As The Simpsons famously advise: “You don’t win friends with salad!”
But, on The Block, a gourmet barbecue is a sure-fire way to sweeten the relationship with the other competitors.
Still riding high from their trifecta of victories, Tam and Jimmy decided to splurge some of their $49,000 kitty on a $1000 fancy feast for their neighbours in the hope of squashing any sour grapes.
The laid-back couple wisely realised that their steady stream of wins and now bulging budget had put a target on their backs with the other contestants.
Everyone — including Harry, who had initially refused the invitation because he felt he had too much work to do to sit around shooting the breeze over snacks — certainly enjoyed Tam’s champagne, devilled eggs and array of cold meats.
So much so that they resolved to make it a weekly tradition. From now on, the winners will host a party for the losers on the night after judging.
But it would take a lot more than snags and alcohol to smooth things over entirely as the other teams, after surveying Tam and Jimmy’s winning ensuite, felt the Queensland duo were being treated a little too kindly by the judges, Shaynna Blaze, Neale Whitaker and Darren Palmer.
Making matters worse, the other teams reckon Tam and Jimmy have been enjoying an advantage with their 1950s property because it has needed very little demolition work, meaning the couple could spend more time and energy purely on their renovation and styling rather than the messy grunt work of pulling out cupboards, walls and ceilings.
Harry was in a thunderous mood thanks to his ongoing lack of success and the formidable task that awaited him in Master Bedroom week.
Harry and daughter Tash went from famine to feast on the floor space front. Their guest bedroom was the smallest bedroom on The Block, but their master bedroom is by far the biggest. Unfortunately, with their work week reduced by a public holiday (which prevents the use of power tools on site), they were struggling for time to do justice to their epic project.
Their bedroom and walk-in robe will be a whopping 33 square metres, which is larger than most studio apartments and just the sort of lux sanctuary to make a would-be Brighton dweller bid up big at the coming auction.
The scale of the project had Harry so concerned that he spent too much time agonising over whether to pull the Hipages lever (which would enable him to have a squadron of tradies on site to assist him free of charge) or getting stuck into doing the work himself.
Adding to his frustration, he tarried too long to collect his timber from a waiting truck and the delivery guy elected to drop it down the block from The Block. Harry then had to spend what little time he didn’t have this week carting the timber to the building site — accompanied by an expletive-laden tirade.
When he finally sprang into action on prepping his room, Harry did such a thorough job with his demolition work that foreman Dan feared he’d left the house structurally unsound, with too little of the exterior wall left to safely hold up the roof.
“He should know the processes by now. It’s week three,” Dan said. “But he’s going backwards not forwards. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for Harry to get everything done. He needs 48 hours to a day, not 24.”
Dan appears to be becoming more and more like grouchy foreman Keith with every season.
Speaking of Keith, he wasn’t going to let Dan do all the heavy lifting on the negativity front. He pulled the pin on Jasmin and Luke’s demo work when he discovered they’d hurriedly pulled apart a wall that could contain asbestos.
Work on the site had to be halted for safety inspections and one of Keith’s lengthy and tedious lectures.
Even though the house was declared asbestos-free, Luke and all his tradespeople were forced to sit through another safety briefing to make sure that they had well and truly learned their lesson.
Demolition was giving George headaches (and some limp jokes about erectile dysfunction) as well.
With no work crews on site for the public holiday, George and Sarah got cracking together on their master bedroom. The couple were forced to start pulling down walls around an intricate plaster ceiling rose that they had salvaged and left on the floor to reinstall later.
Keith, ever the prophet of doom, pointed out that the rose was at risk of being damaged by George’s one-man demolition work. George explained, however, that he had no choice because he had no tradespeople on site and the rose was too heavy and fragile to be moved by him and Sarah.
“I can’t get it up,” George lamented.
“Do you have trouble getting it up, George?” a sniggering Keith responded (I can imagine Keith was a big Benny Hill fan back in the day).
A war of the roses erupted when George joked to Sarah that he had thrown out the ceiling rose she had so carefully rescued for her new bedroom. Thankfully, he had stowed it safely in their beach box as she had muttered warnings of “instant divorce” if it had ended up in their skip. Remarkably, she didn’t shed a single tear during the heated exchange.
Things were far brighter for The Block’s resident winners. With $49,000 sitting in their bank account they have planned a bedroom with “all the bells and whistles” (that is TV renovation speak for a soaring cathedral ceiling and fireplace).
The duo also seemed hellbent on making their toilet the place to be seen.
They had to shelve plans for their bathroom to be separated from the bedroom by a glass wall that could be frosted for privacy at the flick of a switch when they discovered it would come at a cost of an eye-watering $16,000.
Their curious new plan now requires anyone wishing to enter the walk-in wardrobe to do so via the toilet. This means you could be caught with your pants down if your other half decided to visit the wardrobe to change his or her own pants.
MISSED AN EPISODE?