The Block on Channel 9 – We’re really in the thick of The Block now. Everyone is still salty with Leah and Ash, while Kyle and Leslie make a decision about their house which could have drastic consequences… and Kristy admits that when it comes to friendships on The Block, nothing is what it seems.

Oh, and somewhere in there we’re also building living and dining spaces.

Or at least a version of it. Kristy and Brett are only delivering their living room this week, saving the dining for the upcoming kitchen week. They’re relying heavily on their secret weapon to get them over the line, a three-sided fireplace.

Steph and Gian have also gone for a huge statement fireplace. They’ve opted to move the kitchen and dining spaces around and the fireplace will divide the new dining and living spaces.

Leah and Ash have also flipped things up, switching their living and dining spaces to open up the flow of their home.

But do you know who isn’t tweaking their floor plans? Kyle and Leslie in House 1.

“We probably have the smallest living/dining space,” Kyle acknowledges. Noting the layout, foreman Dan is stunned. “It’s too small!” he says bluntly.

The Block on Channel 9
Dan serves up a reality check (not on the Christian Cole table, as it may not fit.) (Nine)

Dan quickly points out that by adding some additional steel beams, the space can be opened up and almost doubled in size.

Sounds like a plan! 

Only, it’s not. Dan outlines his idea to House 1 and is told it’s “a lot of work.”

“At the end of the day, do you want to sell your house?” Dan asks, baffled. Kyle and Leslie are focused on this week’s room delivery, but Dan’s experience tells him that there’s a bigger picture to consider.

“It’s about selling your house and trying to win this competition,” he notes, wryly.

Kyle and Leslie don’t seem to grasp his sentiment. “Don’t mind the suggestion,” Leslie says. “But it’s the logistics of the suggestion.”

They take approximately one minute to decide to stick with the status quo, still squarely focused on delivering on Sunday and being in contention to win the room reveal.

It’s not a great day to be a foreman… or be on the receiving end of a foreman.

Dan may be getting dismissed, but Keith is not in an outstanding mood. In his role, he’s always keen to inspect the work but what he’s losing patience with is guiding the builders through all the steps that lead up to that.

The Block on Channel 9
Keith’s cross face. (Nine)

Quite literally, it turns out. When Leah asks him to check out the progress of her actual steps, Keith is fed up.

“Dan and myself are basically putting every piece in for every contestant,” Keith says firmly. “We’re holding every builder’s hand through every piece that goes in. It’s not fair.”

Afterwards, Leah reflects on the moment Keith “spat the dummy”.

“Threw all his toys out of the cot!” she says. “Here Keith, have a lolly, go and have a nap,” adds Ash. (It should be noted that neither comment was said directly to Keith and we can also not confirm whether any lollies were offered. We feel they could have helped.)

If there are any freebies up for grabs, lollies or otherwise, the sisters would like them, please and thanks. They’ve spent almost $150,000 and are five weeks down without a much–needed room win (and cash prize injection.)

“We essentially now move forward with very basic spaces,” confirms Liberty sadly.

But Eliza is sick of stressing about it. “We deliver empty f**king rooms!” she snaps at her sister. “How many times do I have to tell you? I don’t care!”

They’re relying heavily on their builders to guide them through the process, given they are total rookies when it comes to renovating. So things get worse for their spirits (and budget) when the foremen Keith and Dan let them know their builder is using an expensive flooring option when he doesn’t necessarily need to.

“You’ve got to start minimising the way you build,” Keith warns.

Eliza is rattled to hear the builder has been told he doesn’t need to use that option, and has made the choice to do so anyway. She lets Liberty know, who is furious. “I don’t understand why [the builders] are not taking this more seriously,” she rants. “Why are they doing this?”

Keith continues spreading his merry cheer around the site, heading to House 4 to ensure they’re accommodating the necessary changes to their ceiling this week, given Steph and Gian have moved the dining room to now be underneath a bathroom planned for upstairs.

It’s time for Keith to crack it for a second time… (those lollies could have prevented this.)

“We’ve got to stop helping them, mate,” Keith says to Dan, who had been busy reminding the building team they needed to pre–plan.

Just like at House 2, he reminds House 4 he and Dan are there to inspect the building, not hand–hold throughout the process. “It’s not fair,” he says firmly.

Wowsers, Keith’s cranky.

But Gian’s stressed. He has now realised the scope of what needs doing and the extra time it will take to do it. “We were up s–t creek without a paddle,” he notes.

Tensions are fizzing elsewhere too.

Kristy is also not thrilled that Steph keeps pipping her when it comes to purchasing items for her house. In her words, Steph is ‘stealing’ items by buying them first. It’s an interesting logic.

The Block on Channel 9
We can only wonder who bought this coat first. (Nine)

So, Kristy gets her revenge by nabbing a couch Steph apparently has her eye on. “I’ll just send a little cheeky snap to Steph,” Kristy muses, taking a photo to really rub things in. “It’s fun,” she beams.

Egged on by her fellow shopper Leah, Kristy decides to act like Steph. She wraps her trenchcoat around her and quips, “I might go home and yell at Gian.”

“Gianny,” Leah corrects her, as the pair burst into laughter.

“Gianny! I neeeed water,” Kristy says, in what we can only assume is an impersonation of a thirsty Steph.

Leah bursts out laughing, before Kristy says, “Am I the new Leah?”

Leah looks only slightly horrified to hear this… but Kristy laughs on. 

Talking to the cameras alongside husband Brett later, Kristy explains herself further. “Let’s not forget that this is a game,” she says drily. “And if anyone doesn’t think that it wasn’t a gameplay to be friendly at the beginning, they’re underestimating us.”

“So you’re not really friends with anyone?” asks the producer.

Kristy and Brett explain their relationship with Ash and Leah is real, but things end there.

“The rest of it’s fake,” confirms Brett.

The Block on Channel 9
“They’re underestimating us.” (Nine)

They may be great at faking it, but no one else can hide their feelings when Leah and Ash are given a ‘Best on Block’ award by Tom, courtesy of hipages. It’s a $10,000 cash prize, and off the back of the room win, Leah is aware it’s put a target on their back.

“Why are you winning awards for like, workmanship when you’re actually treating people like sh*t?” says Liberty, which pretty much sums up the vibe all around.

(Mini) rant over, Kyle and Leslie are about to feel the effects of sticking with their small space. Their custom–made, $16,000 Christian Cole table is, according to Christian himself, “A piece of art.”

He’s been very clear that there needs to be a decent amount of space around the table for people to comfortably relax and enjoy it. “If you’re in a tight room, you’re not going to see any of it,” Christian declares.

There needs to be 1.2m around each side of the table… and they’ve currently got 400mm.

That math ain’t mathing.

“I’m not going to ask Christian to make a smaller table,” says Leslie. “I will make the table fit in my house.”

Can we get Dan back in here to talk beams again?

The Block on Channel 9
The face you make when you realise your 16k table probably won’t fit. (Nine)

There is metal about to get thrown about, but not in the way the foreman would like. The Blockheads head off for a blacksmithing challenge, tasked with creating a unique piece of art that will take pride of place in their living or dining space.

This mortifies Steph, who admits she is “protective” about what goes into their room. But the competitive spirit kicks in when they learn there’s $5000 up for the winner.

Kristy doesn’t miss the chance to give Steph a dig about the way she’s heckling Gian as he pounds the metal into shape.

“Are you doing anything Steph, or are you just barking orders from the side?” asks Kristy.

But Steph isn’t fazed by her comment. She’s aware she and Gian work very well on “separate tasks, common goal.”

One pair who have worked well together is Leah and Ash… and absolutely no one is thrilled to hear it. They create a vase/remote control/mobile phone holder and they’re delighted their blacksmithery is recognised as the best.

The Block on Channel 9
Smashing metal = a surefire stress reliever. (Nine)

They’re given $5000 as a prize, taking their winnings for the week up to $25,000 and rising the fury in everyone else accordingly.

Kristy and Brett are the ones who seem most aware that the other teammates are not exactly happy.

“Everyone was pissed off except us,” says Brett, succinctly.

Even Leah’s builder is wary as the pair make their way back to site. He notes he is concerned “Tornado Leah” will arrive, “wiping us all out.”

But Leah is still buzzing from the win – and everyone else is equally happy when they see the dramatic progress made on their homes.

Everyone, that is, except Steph and Gian. Their wall sheets are not up, and they’re now a day behind.

Eliza and Liberty have also got zero time to reflect on their excellent metal forging skills, as they don protective gear and get stuck into insulating their ceiling.

The Block on Channel 9
Spring 2023 Block Far-shun. (Nine)

“What a time to be alive,” remarks Eliza… and after that extraordinarily long and action–packed day, we couldn’t agree more.

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