Ahhh that foreman Keith! He sure has a way with people.
It’s just a shame that “way” seems to be an unfailing flair for antagonising them. And unfortunately, his second-in-command, Dan, seems hellbent on following in his heavy-handed work boots.
Both foremen butted heads with Harry, prompting the amiable IT specialist to completely lose his cool.
After a day of dust-ups with Keith over a plumbing mix-up that would leave Harry and his daughter Tash more than $2000 out of pocket, Dan took a burnt-out Harry further to task over his lack of organisation.
Against Dan and Keith’s instructions, Harry elected to have his internal scaffolding removed before he had finished painting and plastering his ceiling void so that he could make room to get his fireplace installed.
His plan was to use an extension ladder to finish the lofty labour but Dan wasn’t having a bar of that, saying his plan was far too dangerous.
“I am not going to let you go up there and paint unsafely. You could fall. The Block would shut down,” Dan explained.
“WorkSafe would come in and say why was he on an extension ladder. I can’t tell them it was because he was on a challenge on Wednesday.”
Making matters worse, Dan discovered the fireplace had been installed on a lean.
Poor Harry argued that it was hard to project manage every little detail when he kept being pulled off site for naff challenges.
“I have eight other contestants who can project manage and all I am hearing from you is excuses,” Dan retorted, before telling him he’d have to remove the fireplace shelf and reinstall the scaffolding.
With that, Harry reached breaking point, threatening to walk off the show.
And he did. For almost an hour. To sit glumly in his parked car.
Once he’d calmed down, he was able to give hosts Scott Cam and Shelley Craft a tour of his room, where Scott told a relieved Harry that he would arrange for his scaffolding team to come to the rescue. At a cost, of course.
And costs are something the father and daughter duo could live without.
They had already overspent in kitchen week. And they were set to do the same on living and dining room too when Keith hit them with the news he was billing them more than $2000 to repair the site’s storm water drains, which Harry’s plumber had removed.
When Harry phoned his plumber about the situation, he was told that he had sought permission from Keith’s plumbing team before doing his work and was given the green light to make the changes.
Harry asked Keith if he could have a meeting with all parties on site to work things out but was immediately shut down by the foreman who accused the frazzled contestant of being bossy. He also intimated that Harry’s team were liars and said he would not budge on billing them.
“His attitude is dismissive,” declared a downcast and frustrated Harry. “It’s either his way or the highway.”
Keith and Harry had already crossed swords earlier in the day when the foreman felt his authority was being challenged by a sign requesting tradespeople to use a different entrance to Harry’s property while his floors were being laid. As Keith furiously ripped down the sign, he told Harry that it was his job to determine where people enter and exit the work site.
“I’m getting sick of Harry at the moment,” Keith moaned.
“He’s making up his own rules. He’s changing structures. On building sites you’ve got have authority. We are starting to clash heads a bit.”
It’s not just Harry and Tash who are struggling with the emotional and financial costs of The Block.
Jasmin and Sarah were also lamenting their limited budgets. With just $18,000 to construct and furnish their living and dining rooms, they too are pinching pennies.
Their complaints had some justification when you consider that the last time the contestants had to do two rooms in a single week, they were given a budget of more than $30,000.
And couches, armchairs and dining room furniture do not come cheap.
They certainly don’t come cheap over at Luke and Jasmin’s place where she splurged $4000 on a pair of white linen armchairs for their white-on-white living room.
Yep, that’s almost a quarter of their weekly budget on chairs that some future owner will have to spend countless hours shielding from sticky fingers, wine spills and fur-shedding pets.
Honestly, as a mother of two small children, Jasmin should know better than to create an all-white lounge room for a house she’s supposedly designing for a young family.
Although she tried to make a good case for her outlandish outlay, Luke was clearly unimpressed by her lavish lounge choice.
Things were far from smooth at Jade and Daniel’s place too, but in a good way. They want their lounge room to feel like the “inside of a cave”, so have covered their curved walls with thick, textured cement in an earthy colour. Although Batman’s aside, I am not sure how many caves have a flat screen TV on the wall and neon lighting.
Sarah and George were also having a rough time. While they’d managed to make their meagre budget go the distance by pulling the Hipages lever, being perennial losers was taking its toll.
Sarah, who also managed to crash her car into a pile of stacked bricks, was crestfallen to come last in this week’s real estate challenge.
The teams were set the task of making a marketing video for their properties. Despite having last year’s contestant (the smooth-talking real estate agent Jesse) in their corner to advise them, the couple’s video received the lowest score from the judges.
Adding insult to injury, Jimmy and Tam’s kitsch real estate video, in which they donned period costumes, sipped martinis and adopted American accents in a Leave it To Beaver homage, won them the $5000 prize.
And nobody — not even their Block besties Jasmin and Luke — were thrilled to see them win more cash.
But it was a particularly tough blow for Sarah and George who haven’t won a single cent. A tearful Sarah sobbed: “it’s not that we have come last it’s just the relentless punch after punch after punch.”
Things were going well for perennial early finishers Jimmy and Tam on the work front — their room was finished and styled almost two days ahead of deadline.
With time up their sleeve, for the first time in the competition Tam decided to bring Jimmy along to help her choose antique armchairs — a move she won’t be keen to repeat.
“The shop was so posh and so beautiful and so quiet, and Jimmy was in there in work gear with squeaky shoes so every step that he took was so noisy,” she giggled.
Tam had selected a pair of white antique chairs, but Jimmy feared the wooden armrests looked too worn and dirty. Tam pointed out that, antiques often had wear and tear but that didn’t make them any less desirable. He wasn’t convinced.
Further demonstrating his dubious skills on the styling front, Jimmy then pointed to a lurid purple chair which looked more like the McDonalds’ monster Grimace than a luxury lounge, as his chair of preference.
But perhaps there was method to his squeaky shoe madness.
“It’s what men do. We make ourselves sound s… at things, so you don’t make us do it,” he confessed.
“It’s like washing up. I am going to do a crap job, so I don’t have to do it again.”
The pair were ahead of the pack this week because they had decided to carry out only half the set tasks, deleting the dining part of their room altogether.
The couple believed their space was too small to comfortably accommodate a table and a couch, rationalising that modern families don’t dine at a table anymore.
Although they are usually seen as the ones to beat, the rest of the couples felt certain the Queenslanders had come up with a sure-fire loser this week.
“It’s living and dining week. Not living room week,” George said, incredulously.
Even their best mates weren’t sold on their plan.
“If they win this week, I am going home to Perth. I’ll walk!” Luke laughed.
“I know they have a big bench there, but you’ve got to still have a dining table.”
Jasmin explained: “They say they’ll have a big outdoor table just outside, but they forget that this is Melbourne, you don’t have outdoor dining all year round.”
And, as if to emphasise her point, the cameras cut to footage of the worksite being pelted with rain.
It remains to be seen whether the judges will rain reproval on their missing table.
MISSED AN EPISODE?