A team accused of cheating in week one? That’s got to be a first.
But before we get to that, the results. It all came down to a battle of the curves with West Australian couple Leslie and Kyle triumphing over Queenslanders Leah and Ash by just half a point.
And the judges’ feedback did not go down well with Leah, who all week had felt confident of nabbing the win — believing her ceiling was their “secret weapon”.
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Clearly not, because Leslie and Kyle had done the same thing only in a far less polarising fashion.
“I just did not think that the judges wanted to see vanilla after 19 seasons of seeing white walls every bloody time,” Leah moaned of being pipped at the post.
“Boom we come in with something super unique and they just can’t. It’s just too much!”
There were similarly sour grapes from Kristy and Brett who felt cheated at being beaten by novice renovators Eliza and Liberty, with Brett dubbing their room “shit.”
“I would never tell them that thought,” he said, clearly forgetting that when you say stuff like that on camera it has a habit of getting back to the person you are talking smack about.
Unsurprisingly, after a week of setbacks and measuring mix-ups, Steph and Gian took out last place.
Even at the eleventh hour the couple had once again been left in floods of tears when their carpenter inexplicably installed the vanity unit without accommodating their plumbing.
Seeing what had happened, foreman Dan gently suggested that perhaps they should consider finding a new building team.
The drama brought Steph and Leah together briefly as Leah took pity on her rival’s run of bad luck. That truce was short-lived, when Leah learned Steph had been talking to her stone mason.
“She’s so hard to read. I don’t know if she’s dumb and innocent or smart and sneaky,” she sniped.
Before her best pal Kristy declared: “It’s definitely smart and sneaky!”
Making matters worse, the contestants got wind of the fact that Steph’s dad had been helping them with their build.
And this time it wasn’t just Leah and Kristy who were furious (although they were leading the charge and keeping a very keen on eye over their back fence at what was going on).
“I didn’t see any of this but, if he hasn’t been inducted. If he’s installing a shower screen and he’s not a glazier. And if he’s not being paid, I don’t like to be dramatic but that’s cheating!” Eliza said.
And she makes a valid point. Even if you are frazzled and under pressure, everyone knows that you can’t have mates or family members rocking up to help you get the job done. Haven’t we seen this story play out time and time again?
With the judges oblivious to the drama, they arrived on site to create their own with their feedback.
With Neale Whitaker scaling back his judging commitments this season, we got to meet his replacement. And that came in the shape of the super slick Marty Fox.
The agent and auctioneer first appeared on The Block when he sold Tash and Harry’s house in 2020.
Having been wowed by what they saw in Leslie and Kyle’s bathroom, they were rendered momentarily speechless upon walking into House 2’s much-hyped sexy bathroom.
“It’s a lot to take in,” Marty commented as he gazed at the venetian plastered walls and moody tiles.
“I feel like I am in a nightclub.”
Marty also felt the white toilet stood out against the dark walls and, because of its placement, then became the unfortunate hero of the room.
Darren Palmer loved it. Shaynna Blaze felt it could be polarising but commended their bravery.
In House 3, the judges liked the style to a Moroccan day spa. But Marty felt Brett and Kristy were playing it too safe.
“You don’t want a house people forget and if you play it like this, they will forget,” Shaynna said.
The trio were initially impressed by Gian and Steph’s planning (little did they know the chaos that had come before reveal day) but they did not like the exposed ceiling beams.
“No buyer is going to say: ‘I love those old rustic beams’ No buyer has ever said that to me,” Marty complained before urging them to paint over them.
The biggest surprise came at the sisters’ house where, after hearing all week how they were clueless, they managed to complete a pretty reasonable room.
Shaynna said the feeling in the girls’ bathroom was “divine” and all three loved the choice of patterned terracotta floor tiles.
Shaynna was less complimentary about their jarring mishmash of metals they’d used, pointing out the gold drains, aged brass taps and copper shower rails.
“And is this a room for giants?” she pondered as she took in the oddly placed toilet flushing buttons and soaring shower.
Darren hated their feature light sniping: “2005 wants its light back!”
Hearing the feedback, Eliza was elated. After seeing all the others pulling out all the stops with their archways and curved ceilings, she had thought they were in for the wooden spoon.
“Ours is a bit more basic bitch but it’s what we would want in a bathroom,” Eliza explained.
Leslie and Kyle: 25
Leah and Ash: 24.5
Liberty and Eliza: 23
Kristy and Brett: 21
Steph and Gian: 20.5
MISSED AN EPISODE?
Ep 3: ‘Secretive and fake’ — Battle lines drawn over Block agents
Ep 2: Stumble out of the blocks: Team demolishes wrong room
Ep 1: ‘Fugly as’: Contestants unimpressed with Block houses
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