The Block 2017 recap: Pools, cranes and wheelbarrow mobiles
The contestants are getting floral with the feature walls but there's crane-sized trouble in the backyard pools.
We start this episode where we ended the last, on picturesque Mount Buller. The team quickly leave the snow in two Block-branded helicopters.
Jason obliges in the comedy department by discovering he's scared of flying - before anyone's even in the air.
The choppers circle around for a nice aerial shot of The Block houses and then it's time to cut briefly to the builders fueling up with a McCafe breakfast. Is there any other breakfast food in Blockland?
In the contestants' absence it seems that the professionals have got quite a lot done, suggesting (shock!) that renovation really is best left to the experts.
In typical Block fashion there's plenty of painting to be done overnight. Ronnie and Georgia's crew have been ploughing ahead with their second bedroom and en suite. This is their third bathroom now and they're feeling confident, although Ronnie's annoyed the crew didn't sand the plaster back. I agree with Georgia here: Get over yourself Ronnie!
Sticks and Wombat continue to surprise with technical innovations. Their second bedroom has a drop down, ceiling-mounted TV. It's extremely cool but the panel moves a little slowly for my liking.
Elyse and Josh are keeping with their theme of heritage panelling on the lower part of the walls. It really does look great.
But we're watching The Block, aren't we? Where's the much anticipated construction drama?
Oh here it is: Ronnie and Georgia's 10-ton pool can't be lifted in without a heavy crane and access to a neighbouring property. But their last chance, the head of the body corporate for a block of units next-door won't allow a heavy crane on their driveway.
Since Sticks and Wombat opted to use the same crane as Ronnie and Georgia this is their problem too. Sticks gets on the phone but the body corporate bloke is having none of it. His exact words, in the most body corporate tone you can imagine: "You're a contestant not an owner. We're owners of the property. We don't want your trucks on our property… Do you understand that? Can you comprehend that?"
Not gonna lie, having neighbours like this should seriously dent the final values of the properties. How dare anyone talk to our beautiful boy Sticks like that!
Sticks and Wombat decide to go back to their own plan of using a smaller crane for their lighter, impossibly cute container pool. Ronnie prays to the pool gods for help (but not the prickly body corporate, which answers neither to gods nor men).
But before pool tensions can mount any higher we need that other classic Block standby: the hastily-contrived, barely related to construction challenge.
This episode it's, a wheelbarrow/cement mixer… relay race!? Sticks and Wombat walk (or wheelbarrow) away with the prize.
Then Scott is joined by Shelley Craft and Alice Stolz from Domain for a quick judgement on the bedrooms. Alice is happy with Jason and Sarah's mullet approach to heritage houses: period features at the front, modern conveniences at the back. It all looks pretty good to be honest.
Hannah and Clint are planning another floral print feature wall although Alice is hesitant. She thinks something more "unisex" is better. Boys can enjoy floral prints too, Alice. Ronnie and Georgia are also going with a feature wall that involves flowers. Now Scott is wary about the feminine wallpaper but Ronnie says "you have to pick a gender."
Alice is impressed with Sticks and Wombats' drop down TV. They're also going for pink and the word feminine is used again. The traditional gender discourse is strong with this episode.
Josh and Elyse are going for floor to ceiling cabinets, a big bed head and… teal velvet. Shelley Craft's really into it.
In the end Ronnie and Georgia walk away with this week's Domain prize.
Now it's dinnertime and Jason stays true to form by setting off the smoke alarms. Other contestants go out for dinner and… holy heck, their car can reverse park itself?! Why are we making these people build their own houses when this technology exists? Why isn't an AI program writing this recap?
But we can't forget the episode's key dramatic event: Ronnie and Georgia's pool problems.
The foremen have a solution. They want to use a bigger crane to drop the pool in and then a smaller crane to move it across. The catch: houses 1 and 2 won't be able to work on their backyards until the crane has come through to reach Ronnie and Georgia's backyard.
This will require some negotiation, made much harder by the fact that Ronnie and Georgia have played hardball throughout the competition. Now they're at the mercy of two other teams.
This is contrived home reno drama at it's absolute best!
The look on Clint's face when Ronnie comes in asking for a favour is priceless. Hannah and Clint give tentative approval as long as the work doesn't affect their plans.
Jason and Sarah, however, decide to play hardball. They want $15,000 to allow Ronnie and Georgia access to their backyard and to compensate for delays in their own work.
Will Ronnie and Georgia pay up? Will Jason and Sarah have a change of heart? Will this episode end with all our questions unresolved? Absolutely.
Missed an episode? You can read our recaps of every episode of The Block 2017 here.