The Block recap: Runaway jury (26.09.2016)

Jodie Humphries 27 September 2016

The-block-2016-Episode-21-buyers-jury-judgementIt was another night of judgement for the contestants on The Block.

It was onwards and upwards after room reveal, as The Block contestants last night got a start on their master bedrooms. It was also the night their rooms would face the scrutiny of a "buyers jury" of real estate experts.

First, Andy and Ben were off for a round of golf with Foremen Keith and Dan. The boys had made a wager that they’d pull together and get their living and dining rooms ready for room reveal, and having come in under the wire the Foremen owed them a day at the links. It was a bit of a Pyrrhic victory, as Andy and Ben lost to Keith and Dan, and were forced to don the original Chump Jackets for 24 hours.

The Block 2016

Foremen Keith and Dan face-off against Andy and Ben. Source:

That bit of frivolity aside, the resident real estate experts showed up to pass judgement on our contestants. The buyers jury included Domain editor Alice Stolz, buyers’ advocate Nicole Jacobs and real estate guru John McGrath. It wasn’t just bragging rights on the line, with the winners of the judging set to receive $20,000.

First to face the music were Karlie and Will, wearing their fetching red Chump Jackets. The Chumps came across like champs, though, as the jury liked the finishing in their rooms, and Alice calling it “well considered and well appointed”. It wasn’t a complete love-fest, though, as John remarked that he would have hidden the entertainment system details, and the jury showing concern over the controversial floating wall.

The Block 2016

Nicole Jacobs, John McGrath, Alice Stoltz and Shelly Craft (L-R) inspect The Block. Source:

Next up were reno veterans Carleen and Dan, and with some hit-and-miss rooms from the regular judging panel’s perspective, it would be interesting to see the experts’ take. The judges praised the layout of the bedrooms, and liked the living and dining room. But they predicted the overall success of the couple’s apartment would come from how they managed to blend the more modern sections with the more traditional sections. They were also concerned about the lack of under-floor heating, and with good reason. It’s never good when potential buyers get cold feet.

Andy and Ben were next, and the jury was immediately impressed by the boys’ famed surprise toilet, not to mention the additional bedroom. There was even the suggestion of styling the extra bedroom as an office or tween’s bedroom for auction day. The jury also liked the “blank canvas” look of the living and dining area. But John McGrath was concerned that the shower heads in the apartment were too low for tall people, which could be a problem given Andy and Ben’s TV was too placed too high for normal-sized people. The jury was also bothered by the boys’ off-centre fireplace. They also remarked that the apartment’s styling felt very masculine, and that Andy and Ben might want to soften it a touch.

The Block 2016

The couples face the jury's judgement. Source:

Julia and Sasha were next, and the jury’s first comment was that the girls had taken expert advantage of the apartment’s view. Nicole and Alice were hugely impressed with the property’s Hollywood style and glamour, and Alice added that “everything just feels beautifully orchestrated”. John, meanwhile, thought the bedrooms were bland and needed a styling makeover, which is bad news for the stylist who can’t make style decisions. He was also concerned about the slipperiness of the floor tiles in both bathrooms, which could make some potential buyers worried about the potential to slip and fall. You want to break records at auction, not your buyers’ bones.

Last were Kim and Chris. With Kim’s confidence shrinking at the same pace as the couple’s budget, the pair really needed a win. The buyers jury all agreed that the apartment would appeal to downsizers. Alice commented that a lot of buyers want “an intimate space that is not just a house but a home and I think this apartment does do that.” John was also impressed by the main ensuite, calling the shower “an entertainment zone”, which seems vaguely dirty. But Nicole felt the style of the living area was wrong for the suburb, and calling on the couple to develop more consistency.

The Block 2016

Some of the couples enjoy some time out. Source:

In the end, it was Julia and Sasha who took out the $20,000 prize, much to the consternation of Kim and Chris. But back at The Block, the contestants managed to put their differences aside and relax for some too-high TV time in Andy and Ben’s living room. One would assume they all went home with sore necks.

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