The Block on Channel 9 – It’s been a mammoth week on The Block so far.
But the teams momentarily press pause on their drama to continue to unite for a heartwarming cause.
Here we go…
Last night, the teams headed out for a birthday dinner for House 2’s Ash. Kristy remained largely silent throughout the meal and the second the cake was cut, she bailed. To say she was relieved to be out of there would be an understatement. To say her behaviour annoyed Leah would also be an understatement.
The next morning the ongoing feud between the two former besties is the talk of the town. Kristy says wryly that she “loved watching Leah change into her new personality” as she laughed and joked with Eliza and Liberty over the meal. “It was dinner and a show, really.”
In case there was any ambiguity whatsoever, Kristy adds she isn’t interested in being affiliated with Leah at all. “Fakest [expletive] I’ve ever seen in my [expletive] life,” she finishes.
And that hasn’t gone unnoticed. Leah and Ash are very aware that Kristy isn’t speaking to them.
This is actually starting to weigh on Leah. She’s missing her wingman. “I definitely am very sad,” she says, looking downcast. “She was a really good friend in this.”
“I just have to move on,” she says, wiping a tear from her eye. Husband Ash agrees. “Waste of energy,” he says drily. “Use it on something else.”
Over in House 4, Steph thinks the whole situation is sad. But she doesn’t have much time to dwell on it because she’s entirely focused on nailing her kids’ bedrooms this week. The last time Steph made over a room for a child on The Block she was soundly slammed for her misguided styling, and she is determined not to make the same mistake again.
Yesterday, the boss’s kids gave her a styling consult and firmly told Steph beige was banned, so she’s compromised and is using “earthy tones.” That’s still in her Japandi palette, obviously.
She and Gian are putting a hanging chair in their teen room and twin beds in their boys’ room. They’re heavily reliant on their ‘kid client’s’ advice, hoping that will give them the edge they need.
Those on The Block who have children are also counting on the insights their own children give them. Kyle and Leslie are designing their rooms with their two sons in mind, as are Leah and Ash.
In fact, Ash is hyper aware that adults generally design kids’ rooms for themselves, but actually, you want a kid to love their own space. He and Leah are instead crafting areas that their own children would adore. The girl’s room has a special stage area for impromptu performances and the boy’s room has a curved climbing wall, something Ash knows his son would enjoy.
Next door in House 3, Kristy and Brett have decided to channel all the spare time they previously spent with Leah and Ash to making two excellent rooms. They’re feeling liberated and focused. And they have even decided to include a colour-in wallpaper this week that they’re positive will wow the judges (who even feature ON the wallpaper itself).
House 5 may be opting for wallpaper too but they’re also openly playing “the end game”. They want to design rooms that are very adaptable and can easily be switched from being a kids’ room to something else (and a custom rock wall makes that a little more challenging).
Everyone lets their builders crack on as they head offsite to this week’s Ronald McDonald Charity House challenge. The teams have been split in two extremely awkward groups. One one side, we have the harmonious bond of Kyle and Leslie, Steph and Gian and former Blockheads Dylan and Jenny. On the other, we have everyone who doesn’t like each other or have had recent enormous blow-ups.
Things couldn’t be more friendly. [Insert dripping sarcasm here.]
Team Harmony are eager to win because if they do, they only have to split the money two ways (as Dylan and Jenny don’t take a cut). Steph has gone to extreme measures and is even painting things in primary colours.
Their space is multi-functional, with a sandpit, basketball court and various play areas. But as Jenny sagely notes, “When it’s for charity … it doesn’t really matter who wins. As long as everyone does a good job for the kids.”
Team Harmony is also joined by landscaper Troy Lovett, who adds some major weight to that perspective when he shares his own heartbreaking story of having premature twins.
He lost his son just a few weeks after he was born, and spent almost a year in hospital with his twin sister. “Doing all this stuff means more than anything,” he says. “The most important thing in the whole entire world is family and your kids.”
Team Tension are making over a BBQ and deck space. They’re trying to turn a small budget into a luxe look and their go-to guru at Freedom helps them hunt down some epic bargains… while also offering up a pretty special discount. “We will donate this stuff for you guys because you’re doing a great cause,” Anne at Freedom says. The girls are gobsmacked by the generous gesture. “We had free run of anything we wanted in Freedom!” marvels Eliza. “It’s gonna make this space feel so homely and comfortable,” says Liberty.
That wasn’t the only awkward moment Leah experienced.
Her group has opted for an incredible mural on one of their walls, which is being done by Melbourne artist Melanie Caple. But Melanie needs two people to help paint another area and Leah and Kristy are tasked with the job.
They paint in absolute silence, before Leah finally attempts to address the looming pressure.
She explains the parts of their friendship that she appreciated but again reiterates what didn’t work for her.
Kristy listens… and then quietly tells Leah some of what she’s worrying about is more about her than it is about their friendship.
When Leah once more explains why she felt she should try and enlighten Kristy about her behaviour, Kristy smoothly turns the focus back to Leah. She notes that perhaps she should have done the same thing when Leah was speaking poorly of Steph… and others.
“Upon reflection, when you were being really mean to Kyle and Leslie and when you were doing it to Steph and Gian and when you were doing it to [builders] Nine in Six and you were doing it to [suppliers] Kinsmen, I probably should have picked you up on your bad behaviour too,” Kristy summarises to the cameras.
But that advice “went down like a lead balloon”, says Kristy pointedly.
To Leah, Kristy says she feels she’s been playing “the blame game”, which Leah swiftly denies.
And they resume their painting in silence.
At least it’s a needed distraction, because there is a lot to be done in the challenge yard and it’s coming together beautifully. A stack of generous sponsors have donated what the teams need and everyone is thrilled.
By the time the whole thing is finished, both teams are beyond caring who actually wins. The ‘specialness’ of the project has managed to seep through all the competitiveness, even if it hasn’t wiped the tension out completely.
Always in hot demand to actually take on a Block yard, this year Dave is here to cast his expert eye over the spaces.
He loves the mural and slippery dip that integrates the play area and barbeque space. Dave also appreciates the functionality of the communal space and the new pontoon zone the team built.
In the playground area, Dave immediately notes the different spaces the team constructed, including a sandpit, art and craft area and a basketball court. “They’ve catered for every age group,” Shelley observes.
As fantastic as it is to give back, there is also $15,000 up for grabs for the winner. And those honours go to Team Tension. They momentarily press pause on their issues to celebrate the win with a group hug.
“We might not all like each other, but we work well together!” Kristy quips.
Fingers crossed we flow that positive vibe right through to judging… (Which airs at the special time next week of Monday at 7.00pm.)
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