The Block 2017 recap: A trucking disaster
The crane dramas are far from over as another swimming pool pushes two teams to the breaking point.
If there’s one immutable law of the universe, it’s that The Block is on Sunday through Wednesday nights. Everyone knows that. You can count on it like the sun rising.
So imagine your humble author’s surprise when Grand Final weekend saw The Block air a Thursday episode this week. What are you doing to me, Nine?!
Anyway, that’s my excuse for running way behind with today’s recap. Josh and Elyse’s excuse for running way behind on their landscaping comes down to a giant truck, an equally giant crane and some selfless sacrifice for their neighbours and good mates Sticks and Wombat.
The boys are trying to get their container pool into place, but to do so they have to back the world’s largest truck down the driveway they share with Josh and Elyse. There’s approximately one electron of clearance on either side, and when the hapless truck driver sees the space he’s meant to back into he immediately urinates in terror. I assume.
He begins the slow, methodical process, hoping all the while that physics momentarily has its back turned. It’s seriously tense. There have been docking procedures on the International Space Station that were less high-stakes than this.
Plenty of room.
After hours of to-ing and fro-ing, the truck driver accepts the reality that we’ve all already come to grips with. Unfortunately, he’s now blocking in the crane, which has another job to get to. This means Sticks and Wombat have to pay $600 an hour for the crane’s time. They also have to send both the truck and the crane back to the depot to have their pool put onto a smaller truck.
Wait a second. There was a smaller truck? WHY DIDN’T THEY JUST USE THAT TO BEGIN WITH? Was the truck driver just looking for a challenge? It boggles the mind.
While all this is happening, Josh and Elyse are falling behind on their yard. All work has to halt while Sticks and Wombat wrangle with their pool. The stress really begins to build when the new truck arrives, and it’s exactly as wide as the last truck. And then it gets bogged in the mud.
While all this is happening, Jason is feeling particularly smug. He and Sarah’s decision not to put in a pool has put them way ahead for once. He predicts they could be the only team to finish, thus handing them the only kind of win they’ve ever known: a win by default.
Back on the north side of the Block, Sticks and Wombat have a brilliant idea to get the truck free from the mud. They use the railway sleepers from their much-maligned week one bedhead to give the truck some traction, and it manages to get itself into position. Who’s laughing now, judges? I can’t wait to see what practical use they find for the fart book.
Finally, nine hours after the process began, Sticks and Wombat’s pool is in place. And at the end of it all, they’re still friends with Josh and Elyse. The boys jump in to get the couple back on track, and even bring their work crew over to help. Wombat tells us that their friendship with Josh and Elyse is much more valuable to them than the $100,000 grand prize, and I suddenly have something in my eye.
Believe it or not, there actually is more going on at the Block than Sticks and Wombat’s pool delivery. The cubbies the contestants built in their first challenge have arrived, and exactly no-one is excited. Unfortunately, they have to incorporate the ridiculous lean-tos into their backyard or forfeit a point at judging. Why? Because mind your own damn business, that’s why.
It’s also the night when hosts Scott Cam and Shelley Craft join Domain’s Alice Stolz to inspect the contestants’ progress and award the weekly prize. Sarah tells us she and Jason are gunning for the win, as they sorely need the cash. Wait, what happened to that $13,500 you extorted from Ronnie and Georgia?
Oh yeah, that's right.
The prize goes to Josh and Elyse, who manage a perfect score despite the week’s setbacks. That makes the couple a bit richer in the cash department. But you know what they’re really rich in? Friendship.
Missed an episode? You can read our recaps of every episode of The Block 2017 here.