint. So, they make a shock move and decide to sell their Gnome to Steph and Gian.
Steph and Gian have been on a winning streak and are cashed up and talented enough to pose a massive threat to win the final week on The Block.
The shrewd move is a win/win for Kyle and Leslie. Not only will they get some much-needed funds to put towards their front yard, but they’ll also potentially mess up Leah and Ash’s plans to drive home in a Mustang.
They are honest enough to admit they can’t win with the lack of funds they have… but they also don’t want their rivals to win either.
“Boys and girls, let me teach you a lesson in how to really f–k s–t up in the last week,” laughs Leslie.
“We apologise because we’ve become these people,” Leslie adds.
“I don’t apologise for anything,” Kyle says smoothly. “Be a d–k and I’ll be a d–k back.”
Their plan taking shape, the pair waste little time in sharing it with others. “This is going to get very savage,” Leslie tells Kristy and Brett, who are obviously rather delighted by the strategy.
Kyle and Leslie admit at this stage they’re willing to give the Gnome away for free, just to see House 2 burn.
“I love you,” marvels Brett.
House 4, the intended recipients of the Gnome, are next to discover the proposition… and they’re intrigued.
“Could you imagine?” Steph says, of the mere notion of her and Gian unveiling a Gnome themselves. “[Leah and Ash] would lose their mind.”
“It’s a master stroke from you, Les,” Gian adds, confirming he and Steph will scrutinise their budget and round back with a formal offer.
Before they can open the books, there’s a group dinner to be shared. Instead of a winner’s getaway this week, Scott Cam has gathered the troops to enjoy a meal together. Eliza and Liberty have decided to instead get some much-needed sleep and try to start the next day with a fresh mindset.
For everyone else, it’s awkward as hell.
A frosty silence descends across the table as recent feuds remain simmering.
Steph and Gian are the only ones that everyone is OK with. Even that takes a hit when they’re given their bonus $10,000 for scoring a 10 and everyone else has to stand by and watch as they celebrate.
Cashed up once more, they pair swiftly pull Scotty aside and ask if they’re actually allowed to buy Kyle and Leslie’s Gnome.
“That’s never happened before!” Scott says. He’s stunned… and just as intrigued as they were.
He also admits he’s slightly terrified by the idea of revealing the Gnome’s new owners come Sunday night. But he gives the pair the tick of approval to proceed with the purchase… and now, we wait.
A new day dawns and the trades are back. So are Eliza and Liberty. They’ve had a mammoth sleep and they’re feeling better. “So… we go forth and conquer,” Eliza smiles.
Kyle and Leslie are doing their best to do both. They’re in a dire financial situation and until they actually sell the gnome, they’re broke.
“It’s a horrible feeling,” Leslie says, revealing they’re about $12,000 too short to finish their home.
Troy, their landscaper, gives them a very honest take on what needs doing and together, they make the tough call for him to leave so they can save cash. He warns them they’ll need to confirm any desired plant order as soon as possible.
That means if Steph and Gian don’t buy their Gnome, House 1 just won’t finish.
“You just want to have a crack,” Leslie says, resigned. “I don’t feel great.”
She feels slightly better when she runs into Kristy and learns she’s desperately seeking landscape help. Kristy and Brett thought they’d be fine working with just their build team, but have realised they do need some landscaping insight when it comes to things like selecting plants.
Leslie suggests Troy may be able to help out, given she just had to put him on pause.
Kristy eagerly engages Troy’s assistance and he immediately demonstrates exactly why a landscaper is important, ordering their plants and loading the stressed-out pair up with insight and advice.
Kristy marvels at what a “nice” move it is from Kyle and Leslie.
But we have a feeling Leah doesn’t feel quite the same. She’s uncomfortable about the fracture in her and Leslie’s relationship.
Now Leslie’s not spending any money whatsoever on landscaping, Leah has no need to call for audits or query budgets. So, she instead decides to chat with Leslie about why everything went down last week.
This should go well.
As Leslie heads out of McCafe, Leah accosts her. She reiterates her version of what happened during Backyard Week. (Frankly, we do not have the finger strength to retype the entire saga.)
However, many may find Leslie’s immediate reaction to this highly relatable…
“I was quite open to the chat until Leah decided she wanted to reminisce about the week,” Leslie sighs. “I don’t want to talk about last week.”
Leslie can still feel the sting of the judge’s criticism. She’s just had to feel the ache of sending home her trades and admit she’ll not be in a position to ever play the gnome she won. She’s dead broke and she’s yet to have her morning coffee. Being confronted by the skip bin is the final straw.
Leah however, really wants to recap everything and have the conversation right from the top… perhaps on the off chance it will end in a different result.
But Leslie would also like to recap her own take on how things went down. “I do think that you just talk over people when you don’t necessarily like the answers,” Leslie says calmly.
“Oh… I disagree with that,” Leah says.
We imagine that at this moment, Leslie is thinking purely of exactly how much money she’d like to get for her gnome.
Leah is not deterred. She adds that when Leslie took back her Block Bucks it took her to a “really dark place.”
Leslie realises Leah is actually seeking an apology, which she isn’t about to give. “I’m not sorry,” she confirms to the cameras later. “Look what they’ve done to us!”
Leah meanwhile, is flummoxed that Leslie is not offering up an apology.
When Leslie suggests they merely stay amicable, Leah is taken aback. “I’m not just going to sweep anything like that under the rug,” she tells her producer later. “So, her little plan of being amicable? It’s not going to work for me.”
Only, that’s not Leslie’s little plan. Her actual little plan involves a gnome… and we have a strong suspicion it’s also not going to work for Leah.
Fresh from the confrontation, Leslie heads to House 4 to officially sell the gnome.
There’s an enormous power imbalance because Kyle and Leslie are desperate and Steph and Gian are not. Everyone has a price in mind, and no one wants to show their hand.
Steph and Gian explain they don’t want to jeopardise anything in their home… and Kyle and Leslie half-heartedly accept their offer of just $5000 and some Block Bucks.
“Did we get what we wanted for it? No,” laughs Leslie.
“Were we in a position to negotiate? No.”
But now, we’re in a position where everyone knows about the gnome – including Scotty – except Leah and Ash.
“Interesting though, that everyone’s holding that information back,” says Brett wryly.
We can only hope this does not lead to another skip bin confrontation.
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
The Block on Channel 9
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