Its come the time in The Block in which COVID-19 finally rears its ugly, ugly head.
Watching the contestants get their first nasty inkling that it’s not just a weird disease that will never trouble Australia is enough to induce PTSD. It all seems so long ago that we could joke about dunny paper shortages, but seeing it gradually dawn on everyone on the show that the world is about to change feels like witnessing a moment in history, albeit one that only happened about six months ago. SIX MONTHS!
But on this episode it’s more of an inconvenience than the terrifying descent into economic ruin and despair that we know is coming. The inconvenience takes the form of contestants having to order everything, from nails to gyprock to rugs to door handles, for the entire rest of the build. Producers are worried there will be shortages of materials so ordering now is their only choice.
All this while also working on their master ensuite.
“That’s not easy for an experienced builder,” Keith notes.
Jasmin, who’s never met an alternative option she didn’t like, has a predictable meltdown, complaining that she doesn’t want to be locked in for tiles for a room weeks in the future in case the judges suggest they go in a different direction.
“You’re better off producing a room with tiles than without,” is Dan’s uncontestable response.
At least all this ordering gives Harry something useful to do. He’s broken his foot, and is under strict orders to stay off it completely, so he’s lying in bed, the perfect opportunity to crunch numbers and work out what’s needed. Except he isn’t. He’s just lying there.
“It’s no different from any other week on The Block,” Dan says. “I’ve never seen anyone cruise through The Block like Harry.”
Instead, his daughter Tash is working on spreadsheets of materials like a demon.
While Dan is chipping at Harry, Keith is doing the same to Luke and Jasmin’s builder Macca, who has been on The Block before
“Every time I walk into House 4 I find something,” he says. “It’s stuff a first year apprentice would know. In the real world I only give people one or two chances and then I get rid of them.”
He takes Luke aside to try and persuade him, again, that sacking his builder might be on the cards.
“Macca reckons there’s a bit of a vendetta against him,” Luke says later, holding his ground.
Also not having a great time is Jimmy and Tam. Still reeling from their sudden plummet from first to last, they’re conflicted about their insane decision to have their master ensuite only accessible with a trip through a wardrobe.
“We knew we would get pinged for that wardrobe but we didn’t think it would be that bad,” Jimmy says.
Shaynna Blaze called it a “disaster” and the judges agreed they’d have to rip it out and start again.
“We like it. We don’t have to do the same thing as everyone else,” Jimmy says, trying to put a brave face on it, but when their real estate agents struggle to muster any enthusiasm about the layout it’s clear they need to do something to fix the error.
They won’t pull out the wardrobe, but they’ll seal up the door through to the ensuite and make another door in the hallway of their master bedroom to reach the ensuite.
Tam cheers herself up with a test run of a smart toilet, which not only has male and female settings for spraying the user’s bits, but also has a heated fan for gentle drying — perfect for a toilet paper drought.
She spends an inordinate amount of time in the cubicle.
“I didn’t know that you had to press a stop button,” she says. “I sat there for quite a while. It’s weird because it feels like you’re weeing yourself but you’re not.”
That’s the manufacturer’s new slogan sorted.
“I’m going to do it again,” Tam adds.
We bet you are.
Sarah and George are slightly bitter Harry and Tash took out the win with their master bedroom, which Sarah claims has hardly any period features, something she and George have been criticised for in the past. But this pair never stay down in the dumps for long.
Speaking of which, George annoys his plumber and disgusts Keith by taking not one, but two morning poos in a toilet the plumber is about to work on. At least he has the good grace to look sheepish about the stench he’s left.
“Mate, I’ve got a weak stomach, are you serious?” Keith says, as Kelly Clarkson’s Since You’ve Been Gone (”I can breathe for the first time”) plays.
I see what you did there music person.
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