The Block on Channel 9
The Block (image - Nine)

Recap | The Block on Channel 9 and 9Now (16 October)

The Block on Channel 9 – If you thought the contestants were competitive before, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Strap in, because we’re heading outdoors and mud is about to be slung in more ways than one.

The Blockheads are about to kick off the second last week and frankly, we’re not ready to leave this madness and mayhem behind!

But what better way to celebrate both than with an Open for Inspections?

Incredibly, there’s nothing but positive words for House 5′s winning bathroom.

Leah and Ash also score praise for their bathroom, but Kristy and Brett quickly point out that the potpourri Leah used is not a styling choice they’re keen on.

“Man, that got me triggered,” Kristy states.

Everyone admires House 4’s connecting kid bathroom, but agree it’s probably a little too mature for children.

Once again, everyone is baffled as to why Kyle and Leslie copped such harsh feedback. “Very bizarre,” Eliza says. “They deserve better feedback,” Steph agrees.

The Block on Channel 9
Eliza and Liberty fail to see what the judges were talking about in Kyle and Leslie’s room. (Nine)

The harshest feedback is reserved for House 3, who failed to finish their bathroom. Some teams feel if they had, it would have been in contention to win. But Leah and Ash find the space “uninspiring.”

“It just doesn’t have that magic feeling,” Leah says.

Perhaps some potpourri would do the trick?

Eliza and Liberty are stunned to see the lack of effort. “Kristy had six hours sleep,” notes Eliza. “How hard would it have been just to give it a clean?

“An extra hour and you could have polished that bad boy and it would have been beautiful.”

Steph concurs. “Are they not bothered anymore?” she asks, puzzled. She and Gian wonder aloud if the two are just fatigued by the whole experience.

Leah does not think that’s the case. “It’s probably just coming down to laziness,” she says. “I think they’re well over it.”

After the inspections finish, all the teams remain perplexed by Kristy and Brett’s unfinished rooms. Not only did they fail to complete their bathroom, but they also didn’t even come close to wrapping up their redo room.

“I kinda feel like Brett and Kristy are losing a bit of their care factor,” says Liberty. “We would do anything to finish a room.”

“But as long as it’s not impacting us, I don’t care that they don’t care,” Eliza shrugs.

The Block on Channel 9
They don’t care, we don’t care. (Nine)

Leah agrees. “You’ve gotta dig deep,” she states, explaining that being on The Block is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you simply need to keep going to finish… even if that means skipping some sleep.

“They really prioritise sleeping,” muses Steph. “And showering. And we don’t do any of those.”

OK but also… yikes.

Kristy and Brett don’t disagree with this analysis. Kristy explains the final push of The Block is much the same as giving two weeks notice on a job you’ve resigned from.

We have a hunch they’re not quite ready to grab a caulking gun and start rallying to finish those rooms.

Instead, everyone heads outside. There are two weeks of landscaping to deliver, with their backyards and pools up first, and front yards and facades directly after.

…And yes, to confirm, everyone is delivering their pool this week.

Steph and Gian have recently been on a roll, winning a stack of challenges and room wins. They’re loaded and they’re planning on pumping that cash straight back into their landscaping.

The Block on Channel 9
They’re extremely tired and apparently don’t shower but they’re focused on an epic backyard. (Nine)

Their backyard will have three separate zones; a pizza and chill space, a huge deck with living space and BBQ, a sauna and pool area and a firepit and lawn.

“It is huge,” Steph explains.

The whole week is massive, and everyone is eager to get stuck in as much as possible. That includes House 1, who are coming at this week with renewed vigour. They’ve had several weeks of very intense feedback and they’re looking to turn it all around.

They’ve enlisted the help of the very enthusiastic landscaper, Troy Lovett. Troy won last year’s landscaping week, when he delivered a sensational area for Tom and Sarah-Jane. He wants to reclaim the title and he has big plans for House 1’s small budget.

The Block on Channel 9
Troy is eager to retain the landscaping crown. (Nine)

But Kyle and Leslie did something smart several weeks ago. They locked in a fixed price with Troy, getting him to agree to work to a quote of $40,000.

It was a stroke of planning genius by the savvy Kyle and Leslie, because they have failed to win a room reveal since Week 1. By planning for that potential eventuality, they can still present a yard that will have a big impact.

Troy has carefully worked through his ideas and applied discounts where possible, while staying within the rules (which is that contestants can’t receive more than 50% discount on goods and services).

Troy’s also landed on a plan that sees his team start strong and taper off as the week continues. The effervescent landscaper has ensured every single one of his workers knows what they need to do. “We’re rocking and rolling,” he says, clapping his hands together. “Bring it on!”

That means kicking off with a swarm of workers – so many, in fact, that it immediately draws the attention of everyone on site. Kristy is curious about how Kyle and Leslie are affording it. By her calculations, the trade bill along will be huge. “It’s not fair at all,” she claims.

Leslie laughs as she admits to the camera that 90% of people on site belong to their team.

But one person in particular is not laughing, and that is Leah.

“There’s just an ant army,” she says. “How is [Leslie] affording that?”

The Block on Channel 9
Super suss. (Nine)

“We just want the next couple of weeks to be fair,” stresses Ash. “We know next week there’s a Mustang up for grabs and we’ve been planning for this, ’cause I wanna win it… hard.”

Despite having precisely zero insight into the specific plans or budget of Kyle and Leslie, the pair in House 2 are fired up. Leah threatens to call a body corp over the whole thing.

“We gotta call it out!” Ash vows as Leah chips in, “Hey, we started with a body corp, we’re ending with a body corp.”

The Block on Channel 9
Make no mistake, Ash wants that Mustang. (Nine)

But Leah takes a short break from her speculating to hit the shops. She visits Camerich, her all-time favourite shop and spies an $11,500 sun bed that will be just perfect to put by her pool.

Luckily for Leah, Steph recently agreed to sling her some of her free Camerich vouchers, aka ‘Block bucks’.

Steph believed she was gifting Leah between $5000-$10,000 worth of vouchers, but in actuality, she has about $16,000 worth of credit.

Leah is naturally thrilled to hear this. She fist pumps the air in glee to hear she can get everything on her Camerich wish list. But as a courtesy, she gives Steph a call to let her know that there was a slight difference in the amount of credit she believed she had handed over.

When Steph hears how much there is, she asks Leah to confirm how much she’d like. “I’m happy to take it all off your hands,” Leah falters.

In response, Steph guffaws.

And Leah realises that perhaps that courtesy call has just signalled the end of her Camerich dreams.

“I’m not ready to make that decision Leah, I’m sorry,” Steph says firmly, adding she didn’t realise she had that much. “I was willing to give like, five grand.”

The Block on Channel 9
Um, wot. (Nine)

She tells Leah she’ll think about her request and a dejected Leah presses pause on her plans.

“My heart was just broken,” she says.

Leah would be even more frustrated if she could see the smooth work of House 1, who have now started pouring concrete on their backyard space, executing their plans with military precision.

House 5 are taking a slightly slower approach, as their budget has only extended to a hire a young landscaping team. They have plenty of enthusiasm and skill, but not quite as many hands on deck. In fact, the girls are using their normal build team and just two landscapers – 21 year old Ryan and his 18 year old apprentice, Ruby.

Despite the size, the group gets stuck straight into clearing their yard.

The Block on Channel 9
Dirt is shovelled. (Nine)

Liberty takes a short break to hit Mitre 10, alongside her fellow Blockheads, to try and win some money via the legendary claw machine. It’s an impromptu challenge and Leslie and Liberty are delighted when they nab some extra cash. Brett is less pleased with his haul…

Liberty’s stint at landscaping is paused for a little longer, as she and Eliza duck off to their Ford Wiinner’s Getaway. They’re staying at a swanky hotel and admit they feel entirely feral as they turn up with their manky workboots and grotty gear.

The Block on Channel 9
It’s a real look. (Nine)

They’re even more out of place when they turn up at Harrolds, a very luxe store, for a special shopping trip. Escorted by host Scott Cam, the pair are very pleased to ditch their paint-splatted clothing for sensational style.

“You can buy whatever you want,” Scott tells them.

Eliza and Liberty are beside themselves. Sipping Champagne, they select a stunning new look for the upcoming judging.

“By the time we left we still looked like crap, but at least we had some pretty things in a bag,” says Eliza.

They’re happier still when they sit down to dinner and discover the flash restaurant they’re eating at actually has a moss wall of its very own! After all the controversy about their own moss wall, the girls are finally vindicated. “Look how stylish it is!” Eliza says.

Their luck continues when they return to site and are greeted by hipages ambassador Tom. He awards them with a $10,000 bonus Best on Block award, for their excellent work on their bathroom.

“We’ve won three out of five BOB awards,” Liberty says, chuffed.

As the second day gets underway, the fences are down between all the houses. Everyone wakes to see a still large team feverishly working away at House 1.

Rather than get cranky, Kristy decides to play it smart. While she remains suss on how Kyle and Leslie are affording so much landscaping, she knows Leah will fight this battle for her.

“I know someone else is vocal and they can do the undoing themselves,” she says.

And she’s spot on. Leah is extremely unhappy with what’s happening in her neighbours’ yard. “This is dodgy,” she remarks.

The Block on Channel 9
The look that says you’re seconds away from asking for the manager. (Nine)

“I don’t think this is a fair game here,” she adds. “Something’s off. Because there’s not a chance that you’re doing a backyard like this for 40 grand.”

Ash decides to go straight to the source. He sidles up next to Troy, the landscaper, and hits him up about what he’s spending and including in the yard.

While he’s doing his best to uncover the truth, Leah is working herself up into a lather. She’s now decided the yard is worth $80,000.

“I feel like saying to Troy, ‘Open your books,'” she states.

Leah is fixated on the fact she believes House 1 have broken the rules and aren’t playing fair. “You can’t have a competition without rules,” she says.

She then claims Kyle and Leslie are gameplayers. “They’re the biggest players in the game,” Ash agrees. “And evidently, they’re playing it dirty,” Leah adds.

But what Leah doesn’t know is that House 1 and Troy are both very clear and very aligned about the rules and the budget. Kyle and Leslie reiterate to Troy that they need to stick within the agreed $40,000 and Troy explains exactly how he plans to roll things out.

Leslie reveals the pair are allocating a huge bulk of their meagre remaining budget over to the backyard, desperate for a win. How they’ll deal with their front yard is a “next week issue.”

Someone dealing with a “current week issue” however, is House 3. Their landscaper failed to organise a pump for their concrete, which means wheelbarrowing loads and loads of concrete.

Brett deems it “ridiculous” and “frustrating”, as he pulls his build team off fixing their unfinished bathroom and puts them onto wheelbarrows.

“I was very annoyed with how that day went,” says Brett. He’s losing confidence in his landscaper and is clearly rattled.

Next door in House 4, Gian is about to receive some absolutely devastating news. Last week, Steph received the heartbreaking news that her beloved grandfather had passed away. She is making her way home from his funeral, when Gian receives a shock phone call.

His own grandfather has passed away.

We see Gian get the news, and watch as his heart breaks.

Gian explains his grandfather had recently had a stroke and had been in emergency for the last week. “The timing’s crazy,” he says, sadly.

Steph returns home soon after, and wraps him up in a huge hug. They’re soon joined by their pals in House 1 and 5 for some comforting support.

The Block on Channel 9
A comforting hug. (Nine)

“It will take time to sink in,” Gian says, adding he feels numb about the tragic loss.

Our hearts break for the pair, as they wearily embrace and call time on a very long, very tough day.

The Block on Channel 9
Sending all our thoughts to Steph and Gian and their loved ones. (Nine)

The Block on Nine and 9Nowairs Sunday 7.00pm and continues Monday to Wednesday at 7.30pm on Nine and 9Now. Catch up on all the latest episodes on 9Now. 

This recap has been used with permission from Channel 9

Special thanks to Lulu Wilkinson at Nine.

Link to 9Now HERE

Link to Lulu’s full recap including with extra video content and info HERE

The Block on Channel 9

About The Block

Get ready, Australia. The Block, the number one renovation reality program, returns for an incredible 19th season on Sunday, August 6, at 7.00pm on Channel 9 and 9Now. 

Set in the family-friendly Melbourne suburb of Hampton East, the new series features five houses designed and built in the 1950s and located on the aptly named Charming Street. These grand old dames are now aged in their 70s and way overdue for a contemporary update. 

For the first time in Block history, host Scott Cam will be providing contestants with the full renovation schedule ahead of time this season. So get your cameras out, Blockheads, it’s photo time. 

Adding to the year of Block firsts and amping up the stakes at play during the 48-hour House Decider Challenge, contestants will be seeing all finished designs of the houses on Day 1. Who will prevail and get the house of their choice?

Not only will they get the schedule and designs up front, but in another first, they’ll receive their entire budgets as well. 

However, the Blockheads will soon find out that it’s not all smooth sailing when renovating an original 1950s home – structural issues, extreme weather events, and a mountain of demolition will test our five keen couples every step of the way. 

Plus, The Block’s state-versus-state rivalry will be amplified by the sheer closeness of the houses this year. Who knew being able to peak into your neighbours builds would cause such tension?

The couples in contention are: sisters Eliza and Liberty Paschke (personal assistant, 37, and integration producer, 34, VIC); parents Kyle and Leslie Cottone (firefighter, 36, and teaching aide, 34, WA); parents Leah and Ash Milton (first aid officer, 31, and builder, 36, QLD); married couple Kristy and Brett Beames (project manager, 34, and safety officer, 34, SA); and newlyweds Steph and Gian Ottavio (architect, 27, and start up worker, 27, NSW).

Real estate expert Marty Fox isn’t the only new addition to the lineup this season. The formidable foremen Keith Schleiger and Dan Reilly will be joined on site with the fan favourite from last year, Tom Calleja.   

The nation fell in love with Tom and his wife Sarah-Jane because of their work ethic and relatable marital bickering, and he jumped at the chance to work with Scotty and come back as this year’s official Block plumber. 
The designs of the amazing homes in this series again come from The Block’s resident architect, Julian Brenchley.

At stake is $100,000 for the overall winner of The Block, on top of any profit the five couples can all make on the critical auction day. Plus bragging rights for the winners’ state. 

Since premiering on Channel 9 in 2003, Australia’s richest reality program has awarded a total of $32,592,807.65 in prizemoney.

The Block – on Channel 9 and 9Now

Media Release – Nine

TV Central Nine content HERE

The Block on Channel 9

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