Host Scott Cam has bitten off more than the contestants could chew this week.
Unsurprisingly, nobody managed to complete a hell week of renovation that saw the five teams scrambling to finish 14 hallways, six powder rooms, four study and media spaces, one bedroom, five sets of stairwells and one laundry. On little to no money.
As judges Shaynna Blaze, Neale Whitaker and Darren Palmer toured one unfinished room after another, Neale quipped: “This used to be a renovation show but it’s become a test of human endurance.”
He’s right. Everyone has been pushed to the brink by the massive task they were given. As if taking a leaf from Jesse’s book of unabashed self-confidence, Tess commented that she wasn’t as pretty as she used to be because of the stress caused by this week alone on The Block.
Try as everyone did to get the work done to impress the judges and win that all important $10,000 and a weekend away, it came down to a two-horse race between Jesse and Mel and Mitch and Mark, simply because they came closest to getting their properties done.
As usual, Tess and Luke lagged behind the pack and got the least amount of work finished at their place. Despite their budget constraints and the regular lectures from Cam about overspending, the Cairns couple managed to convert their formal lounge into a dining room and channel natural light down into their dark kitchen through a glass floor and skylights in the two levels above.
Shaynna pointed out that walking across the glass floor in the media room could be a risky move. Not because she was fearful of falling through but because she was worried about giving those below an eyeful up her skirt. Although, in St Kilda, some real estate buyers may see such opportunities for flesh-flaunting as an asset rather than a deterrent.
The award for hardest working contestant this week, however, would have to go to Jesse. The fast-talking real estate agent managed to lay 100 square metres of chevron flooring by himself this week on top of completing a media room, wine cellar, stairwell and laundry.
“I think we have the most beautiful flooring on The Block, but it is the hardest thing to do,” he boasted. “It is like a game of Sudoku trying to get the right piece in that little square and then turning it left and right and upside down. It is so hard.”
Although the judges were floored by his efforts, he was ultimately pipped at the post by Mitch and Mark’s glamorous boudoir which Mitch had playfully styled to look as though it had been graced by Kate Moss. Apparently.
The boys’ win did not go down well with Jesse and Mel.
“Kate Moss? Whatever! People aren’t going to buy a house because there’s a fur coat on the bed and a bag,” Mel raged.
And Jesse agreed. “I wouldn’t care less about that (the glamorous styling) but I would walk into a house and say: ‘I am not going to buy this because I have been sick on the floor as it looks like a public toilet!’
“I am really glad that they’ve made the decision they did with the floor plan because I think it’s taken them out of the competition and everyone else is in a better position to win.”
The reason Jesse is describing Mitch and Mark’s place as a toilet block is their controversial decision to tile the bottom of their stairs in navy and white stripes.
The judges also considered it a rare styling fail, likening it to looking like police tape cordoning off a crime scene.
It was Jesse’s $5,000 hallway wine cellar that left the worst taste in the judges’ mouths.
Neale remarked it would prove to be a polarising move for buyers because many might view it as “ostentatious” to display one’s alcohol collection so prominently. There may, too, be some buyers who aren’t keen to let the world know that they’re serving a cheap bottle of plonk with dinner rather than a vintage Grange.
The judges were also left cold by Jesse and Mel’s decision to display a large black safe so prominently in their media room, arguing that it would have been better placed discreetly inside a bedroom wardrobe.
But Jesse has never been one for discretion and he wears the description of his “ostentatious” styling choices as a badge of honour.
To his mind the people who would want to buy his house would love to let all and sundry know that they drink fancy wine and give the impression they have enough wealth to warrant an easily accessible safe on site.
That is, people just like Jesse.
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