The Block 2017 recap: Reeling toward disaster

Adam Smith 5 September 2017 NEWS

The Block Ep 22 (1)The Block is teasing a dramatic week, with one team copping a historic beating from the judges.

The show has taken a page out of Memento this week and decided to mess with the timeline of its narrative. It’s a bold artistic choice for a program that usually tries to cram in three or four product placement ads per minute.

Even though it’s the dawn of a new week where the contestants will be taking on their master bedroom and ensuite, host Scott Cam takes us forward to Sunday night when the unthinkable is set to happen. A team receives straight zeroes from the judges.

Who could it possibly be? Scott teases us with scenes from earlier in the week that could portend the downfall of any one of the teams. This is going to be a catastrophic week for one team!

Except the scores aren’t cumulative or anything. I mean, it’s embarrassing to get straight zeroes for a week but it’s not like the team is going to be executed or anything.

Or are they?

Before we can get to condemning our contestants to death, it’s time for this week’s open for inspection. First up are last week’s joint-winners, Ronnie and Georgia. The pair are off enjoying a night away that was supposed to include co-winners Josh and Elyse. But the young Melburnians tell us they decided to stay back at the Block and get a head start on the week ahead. Their decision not to go away with Ronnie and Georgia had nothing to do with their white hot hatred for the Perth duo.

In Ronnie and Georgia’s absence, the teams inspect their winning living and dining room. Hannah and Clint and Jason and Sarah are impressed by the level of class and sophistication. Meanwhile, Sticks and Wombat and Josh and Elyse quickly come to the conclusion that the room is a smouldering dumpster fire and didn’t deserve a win. Now, Nine didn't provide a preview screener of the episode, so rather than provide a screen grab I'll have to illustrate the scene through the medium of MS Paint.

MS Paint 1 Josh, Sticks and Wombat inspect Ronnie and Georgia's room

Why the strong reaction? Well it appears Ronnie and Georgia used some cleverly placed curtains and furniture to hide the fact that they didn’t finish painting or putting skirting boards in several areas of the room. No wonder these guys finish early. Their house is constructed like the set of a 90s sitcom.

Next it’s on to Josh and Elyse’s room. The two tied with Ronnie and Georgia after using a bonus point. All the other teams love their dramatic concrete shelf supporting their fireplace, and they’re particularly impressed by the glass hearth that will last the house’s eventual owners all of one or two weeks before one of their kids drops something and shatters it.

Jason and Sarah’s room is next, and the hero of the room is the wood-burning fireplace. Hannah goes so far as to call the room “regal”, and Clint warns that he’s “onto” the couple and their renovating prowess. If the events of the past week have proven anything, it’s that you don’t want to be in Hannah and Clint’s sights.

Our unassuming puppet masters are next to face their fellow contestants, and everyone actually likes the mid-wall that the judges so hated. They also give Hannah high marks for her styling, but fail to give her high marks for playing the other teams against each other like a bunch of saps.

Sticks and Wombat’s room is the final one to face scrutiny, and once again none of the contestants agree with the judges. Josh says the boys aren’t getting enough credit for their craftsmanship, particularly in a week where one of the winning rooms was missing paint, skirting boards, had unlevelled surfaces and several of its windows were just drawn on in crayon.

With the inspection done, it’s time to dive into a new week that, I’ll remind you, will end in one team’s grisly death. Well, at least that’s how the promos are making it out.

Grisly death might actually come this week at the hands of Foremen Keith and Dan. The two call the contestants together to lecture them about the after-hours noise complaint they received when Josh’s plumber roused Elsternwick’s peaceful slumber with a power drill. Keith tells the contestants that if anyone breaks the power tool curfew again, everyone will get in trouble. And that if they’re going to chew gum they better have brought enough for the whole class. It looked something like this:

MS Paint 2

Keith and Dan lecture the contestants.

Ronnie and Georgia have made their way back to The Block from their overnight stay, unaware of the absolute sledging their room received from some of their fellow contestants. Considering the good grace with which they usually receive criticism, I’m sure they would have taken the feedback onboard.

The two head directly to a bathroom store to pick out fixtures for their ensuite. They brag to us about a fancy toilet they’re installing that shoots a jet of water up the bums of its users. Ronnie tells us he had the privilege of being the first person in Australia to use the toilet. If that’s true, I doubt the couple will be welcome in that store again.

Local retailers must love Jason and Sarah, however. The two love to spend. Scott shows up to lecture the two about their budget once again. He tells them they’re currently $15,000 over budget, and that the $30,000 they’ve allocated for landscaping doesn’t exist. Maybe they can follow Ronnie and Georgia’s lead and cover their dirt yard with curtains and well-placed furniture.

MS Paint 3 Scott talks to Jason and Sarah about their budget.

Jason also cops another lecture from Keith and Dan for his perennial slowness. After two days of work, Jason has managed to put up about three batts of insulation. Fun fact: the reason indoor plumbing disappeared from human civilisation for nearly 2,000 years is that they contracted Jason to install it.

At least there are a few industrious contestants on The Block. They’re perhaps a bit too industrious, in fact. Josh and Elyse and Sticks and Wombat are using drills after the 5pm cut-off. That sound you hear is Keith's head exploding.

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

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