The Block 2017 recap (15.08.2017): Maybe I’m a maze
It's an episode of twists and turns as our contestants struggle to find their way through the season's first challenge.
Tonight on The Block it’s the first challenge of the season! You know what that means. If you love tasks that are barely even tangentially related to renovating, tonight’s the night for you.
First, though, the teams are in the thick of kids room week. Jason and Sarah are really struggling for inspiration. All they’ve come up with so far is Jason’s insistence that it “has to be real”. You’re right there, Jason. A fictional room will probably do poorly with the judges.
Ronnie and Georgia are once again way ahead of schedule, and Georgia is even picking out the colours for the exterior of their house. This causes a bit of controversy when Sarah and Jason call a body corporate meeting to try to coordinate exterior colours and Ronnie says nothing doing. He tells everyone he and Georgia have chosen black for the exterior. Surprisingly, even Sarah with her terrifying guest room doesn’t think this is a good idea.
It turns out this was just a bit of misdirection from Ronnie. He tells us in confidence that he’s trying to throw the other contestants off his real colour choice. He and Georgia are going to such great lengths that they’ll be covering the top of their house in a tarp they’ve dubbed The Tarp of Secrecy. I'm guessing the other contestants will refer to it as The Tarp of We Honestly Don't Care What Colour You're Painting Your House.
Meanwhile, Sarah is getting discouraged after learning the other contestants’ ambitious plans. When the highest bar she and Jason have been able to clear in their planning is “a room that tangibly exists and is not a hypothetical construct”, she worries the two don’t stand a chance. She jokes that she’s ready to give up on the entire week. Who can blame her when she and Jason have been working at such a feverish pace?
Finally, it’s challenge time. So what will our contestants be doing to hone their renovation chops and learn practical skills they can take back to the Block?
If you guessed “race through a hedge maze”, bonus points for you.
The contest is overseen by last year’s team of loveable larrikins, Andy and Ben. You can almost taste the tension between them and Sticks and Wombat, this season’s promising young upstart Aussie stereotypes.
"Stay off our turf!"
Andy and Ben have tasked the teams with building cubbies in a variety of different themes. Scott Cam tells the contestants that the cubbies they build will have a place of honour in their houses’ backyards, which causes all the teams planning on yard-sized pools to tug nervously at their collars.
But wait! The instructions, paint and styling elements are hidden somewhere in the hedge maze. This leads to a race through the maze which I won’t recap, but will instead present in visual form.
After the teams get their cubbies constructed, they have to pass a geography quiz administered by Andy and Ben in order to gain access to their paint. With the exception of Jason and Sarah and former flight attendant Hannah, the contestants’ grasp of geography is about as good as their grasp of vocabulary was proven to be a couple episodes back. Primary school teachers Ben and Andy look like they’re dying inside as they see the teams struggle with geography questions like a dog trying to play chess.
This painful segment done, the teams get down to painting and styling their cubbies.
At the end of the day, Ben and Andy admit they have to toss a coin to pick a winner. The universe favours Sticks and Wombat in this instance, who get a $5,000 cash injection for their troubles. And we all learn a valuable lesson about renovation. It all comes down to how well you can navigate a hedge maze.
Missed an episode? You can read our recaps of every episode of The Block 2017 here.