The Block 2017 recap (06.08.17): Keep those toilets smiling

Adam Smith 6 August 2017 NEWS

The Block Ep 5One couple's performance leaves us sadder than their toilet.

It’s judging night on The Block! Or, as it’s also known, literally the only night something of consequence happens.

Tonight we get to see how our five teams have fared as they’ve wrestled their way through bathroom week. First, though, we’re treated to no less than a 10-minute montage reintroducing us to all the contestants in case we’ve forgotten in the three days since we last saw them. Because apparently The Block’s target audience is the dude from Memento.

As is customary, all the teams are under the pump and desperately trying to finish. We do, however, get a glimpse as some of the style elements are coming together. Sticks and Wombat have added custom-made copper pipe towel rails and toilet roll holders. A lot of craftsmanship obviously went into them, but they do sort of make the bathroom look like a Windows 95 screensaver.

Pipes ScreensaverPictured: Sticks and Wombat's bathroom

Clint and Hannah are struggling, particularly due to their decision to pick tiny, fiddly circular tiles that are approximately one micron in diameter. They look great, and fewer than half of them are actually in place.

Everyone is running themselves ragged trying to finish by the 5pm cut-off for power tools. To illustrate this, the producers show us a frankly suggestive montage of people drilling into things, capped off by Ronnie kissing all his tradesmen. He also makes the mistake of planting a smooch on Foreman Keith, whose over-the-top reaction is far more an indictment of his character than Ronnie’s. There’s a lot I could say about Keith’s completely disproportionate freakout after such an innocent gesture, but I’ll leave it at this: Stay the hell out of his personal space.

Personal space"Keep outta that personal space!"

The contestants will all be pulling all-nighters, it appears. With the exception, of course, of Jason and Sarah, who plan to lie perfectly still until they fossilise.

The next morning as judging approaches, it becomes heartbreakingly clear that Hannah and Clint aren’t going to finish. They seem like such genuinely good people that this is almost too emotionally devastating to bear. I had to lift my spirits by changing the channel to watch the end of Marley and Me.

But The Block is a harsh mistress. The judges arrive, and it’s doubtful they’ll be grading on good intentions.

First up are Jason and Sarah, who have sleepwalked their way into a pretty stunning bathroom. Shaynna, Neale and Darren all love the Moroccan tile on the floor. Unfortunately, they feel the room is cluttered and overly styled.

Jason and Sarah brJason and Sarah's bathroom

Next are Hannah and Clint, and the fact that two such wonderful people have ended the week falling short is just gut-wrenching. I had to pause the TV for a bit so I could read some Cormac McCarthy for a few giggles.

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Neale twists the knife a bit by assuring us the couple’s bathroom would have been superb had they been able to finish. All the judges are impressed with Clint’s sleek and sexy speakers, which, thank God, don’t play any Enya. But the couple’s separate toilet is savaged by the judges, who call it “sad-looking”. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d prefer a sombre toilet to a gregarious one.

Hannah and Clint brHannah and Clint's bathroom

Next up is Ronnie and Georgia’s bathroom, which actually looks pretty great. Neale loves that it’s neither too feminine or masculine, too period or contemporary. By that rationale, the perfect bathroom would be a formless void. The judges aren’t without criticism, though. Shaynna doesn’t like the fact that the only power point in the room is at toe level. Also, in a glorious bit of schadenfreude for all of us, Darren and Shaynna hate Ronnie’s idiotic speaker.

Ronnie and Ga brRonnie and Georgia's bathroom

The judges move on to Sticks and Wombat’s bathroom and are immediately floored by the elegant sophistication pulled off by the two chuckleheaded fartmongers. While Shaynna is unconvinced by the bespoke copper piping elements, Neale ensures us that pieces like this are all the rage in interior design. Sticks and Wombat are as surprised as we are.

Sticks and Wombat brSticks and Wombat's bathroom

Finally, the judges move on to Josh and Elyse’s room. They’re wowed by the couple’s giant bath and some of the dramatic architectural flourishes. Shaynna also likes that the pair have hidden the toilet behind a plant. So I guess this means our toilets have to be cheery but demure?

Josh and Elyse brJosh and Elyse's bathroom

The scores tallied, Josh and Elyse squeak out a half-point victory over Sticks and Wombat, the surprising runners-up. Thankfully, Scott Cam spares a heartbroken Clint and Hannah from donning the traditional Chump Jackets, considering it would have been tantamount to kicking a puppy.

Darren Neale Shaynna Total
Jason and Sarah 8.5 8 7.5 24
Hannah and Clint 6.5 6.5 3 16
Ronnie and Georgia 9 9 7.5 25.5
Sticks and Wombat 9 8.5 9 26.5
Josh and Elyse 9 9.5 8.5 27

Missed an episode? You can read our recaps of every episode of The Block 2017 here.

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