The Block 2017 room reveal recap: It’s a yard knock life

Adam Smith 9 October 2017 NEWS

The Block Ep 41One couple's backyard efforts get a legendary dragging from the judges.

It’s the end of landscaping week on The Block, and the contestants’ mission to create serene, tranquil backyard retreats has driven them to the very brink of having their heads explode like that guy in Scanners.

Did you seriously think I was gonna put that photo here? Gross.

Everyone is particularly stressed about the imminent inspection of their backyard pools. Except for Jason and Sarah, of course, who are still feeling smug about their decision not to include a pool. The only thing they’re swimming in is the money the stole from Ronnie and Georgia.

The pool inspector arrives, and Foreman Keith tells the contestants he’ll try some stalling tactics so they can put the finishing touches on their pool gates and get them up to code. Prepare yourself for some wacky, sitcom-style hijinks!

Actually, Keith manages about five minutes of awkward small-talk before the pool inspector brushes him off to continue on his task.

In the end, everyone gets the tick of approval, although Sticks and Wombat have to bribe the water truck driver with a 12-year-old bottle of Chivas Regal to get him to stick around an extra couple hours to fill their pool. Alcohol and swimming. Always a brilliant combination.

Finally, it’s tools down and time to face judgement. First up are Jason and Sarah, and the judges are immediately impressed by the size of the couple’s backyard. That’s what happens when you don’t add a 10-tonne pool. Darren, Neale and Shaynna are also impressed by the steak that’s been left for them in the couple’s outdoor kitchen. There’s nothing more appetising than meat that’s been sitting outside for 12 hours or so.

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Jason and Sarah's backyard

I’m sorry to say that Darren also likes Sarah’s absurd heat lamp. What the judges don’t care for is the couple’s decision to break contest rules by not including the cubby house they built in the season’s first challenge. It’ll cost them a point, and the judges say it would have added something to their backyard. That is an indisputable fact. It would have added exactly one butt-ugly cubby house.

Hannah and Clint’s backyard is next, and wow oh wow do the couple cop it this week. The judges hate pretty much everything. They say the proportions are all wrong, the spa is ugly and the choice of plants is ill-advised. Shaynna goes so far as to criticise the pair for leaving a “skanky teabag” in a cup of tea. I mean, do we really have to sully the reputation of an innocent teabag? Neale’s single left-handed compliment is that buyers would see the potential presented by the space. So basically you’re saying that the backyard’s best quality is the ability to tear it out and start over? Oof.

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Hannah and Clint's backyard

Ronnie and Georgia’s house is next, and it’s clear the judges are feeling cantankerous after suffering through Hannah and Clint’s yard. While they love the pool that was the source of so much drama this week, they say the space is poorly used and the yard isn’t functional or child-friendly. Shaynna is particularly displeased with a wall running the length of the yard. Taking a page from Ronald Reagan, she demands they tear it down.

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Ronnie and Georgia's backyard

It’s on to Sticks and Wombat’s yard, and the judges’ mood immediately improves. They love the flow and functionality, and say the pair’s cubby house looks like it actually belongs in the yard. They’re also impressed by the boys’ shipping container swimming pool, and Darren fawns over the way its colour and texture are mirrored in other elements of the house. Thinking that was intentional might be giving Wombat a bit too much credit.

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Sticks and Wombat's backyard

Finally, the judges head to Josh and Elyse’s. They’re immediately gobsmacked that the couple managed to put in an in-ground pool in a week. Neale goes so far as to say it’s worthy of being published in any design magazine anywhere in the world, though it’s probably best suited to the cover of One-Week In-Ground Pools Quarterly. Darren says Josh and Elyse’s backyard will have buyers calling their banks begging to borrow more money, which is a nice way of saying their house will drive people to financial ruin.

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Josh and Elyse's backyard

The scores are tallied, and Josh and Elyse chalk up another win. They’re closely followed by Sticks and Wombat. How do you like that? The people who spent the week treating each other like decent human beings came out on top?

Darren Shaynna Neale Total
Jason and Sarah 9.5 9 9.5 (-1) 27
Hannah and Clint 7 7 8. 22
Ronnie and Georgia 8.5 8 9 25.5
Sticks and Wombat 10 9 10 29
Josh and Elyse 10 9.5 10 29.5

There’s a nice consolation prize for the losers’ bruised egos, though. Host Scott Cam tells them they’ll all get an additional $25,000 to finish off their houses. It teaches all of us a valuable lesson: Don’t bother budgeting or being responsible with money, because just when you’re about to run out, a TV pitchman will swoop in and hand you 25 large with no strings attached. You can count on it.

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

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