The Block 2017 recap: A paint party brings pain and pique
We ended the last episode of The Block with some cheeky after-hours power tool usage, so we open tonight on the fallout.
Josh has again been using tools after the nightly cut-off, and Ronnie is none too happy. Scratch that. He’s incredibly happy because it gives him the opportunity to gossip and dob people in. It’s a combination of personality traits that would have made him very popular in high school, I’m sure.
Now we’re witness to a bit more of Hannah and Clint’s frighteningly brilliant gamesmanship. Clint goes to tell Sticks and Wombat, who unbeknownst to Ronnie were also using tools last night, that Ronnie has registered a noise complaint against them. Imagine Ronnie’s surprise when the furious boys confront him over a noise complaint he didn’t actually make. Clint, meanwhile, makes a brief stop on the way back to his house to convince Othello that his wife Desdemona is cheating on him.
Foremen Keith and Dan are already angry to have gotten yet another noise complaint, and their fury finds a nicely misdirected outlet in lecturing Jason and Sarah about their progress. The two seem to have actually moved backwards since last night. By the time the week is done, they will have completely dismantled their house and turned all the lumber back into trees.
The two are still struggling with their budget, in that they don’t bother to stick to it. To save some money, they’ve decided after two days of work that this week’s room is an impossible task and they’ll just give up. This is the kind of steely-eyed determination you need to win The Block. Keith and Dan seem unconvinced by the couple’s bold strategy of not trying.
Jason and Sarah's house.
The foremen seem similarly unconvinced by protestations from Josh and Sticks that their drilling didn’t make noise. Keith and Dan punish the two teams by imposing a 5pm complete work stoppage and making them pay for a barbecue for the entire build site. While the teams are none too happy about paying for all that food out of their budgets, it does give Sticks a chance to barbecue pantsless, which seems to soften the blow.
In the midst of all this drama, the contestants are working on the most difficult, gruelling build of the entire series as they tackle their master bedroom and ensuite. That’s why the producers decide it’s the perfect time to make them down tools and do an unrelated challenge.
The teams head off to the National Gallery of Victoria with Scott Cam and Shelley Craft, who task them with creating artwork to be displayed in their houses. Each individual contestant will create artwork and then the teams will have to choose which will go in the house. The piece they choose will also be displayed in the National Gallery to be judged by the public with a $5,000 cash prize at stake. That sound you hear is dozens of accomplished artists spinning in their graves.
The contestants all get to work, with a little input from Archibald Prize winner David Bromley. All their artistic expression made me want to get in on the action, so I humbly resubmit this masterpiece.
Now, you may have looked at famous pieces of abstract expressionist art in the past and thought, “I could do that”. This segment is proof that, no, you absolutely couldn’t.
Unless you’re Ronnie or Elyse.
Elyse creates a beautiful, layered colour theorist triptych that looks like it could have sprung from the brush of a young Mark Rothko, while Ronnie takes a page from Jackson Pollock and does a black and white splatter piece that turns out beautifully. Of course, he discards this in favour of some stupid blue mess he made by smearing paint with his hands.
Ronnie channels Jackson Pollock.
In the end it’s time for the teams to choose which pieces will represent them for the challenge. Elyse has painstakingly created something really special and beautiful, so Josh dumps all over it and demands that they use a ridiculous piece he made in about 10 minutes of horseplay and grabassery. Elyse is legitimately hurt by this and the two drive back to the Block in angry silence.
Josh practices the art of pissing off his partner.
So their work filled them with rage and loathing and led to a deep existential crisis? Maybe they are real artists.
Missed an episode? You can read our recaps of every episode of The Block 2017 here.