The Block on Channel 9 – Things may be heating up as The Block comes to a close, but it seems a frost has descended over House 1.
Don your raincoats everyone… we’re in for a wild ol’ ride right to the end!
Our first clash is quite unexpected. It’s been a while since Steph lost her cool, but she’s about to have a showdown with Foreman Dan.
Gian is off site attending his grandfather’s funeral. Steph is emotional and determined to finish their home flawlessly.
However, the house still has its exterior scaffolding up, which is starting to cause delays. Steph confronts Dan about it, who calmly explains the logical reasons why it’s still there. But Steph doesn’t want to hear it.
Dan is perplexed as she rants at him to consider things from her side. “You’re not getting it!” Steph fires at him.
“Can we get Gian back?” Dan says, looking slightly terrified.
Eliza and Liberty are also experiencing big emotions. They’ve just received an invoice from their builder Robbie that far exceeded their expectations… and they’re rattled.
They sit down with Robbie to explain that they have no more cash to give him, and they were extremely clear about just how much money they had to spend.
Robbie looks aghast.
He explains it is also very clear how many hours he and the team are working. “I just feel like you are just throwing me under the bus,” he tells the sisters.
Eliza insists she constantly checked with him if they were staying on track, which Robbie denies. “You’re making up conversations we never had,” he says.
Fed up, Robbie storms off and Eliza calls after him, “You’re not taking it seriously!”
“Oh, I think I’m taking it very f–king seriously!” he shoots back.
The kick-on effect to their blown-out budget is that they now need to pull back drastically on their front yard.
Liberty wipes away tears. “I really wanted to finish this week happy,” she says. “And I just feel like I’ve got nothing left.”
Down the road in House 1, Kyle and Leslie also have budget blues. They were forced to sell their Gnome for the bargain price of $5000 to Steph and Gian, just so they can finish their yard this week.
They’ve stripped everything back to basics and are now learning how to hang Gyprock. “Anyone would think we were on a show about renovating a house,” laughs Leslie.
Yes, we had almost forgotten that too.
With her scaffolding still up, Steph turns her attention to her custom stone fence. She’s spent a whopping $10,000 upgrading her standard-issue Block fence to a fancy stone one, to create a real point of difference.
So she’s perturbed when she learns Leah and Ash have also got an upgraded fence, courtesy of Block architect Julian Brenchley. It’s a show-stopping 3D waffle fence designed to make an impact.
Steph doesn’t actually like the fence… but she also really doesn’t like the fact Leah and Ash scored an upgrade and didn’t have to fork out the funds to do so.
“I sort of got my back up a bit,” Steph admits. “From a cost perspective, [it’s] unfair.”
There are more awkward chats going on in House 5. As it turns out, Robbie’s brother Chris is the one who actually does the books. Robbie connects with him and the pair agree to drop their rates to align with the girls’ budgets.
“It was a really uncomfortable conversation, but it was all resolved,” Eliza says. She adds that she learned Robbie only walked away because he didn’t want to argue with them, noting he is a beautiful soul.
“He wants to see us succeed,” Liberty says. “And that’s pretty bloody amazing.”
Things aren’t going as smoothly with their yard however. Their deck team has to dig, re-dig and dig some more just to get the height to the exact level Foreman Keith is happy with.
Despite mucking about with it for an excruciatingly long time, there are more issues when the deck’s step height is eventually off by 10mm. Keith dramatically warns them their home can’t be sold with a gap of 10mm.
Noting just how big (or small, rather) this issue is, the girls struggle to take him seriously.
Nonetheless, the deck drama is causing everything to slow down. “It’s going to be impossible to finish everything,” Liberty sighs.
But over at House 2, Leah and Ash are flying. Their fancy fence isn’t the only upgrade they’re getting this week. They and House 1 also have a turntable being installed in their driveway, due to the narrow street causing access issues. Kristy and Brett are flummoxed by the fancy feature. “You’d feel like a w–ker using it every day… would you not?” Kristy muses.
House 2 are hoping all these special extras will be the tipping point they need to win this week. No one wants the car more (except Brett, but he’s somehow come to grips that may not be a reality, given his disastrous run of landscaping.)
What they still don’t know is that House 4, their biggest rivals, also have a Gnome they can use. And the fact they don’t know is a hot topic on Charming Street.
Houses 1, 4 and 5 gather to discuss exactly what the fallout will be when the Gnome is revealed. Eliza presses Leslie as to whether she would have sold her Gnome to Leah and Ash for $10,000.
Leslie doesn’t reply but instead, buries her head in her hands.
“You’re a gameplayer,” a producer heckles her.
“Such a gameplayer,” she fires back, sarcastically.
“Regardless of what happens, they’ll be devastated [and angry],” Eliza summarises, adding that Leah and Ash will take it extremely personally when they find out everyone knew about the Gnome… but them.
But there’s no time to speculate. “There’s an impossible amount to finish,” says Liberty, and she’s right. House 1 are only just starting their actual landscaping – despite having just a few days left – and there’s a mountain of painting to be done right around The Block.
Gian has returned and he’s seriously shaken by just how much there is to do. When their scaffolding finally down, he and Steph are delighted… until they realise just how much work now needs to be finalised.
The motivation they need to push on arrives in the form of some of the real estate agents who will be selling the homes at the upcoming auction.
Turns out, the market is looking good. “There’s nothing for sale [right now],” reveals Josh Stirling from McGrath. “We’re taking five brilliant houses to market, in a market starved of quality homes.
“We’re very, very confident all five will sell and I think we’ll be setting five suburb records on the day.”
And oh my dramatic God… that is very exciting news.
And it seems the Blockheads are excited too. Buoyed by the good news, they decide to cement the Block experience in a very permanent manner – matching tattoos!
Every Block contestant gets inked with a memento. Most opt for a tiny outline of a house (similar to the show’s logo), and Ash gets “YT Block”, which stands for ‘Yeah the Block“.
Spirits are high!
…And suddenly, House 2 are smashed with a tragic, shocking blow.
Returning to site with his fresh ink, Ash gets an unexpected call from Leah’s father, who is extremely upset. He shares the heartbreaking news that their pet dog Ollie accidentally ran under the wheel of his car. Ollie was killed instantly.
Ash manages to hold himself together while talking to his father-in-law.
But when Leah returns home from buying pet fish for their front yard’s water feature, that façade quickly drops.
Leah merrily tells Ash about her fish… before he sweeps her into their bathroom, desperate for some privacy. He instantly begins weeping.
Seeing his distress, Leah is shocked and begs him to tell her what has happened.
It’s a shattering moment and we won’t lie, our Kleenex stocks take a massive hit.
“I’ve never seen Ash like that,” Leah says, as the couple cry and reflect on their beloved pooch.
“Grief is one that is pretty difficult to do on The Block,” Leah admits, marvelling at the way her husband continued to push on.
“I’m really appreciative that he did that.”
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