Category Archives: The Block

#MKR #TheBlock #ImACelebAU : What Are You Watching Tonight?

MKR begins tonight on 7
MKR begins tonight on 7

It’s going to be a battle royale tonight with reality juggernauts My Kitchen Rules, The Block Triple Threat and I’m a Celebrity Australia all invading our televisions tonight and all starting at the same time, leaving me wondering just which program is going to fall into the cancelled bin.

I finished watching the first episode of I’m a Celeb last night (on delay as a roast lamb dinner at the parents place was in order) and quickly brought up the digital TV guide for tonight only to sit there blank faced.  Shit.  MKR, The Block and I’m a Celeb are all scheduled for the same start time – 7:30pm.  It’s a tough call.  Which do I watch live and which do I record to watch after?

It can only be two programs considering the current running time for each show is a minimum 2 hours (it’s actually 1.5 hours but we all know now how this really works) and it’ll be almost 11pm by the time we’d have finished watching two programs leaving me to wonder, just which show is going to….well….die?

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The Block Triple Threat

MKR has a strong fan base and even though over the past few seasons we’ve seen the cooking show move away from the food to the contestants, the show is still a massive draw-card for Channel 7’s weeknight prime time line-up.

The Block Triple Threat, well, 9 were smart getting in early before the other two but fell victim to 7’s Australian Open coverage.  Even with the less than stellar ratings, we’ve all invested a week with the show already, seen one couple booted with another to go this week.

I’m a Celeb…kudos to Network 10 for the build-up and advertising leading up-to it’s premiere last night.  1.19 million viewers smashed The Block’s opener but will the premise of ‘celebs’ stranded in the South African jungle enough to lure viewers away from such strongholds as MKR and The Block?

So what am I doing?  Easy call in fact.  Tape The Block and watch MKR live.  It’s what I’ve always done and will continue to do leaving behind our celebs in the jungle.  To be fair, it’s not the show’s fault…it’s simple enough to watch (just like the other two) and quite enjoyable but Ten’s decision to push it up against two of the biggest reality shows in Australia…Ten’s got big balls that may be about to be deflated.

What will be your viewing schedule for tonight?  Sound off in the comments below!

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The Block Triple Threat Kicks Off

The Block Contestants Mark and Jess.  Source: Provided
The Block Contestants Mark and Jess. Source: Provided

Talk about bursting out of the gates like a bucking bull – well, Block contestant Anastasia sure did taking an epic fall right into Scotty’s work bench early on in last night’s first episode – I feel ya girl.

Yes, The Block is back for another season, with 6 brand new couples and no sign (as yes) of last years delightful Dee and Darren.  After some rather awkward introductions, we’re introduced to our six couples who are informed they have one week to renovate three rooms – a bedroom (the worlds smallest), a living/dining and a bathroom (what no kitchen in these places?) and that’s if they make it to the final room.

Room by room, one of the 6 couples will be booted off the show to make way for our three returning couples from previous seasons – Dee and Darren, Matt and Kim and Bec and George before moving into the actual block.

First look thoughts on the teams:

Aimee and Brooke….the two seemed more interested in performing pop hits in the car (and for the camera) than actually making it to the challenge destination and taking 40 minutes to find their allocated apartment…i’ll bite my tongue here.  If they happen to make it through, those girls will have the biggest tradie bill to date.

Anastasia and Tim…well Ana’s epic fall gets her right into my good books, though someone may need to show her how to run in heels and Tim, we didn’t see much of him at all so no comment.

Ayden and Jess…he took her keys and left her stranded at Mitre 10. Sort of a bumbling duo that you’d find in a bad 90’s fat guy/hot wife sitcom though Ayden seems to know his way around an Ikea flat pack.

Josh and Charlotte…I literally do not remember this couple…wait is she the ‘food stylist’?

Luke and Ebony…i’m still waiting for the sibling rivalry to kick in as this brother/sister duo seem to be getting along a little to good for my liking.

Mark and Jess…Gotta feel for Mark.  The missus dissolves into thin air – or just went shopping – for HOURS with her phone and his! Actually, it’s probably a smart move so there’d be no phone calls about colors or patterns or sizes.

Tonight we get our first room reveals – the bedroom big enough for a toddler and we loose one couple to the depths of former reality TV contestants.

The Block Triple Threat continues tonight, 7:30pm on Nine.

They’re Back! Dee and Darren Return for More The Block

The Block's Dee and Darren Jolly are set to return for more!
The Block’s Dee and Darren Jolly are set to return for more!

The Block’s most beloved couple, Deanne and Darren Jolly, are set to return to the show that made them household names and fan favorites.  Ok, well, only some of that is true.  Pretty easy to work out which parts were made up right?

The couple who garnered a love/hate relationship with the Australian public (minus the love) during last seasons The Block: Glasshouse and who only walked away with $10,000 for their efforts have been confirmed to return to the show along with actual favorites Bec and George Douros and Matt Di Costa and Kim Owen from The Block: Sky High.  

The next series titled The Block: Triple Threat will also see six new teams battle it out in a series of challenges all aiming to be the top three teams to join the familiar faces in renovating an apartment block in Melbourne’s South Yarra.

The Block: Triple Threat will air in 2015 along with a second outing later on in the year.

Original Source: The Daily Telegraph 

The Block Finale Surprises All

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Upset win … Brad, Sophie and Dale congratulate a shocked Steve O’Donnell and Chantelle Ford. Picture: Ian Currie Source: News Corp Australia

The Block Fans Vs Faves closed out with massive profits and a shock win with underdogs Steve and Chantelle taking out top spot and breaking a The Block profit record.

Steve and Chantelle….they won The Block….

Who knew parquetry walls and plywood cupboards were in such high demand these days?

Their apartment sold for $2.4 million dollars, $636,000 above reserve which also netted them a further $100,000 for winning this season seeing the couple walk away with a total of $736,000 for their ‘efforts’ during the shows 10 week build.

Fan favourites Brad and Dale were up first (their reserve was set at $1,802,750) and a fierce bidding war saw the boys sell their apartment for $2.31 million — $507,250 above reserve.  viewers favourite and my pick to win, Kyal and Kara, sold their apartment for $2.44 million — $567,250 above their reserve of $1,872,750.

Last years winners Alisa and Lysandra took first place when a final bid of $2.375 million — a massive $616,000 above the reserve of $1.759 million was made but it was Steve and Chantelle, they of the spotlight curtains, black basins, parquetry walls and bad editing that ultimately had the apartment that everyone wanted to buy.

I’m as shocked as most about the final result…you’ll remember my parting words to Chantelle in my Open Letter to The Block’s Chantelle Part Deux post…

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Guess I have to eat my words….

Once again, I have no powers when it comes to picking a winner in any kind of reality competition show!

THE BLOCK: HOW IT ALL ENDED UP

Apartment 4 — Brad and Dale

Reserve: $1,802,750

Sold: $2,310,000

Profit: $507,250

 

Apartment 2 — Kyal and Kara

Reserve: $1,872,750

Sold: $2,440,000

Profit: $567,250

 

Apartment 3 — Alisa and Lysandra

Reserve: $1,759,000

Sold: $2,375,000

Profit: $616,000

 

Apartment 1 — Steve and Chantelle

Reserve: $1,834,000

Sold: 2,470,000

Profit: $636,000

Plus $100,000 prize money

TOTAL: $736,000

The newest series of The Block has just begun filming in Prahran in inner city Melbourne and will screen later in the year.

The Block Reveals Smaller Than Expected Rooms

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Steve and Chantelle celebrate their first room win on The Block: Fans v Faves. Source: Supplied

Am I the only one who’s feeling a bit uneasy about how these apartments on The Block: Fans Vs Faves are turning out?  To be clear, I wasn’t that worried at the start (well, only for Steve and Chantelle) as rooms like second bedrooms and main bathrooms were being churned out with mostly impressive results.  But after last night’s living/dining rooms were revealed, I’m beginning to question some of the layout decisions being made resulting in some rather confined living spaces and how this will affect the final outcome at auction.

I’m no builder or interior designer, but, It is well known these areas living/dining/kitchen are always going to be the most used spaces within a house, and especially with the size of the apartments given to the contestants, why did Brad and Dale completely dissolve their dining area altogether and why did Kyal and Kara make a living room that’s smaller than their kitchen?  Even the twins, Alisa and Lysandra, who made the smart decision to move their kitchen to create a massive open space lower level managed to somehow get the sizing dimensions wrong for their living room (though I could be wrong here and this could be down to bad styling)

Yes, Steve and Chantelle had the win (their first) last night for the living/dining areas.  I will put my hand up and say, despite some styling choices, it was the clear winner.  Lucky they had that bonus point to snag them the win off the twins avoiding a draw!

Steve and Chantelle’s dining area. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied
Steve and Chantelle’s dining area. Picture: Supplied

Now, these are not small apartments.  I’m pretty sure Brad and Dales winning main bathroom is actually twice the size of their living space while, as the judges pointed out, Kyal and Kara offer a luxurious 3 meter long hallway, only for it open out to a pretty measly living/dining area.

I can only hope, as Brad pointed out, that once the outer areas are completed, they are able to expand the space inside, combining the inner to the outer areas creating decent sized lower living quarters.

I originally had Kyal and Kara in my sights to take out this season of The Block.  They entered strongly with an excellent elimination round room and have been consistent room after room, bringing top quality finishes, but I’m scared that the final layout of their lower level may actually cost them the win.

Spotlight Shopping On The Block

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My love/hate relationship with Chantelle flared again last night when in a mad dash to find over-sized curtains for the guest bedroom, saw Chantelle head to Spotlight.

Spotlight.

For curtains in a million dollar apartment.

Spotlight.

Head in Hands

 

I wouldn’t be surprised if Chantelle ended up in her own show on ARENA about million dollar apartment decorating on a $300 budget.  Would sit nicely right after Million Dollar Listing.

 

Meanwhile, Keith the Blockinator spent most of the episode wandering around in a daze asking for “plumbing Plans” He needs them and needed them yesterday.  Apparently he’s given all the couples more time than they really needed to design the entire plumbing and electricity layout for their apartments and he needs those “plumbing plans”

Kyal and Kara, with added halos, get their plans in, Dale and Brad the same.  Chantelle, who like me, has no idea which way is up and which way is down on a set of housing plans ended up with a big bowl of vomit on hers while the twins finally came through with theirs and judging by what they offered up to Keith, their third level terrace looks like it’s going to slay.

There’s a free bar, stripper pole, DJ booth and a racing track!

Party at the twins when this is all done.

Speaking of the twins, you know it’s not going to end well when tradies working on your apartment start arguing between themselves.  Seems like the plumber was getting all up in the Greg the builders grill and Greg ain’t got time for that.

 

 

It’s a Lobster Massacre! Round 2 Begins on MKR!

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First Up: Uel and Shannon Massacre Lobster Tails.

So now it’s time for group two to present themselves to Australia and be judged on social media all while trying to cook for a bunch of strangers and a pair of celebrity chefs.  Sounds easy enough, and if all goes wrong, just do a Chloe and Kelly and blame the editing.

Who do we have in this new round?  From WA there’s friends Jess and Felix who are giving off an Aimee and Jason type of vibe, but while Jason would suck cheese out of a deodorant stick, I’m feeling Felix would be a little more refined….say replace the cheese with a meat pie perhaps.  From SA we have our first pairing of mum’s for the season – Bree and Jessica.  Sadly, these two are not as sassy and punchy like Angela and Melina from 2013.  They’re more the ‘I’ve popped three kids out, I’m tired, can’t be bothered to do my hair, is the washing done?’ kind of mums.

Harry and Christo from VIC.  Where to start?  Highly over confident and yeah…harry broke his neck recently so i’ll be nice….till it heals.  QLD are giving us David and Corinne, or as I shall be referring to them – Geoffrey and Brynne (think that says it all) The besties from TAS, Thalia and Bianca seem harmless enough.  They look like they’re 12 and laze about on Sundays at farmers markets…I hate them.  Lastly, and first up to cook are the NSW, newly-weds Uel and Shannelle who seem very much in love and won’t be prepared for what the MKR experience will do to their relationship.

Getting straight into it….

The Best Dish of the Night:  The new addition to the Chloe and Kelly bitch gang!  Jess proudly took hold of her welcoming badge, threw in a travel quote then bitched about no bones being in the lamb shank pie.  Yes, bitched about there being NO bones in the pie.  Who does that?  It seems Jess is the type of girl who’d suck bone marrow out of a deodorant stick.

The Food Overall: Yikes!  After completely obliterating the lobster tails for the entrée, the main of boneless lamb shank pie with pea mash had no flavour and just like Geoffrey – had no taste.  At least Manu lightened the mood with an added Sean Connery ‘Shank-You’ gag.  Desert looked like a winner…it had chocolate and marshmallows in it for crying out loud.  Just a shame it was basically a bowl of sugar with a biscuit base.

The Final Result: Uel and Shannelle were nice.  They were cute together in the kitchen, cute serving up the dishes, cute receiving the critiques but cute doesn’t give points.  Everyone scored them pretty mid range while the judges did the same – total score of 53.

Next Up: QLD’s Geoffrey and Brynne show us all what money can buy you (including a bride), there’ll be some uncomfortable kissing scenes and a few bum taps, while Jess cements her status within the bitch gang.

Rabbits, Snails and Paint Brushes Oh My!

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WA’s Chloe and Kelly failed miserably in their instant kitchen.

So this was the episode all MKR fans had been waiting for.  After being hung, drawn and quartered on all platforms of social media, it was now time for the villains of the series, Perth’s Kelly and Chloe, to put their cooking skills to the test, not only for the other contestants, but for everyone at home watching too.

It didn’t take long for the wheels (or pretentious smirks) to fall off the duo’s faces.  Their aims of perfect 10’s throughout their entire meal was quickly destroyed when their entrée of ‘three cheeses’ was destroyed by the judges.

Wait, back up a minute….. trio of cheeses?

Chloe doesn’t like cheese right?  Or was it Kelly?  I don’t know.  At times, these two tend to blend into one big ball of unpleasantness.

Well apparently Chloe or Kelly cooked this dish a lot for her friends three year old and the kid loves it.  Three year old also eat play-doh so I doubt they’d be the best judge.

Follow that up with a main including Bambi’s Thumper and Mr. Squiggle’s Gus the Snail and you’ve got a dish that’s put off most of the table even before it’s served.

Best Dish of The Night: Chloe’s face when Pete ripped into her about the disaster that was her entrée.  So convinced she was of the awesomeness of it, her reaction to Pete’s remarks saw her jaw literally unhinge and hit the floor with an almighty thud. Something similar to this…

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The Food Overall: Certainly was more eyebrow raising than a few of the previous offerings (There’s a Deb reference in there but there’s just too many to choose from).  Trio of cheeses, rabbits, snails (to which I’m certain made Kelly vom in her mouth when throwing them into the paella) – the main had the word peasant in it for crying out loud. Then again, Kelly decided to add sliced white bread to layer under one of the cheese offerings so peasant might just be appropriate.  Desert however caused the most controversy.  We all knew it as soon as they picked up the frozen puff pastry and casually threw it into their trolley claiming “They can’t expect us to make our own puff pastry”.

Turns out everyone was expecting them to make their own puff pastry.

The Final Result:  Well after Manu called the pastry “Cardboard” and “virtually inedible” it was pretty certain it was going to be down to Andrew and Emelia and these two, to decide the bottom spot on the ladder.  All it came down to was Manu’s score for the desert.  2 points a loss, 3 a draw, 4 a win.  Clearly after Manu called the desert inedible, it couldn’t be higher than Pete’s score of 2 could it?  Surely not.

What’s that Manu?  The producers whispered in your ear…something about a score of 4 right?  It’s the only logical explanation as to how they remained in the competition.  Try as you might, we all know by now when we’re being played.  I, for one, calling dodgy.

Next Up: New teams.  Round two.  I’ve decided I don’t like any of them already.  I did this last season and changed my tune quickly.

For now, i’ll leave you with the following image which pretty much sums up my thought’s on Manu’s final score for the night.

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Now, The Block is somewhat less controversial than MKR at the moment.  There’s no team acting out.  No tanties thrown.  No sign of bad sportsmanship.  Well, for now.  The teams have just been told they have 24 hours to hand up the entire drafted plans for the entire build so we’ll see how long that lasts for.

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But let’s not jump too far ahead.  This was discovered late in the episode.  Earlier on, my theory that Steve was really only on the show as per Chantelle’s wishes (or, just along for the ride) seemed to be coming closer to being proven correct.  Happy now a builder is on board (Super Luke) Steve can now plod along with Chantelle taking part in all the shopping fun.  Even Keith picked up on this and suggested nicely that maybe he picks up a hammer or some other tool like object – once in a while.

Keith informs the twins their floors needed to be raised.  It’s here we get our first “If they keep screwing with us, them I’m walking” quote of the season.  I’m pretty sure there’s at least five more of those to come.

Oh, and everyone makes fun of Steve and Chantelle’s barn door hand made by Super Luke.  I actually like it.  If the wooden theme is continued tastefully throughout the apartment, then the door will look amazing.  By the way he was talking, I’m thinking Super Luke and Chantelle should have made up the team.  He’s making more decisions on the design and layout than Steve is.

Next Up:  Looks like Steve found where the drills are kept and then decides to go head to head with the Keithinator about the plans. My advice…go slow and start with the drill working your way up to a confrontation with Keith.  it’s safer for everybody.

Champagne Showers and Tradie Woes

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SA’s Deb and Rick sit safely on the leaderboard after their instant kitchen

Had things gone to plan for Deb and Rick’s instant kitchen, the married duo from SA would have nabbed perfect 10’s, taken top spot on the leader board and Manu would be hog-tied in the basement.  Well, there were no 10’s, no top spot and as far as I know, Manu is safe and sound speaking French and eating delicious French food while wearing a kicky beret.

In the kitchen, the well hyped Naughty Nana Deb, ended up being a seriously Frazzled Nana in the kitchen.  Too much mustard dressing on the entrée, over thinking the main and under-cooking the first batch of cake for the desert. Good thing super Rick was there to save the day.

Best Dish of the Night: Vikki’s champagne pouring skills.  It’s clear the VIC twin has not been fortunate enough to travel to exotic places like Chloe and Kelly, where champagne flows freely (and is well poured).  The amount of head that ended up in each glass resulted in a terrible froth vs bubbly ratio and i’m pretty sure Vikki had been swigging from the bottle as she must have thought Kelly was an empty glass and proceeded to spill champagne all over her.

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The Food Overall: Very home-style, family cooking.  Once again, there was nothing really complicated (though I couldn’t cook trout to save myself) and if you’re going to offer a trifle for desert, naming it after yourself should mean there is something unique about it – say maybe an eyebrow pencil in each glass?

The Final Result: Well Deb offered up a glimpse of her painted naked body to Manu – so she’s on a win for the night. Kelly ended up with a dress soaked in champagne – so we got a win too.  Most scores were pretty mid-range.  Think the two hour wait for Deb’s trifle resulted in some points being taken off.  Our saucy Nana and her savior hubby will safely continue on to the next round.

Next Up: Hopefully the ‘well traveled friends’ Chloe and Kelly are taking everyone to some glorious and fantastic location just so they can share some of the sights and tastes they have experienced in their privileged lives.  Oh, and there’s a cheating scandal too.  Shock horror!

Dale and Brad talk building options on The Block
Dale and Brad talk building options on The Block

As much as I [bagged] her out in my open letter, I really do feel for Chantelle and husband Steve.  This whole builder situation is even beginning to make me feel uneasy for them.  I could imagine nothing more worse than being two days in and still not have a builder secured for the job.

They had a builder, then they didn’t, then they had two and then they had none…oh and no plans either.  Seems builder number one went bye bye, not only with his chippie and sparky but also with the plans drawn up for the apartment.  Makes me wonder about these builders who first agree to do work with contestants and then back out.  It’s not like it’s some big surprise there’s going to be a crap load of work involved and a camera crew in your face.

But Chantelle and Steve aren’t the only one with tradie issues.  While Kyal and Kara seem pretty set to bang on without a builder (for now) they are in need of a sparky and when one arrives, this is what turns up…

The Mullet!
The Mullet!

I think Kara’s face said everything that we were all wanting to say.

I’m also noticing a lot more focus on the fan teams over the favorites.  I can’t really remember much about the boys and what they did and the girls…their plans for a floating staircase leading up to a floating office were ruined by Foreman Keith.  Something about lower beams and supports…sometimes all the building talk get’s too complicated for me.

Tuesday night’s episode is all about a shock surprise which puts all the contestants under a lot of stress.  We already know it’s the requirement of having the entire plans drafted within 24 hours.  I do think the editing department of the show really need to sit down and take a proper look at just what they’re showing us in future previews.

No City Views and Semolina Cake

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Team Favourites have their room critiqued.

So were we surprised who was the design replication challenge?  Well considering the editing department chose to show the twins Alisa and Lysandra taking note about ‘not having an apartment with city views…again’ in the Thursday night promo, I guess no one was really at all shocked to find out the Fans won the design replication challenge.

*The most interesting thing to happen in the first 10 minutes – Darren Palmer karate chopping a designer cushion and offering it up as professional styling (after an added side poke).

*I did like Dale’s interpretation of their brick wallpaper (which Clueless fans would automatically call a ‘Monet’) – Great from afar but horrible close-up.

*Thankfully, Chantelle’s very much talked about bright yellow Winnie The Pooh cushion was no where to be seen in the final result – or even mentioned at all. Funnily enough, I did happen to catch Kyal walking away with it when talking with Steve about the placement of a side table.

*Steve’s over-sized hipster beanie is now on par with Dale’s neck tattoo and face hair in terms of my level of hate.

*The use of “chim chineney chim chim cha-roo” while Steve was talking about his chimney cleaning job – Genius

So once again, the twins end up with the least desirable apartment to make over.  Can they make it two for two?  If they keep thinking their roof filled view from the rooftop entertaining area is “like the English countryside” then I’d say no….unless the English Countryside looks like Birmingham.

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Well well well.  Didn’t these twins from Victoria just blow everyone out of the water with their instant kitchen, and by everyone, I mean Chloe and Kelly!  Fair to say, I doubt most would have expected much from the two, and they didn’t really get off to the best start.

Trying to find Hapuku (which sounds like a noise a street fighter character would make) left them running late, and it seemed they spent as much time getting ready as they did prepping the entree, but, these girls, scored three 10′s – oh and also managed to wipe any smirks Kelly and Chloe were sporting.  Seriously, someone needs to make a stack of gif’s of Kelly from tonight’s episode.

Best Dish of the Night?  The big hot bowl of ‘kiss my ass’ soup served to Chloe and Kelly.  The girls were ready for the VIC twins to fail and were ready to pounce on any slight mistake there was on the food.  Then they go and score the girls an 8 for their menu.

The Food Overall?  Didn’t seem too complex.  It was no de-boned quail and the entree was basically fish taco’s and Semolina cake sounds like some sort of medieval virus, but apparently tastes amazing.

The Final Result?  Kelly and Chloe scampered away with their tails between their legs.  Helena and Vikki celebrate by nabbing not only top spot on the leader-board but also equaling the highest ever instant restaurant score given on MKR.  So if according to Helena, they (the twins) have half a brain each, and scored three 10′s, I’m left wondering just how much brain Andrew and Emelia are sharing?

Next Up?  We’re off to South Australia where Deb gets her painted knockers out for Manu and hopefully rips out a rendition of ‘The Rose’ while sporting Bette Middler’s nose prosthetic used in Hocus Pocus and whipping up a batch of Deb Instant Mashed Potato.

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