The Block recap: Ready, willing and table (11.10.2016)

Adam Smith 12 October 2016

The block 2016 Challenge Day title

It was challenge night again on The Block, which, as regular viewers will know, means absolutely nothing of note happened.

Instead, we were treated to an episode largely devoted to watching people set tables. Perhaps next week they can switch it up and offer us the high-stakes drama of watching paint dry.

After last week’s trip to Tassie, which offered a change of scenery if nothing else, the contestants were given a chance to use their wood. Insert childish laughter. They’d be aided by a furniture maker, and tasked with creating tables for their terraces. Lest you think a renovation show would focus on something as arcane as actually building something, the REAL challenge we were to be treated to involved setting the tables after they were made.

Last week’s winners Karlie and Will got to assign each team themes for their table settings. The couple chose “Italian Anti-pasto” for themselves. Kim and Chris were given a Christmas lunch theme, Andy and Ben had to present high tea and Dan and Carleen’s table had to be styled for a one-year-old girl’s birthday party. This left Julia and Sasha with an engagement party theme. The irony that they’re the only couple on the show not legally allowed to marry each other was not lost on them.

The block 2016 Karlie and Will table

Karlie and Will's table. Source: Channel 9.

The block 2016 Julia and Sasha table

Julia and Sasha's table. Source: Channel 9.

So it was off to make and decorate their tables. Foreman Dan and partner Dani were appointed judges of the competition, and $5,000 was on offer for our cash-strapped contestants. The challenge inspired me to run to my own table and grab a fork, in anticipation of sticking it in my eye before the episode’s end.

The styling got underway for most of the contestants, but Andy and Ben faced the substantial hurdle of not knowing what a “high tea” was. Knowing the loveable larrikins, they probably assumed it involved smoking illicit substances with the former star of The A-Team, so Shelley Craft decided to whisk Ben away to an actual high tea for illustrative purposes, and to kill some much-needed running time. Shelley took Ben to the glamorous Hotel Windsor in the heart of Melbourne. The poor lad seemed out of his depth, showing up in his work gear, but fortunately no wealthy dowagers fainted face-first into their soup at the sight of him.

The block 2016 dan and carleen table

Dan and Carleen's table. Source: Channel 9. The Block 2016 Andy and Ben table

Andy and Ben's table. Source: Channel 9.

Back to The Block, and the challenge was finally complete. Dan and Danni couldn’t agree on a winner, with Dan choosing Kim and Chris’ holiday feast and Dani going for Dan and Carleen’s pink fairy-themed birthday table. Host Scott Cam mercifully stepped in to put a stop to the proceedings by giving $5,000 to each couple. Small price to pay to bring this challenge to an end.

Dan pink hairNo caption necessary. Source: Channel 9.

As the contestants got back to their renovation work, Julia and Sasha were looking forward to a much-anticipated spa day. After some minor drama with a splashback in their butler’s pantry, the couple apparently remembered that people shouldn’t be throwing liquids around in their pantries in the first place, and no-one aside from Batman and Richie Rich actually have butlers, so off to the spa they went.

Unfortunately, their bit of self-indulgence came at the expense of some common area work the couple were supposed to do. They were told by an assistant to show-runner Dave Franklin that bad weather was moving in, so their roof work would have to be put off for another day. By the time they’d hit the spa, however, Melbourne’s famously fickle weather had cleared and the only storm brewing was with Forewoman Kim, who again had to pick up the girls’ slack.

After a call at the spa to inform them of their transgression, Julia and Sasha decided Kim had somehow orchestrated the entire thing to make them look bad. That’s a bit of a stretch, girls. She definitely hates you, but she doesn’t control the weather.


Pictured: Kim, apparently

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