Tag Archives: The Block

The Block 2017 Heads to Auction

Wk1 Josh and Elyse working_32
Josh and Elyse are the hot tip to win The Block 2017. Image: Channel 9

It has been a season of highs, high drama, lows and low bank accounts for The Block 2017 and it’s contestants as the past 12 weeks have seen the five couples completely transform old, dilapidated houses into modern and spacious luxury family homes in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick.

With the homes transformed and the annual “open for inspection” done and dusted, there’s only two things left – auction order and the Block Auction which takes place this Saturday before airing Sunday night on channel 9 in what is expected to bring in major viewers for the network.

While the season has seen teams consisting of Josh and Elyse and Ronnie and Georgia virtually clean sweep the weekly room wins, who will win the Block auction isn’t going to be as crystal clear with viewers backing almost every team.

Jason and Sarah, who came scarily close to being booted off the show for poor fund management and failing to deliver their master suite on time have suddenly found themselves being touted as the ‘dark horse’ of the series with their end product featuring a massive wide open entry hallway, low maintenance and family friendly yard and winning stellar kitchen.

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Jason and Sarah are being touted as the ‘dark horse’ to take the auction win.  Image: Channel 9

But that’s not to say the other teams consisting of first time renovators Clint and Hannah or best mates Sticks and Wombat don’t have the chance to take the win either with both teams also claiming some wins and fans along the way.

How important will the auction order be in determining who could take the win and will the decision be made drama free?  Most are expecting Ronnie and Georgia to put up a strong fight for their auction placement preference with the experienced team being very vocal about their understanding of The Block being a ‘competition to win and not make friends’ and as seen in last years series which (as per the norm) saw the teams unable to compromise and determine their own auction order, host Scott Cam had to step in with a suggestion for fiery couple Julia and Sasha to take up the first auction only for them to blatantly refuse because their agent recommended going second.

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Ronnie & Georgia are expected to be harsh when it comes to auction placement. Image:Channel 9

The team that eventually went first – Will and Karlie were also the team to take out the win for that series.

The Block goes to auction in the series finale this Sunday from 7pm on Channel 9

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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 

What’s Really the Message in Reality TV?

The Block Glasshouse Michael and Carlene remained scandal free.  Source: Provided
The Block Glasshouse Michael and Carlene remained scandal free. Source: Provided

Does reality television have a message for it’s viewers?  Is it “Be rewarded for your hard efforts” or “true talent will see you reach the top”?  What about something less positive like “lie, cheat, bitch and moan your way through your journey”.  With the recent dramas surrounding The Bachelor, The Block Glasshouse and Big Brother, that last message seems to ring more true.

It’s funny to think that just over 20 years ago, we got our first taste of reality television in the form of the classic Sylvania Waters.  It was touted as a ‘fly-on-the-wall look into the lives of Noeline Brown and her partner Laurie Donaher, their family and their lavish lifestyle in the Sydney suburb of Sylvania Waters.

The 12-part program was one of the first for Australian television and became one of the most talked about programs in the early 90’s.  It had its lovers and it had it’s haters, but either way, the show was an early indication of just how

Now jump forward 20-odd years where the genre that was considered taboo all those years ago has now become a staple on our screens. Everyday people (and sometimes celebrities) are starving themselves in isolate locations trying to avoid being voted off an island, they’re cooking for strangers, they’re living with strangers being filmed 24 hours a day, they’re dancing or singing or performing magic in-front of large audiences, they’re re-building and designing multi-million dollar apartments, they’re competing against strangers to win the heart of a person they don’t know…it seems there’s not much that hasn’t been covered by the genre – heck, there’s even people meeting and going on a date for the first time completely in the nude!

But it seems, especially of late, these programs that are saturating our networks are becoming more and more surrounded by scandals and outrageous antics both from those working behind the scenes and the contestants involved leaving one to wonder – just how positive is the message that reality television is trying to push?

Chris the 'EPA Inspector' on The Block Glasshouse
Chris the ‘EPA Inspector’ on The Block Glasshouse

One of the biggest on-going stories is from Network Ten’s The Bachelor, which ended two weeks ago is still getting people talking with ousted girls and the Bachelor himself (and Australia’s most despised man of the moment) Blake Garvey, offering up exclusive tell-all’s that don’t really seem to tell all…at all. Surely Network Ten must be loving the publicity for the show coming off the shock of Garvey ending his engagement to winner Sam Frost just weeks after proposing, but now, has the circus that has erupted after the finale tarnished just what the show was actually about?

For instance, season one’s bachelor Tim Robards walked away with a long-term relationship in his final pick of Anna.  It was a happy ending that also cemented the message behind the show.  Sure, most people really only tuned in to see a bunch of super spray tanned girls bitch and bicker about each other while trying to ‘win’ the heart of a man but now even that has been out-shone by Garvey and his post-show antics.

Big Brother contestants Cat and Lawson have lie-down kisses. Source: Provided

This current season of Big Brother is also skirting controversy, from housemate Gemma’s brutal evicition to last years winner, Tim Dormer re-entering the house to housemates Cat and Lawson starting a relationship all-the-while Lawson’s girlfriend Candice sits on and watches.  While Big Brother and controversy have never been to far apart from each other, this season seems to have more people questioning the antics of the housemates and those behind the scenes – who some feel, may be pushing for certain actions to occur.

Even The Block has come under scrutiny for falsifying events regarding a visit from the EPA to inspect a 12,000 litre fuel tank discovered buried under the site (which was heavily played up by the show) There was a fuel tank, it was a big mother of one, but no one from the EPA was ever actually there to inspect it.   The finale of the show also brought some murmurs of unhappy viewers when three of the five couples failed to make a decent amount of coin from their auctions – and while producers and contestants have little control over the final auction outcome, it was hardly a glowing reference for wannabe contestants on future series.

In the end, we are now at a point where we’ve come to expect schlock and drama from reality television as a way to hopefully boost fledgling ratings but is it worth it at the expense of respect and decency?  Here’s hoping shows like My Kitchen Rules’ drama and scandal stays around someone using store bought pastry for a desert dish!

The Block Glasshouse Finale: Mega Highs and Disastrous Lows

Runners up Chris and Jenna walk away with $300,000.
The Block Glasshouse Runners up Chris and Jenna walk away with $300,000.

Surprises and disappointments as The Block Glasshouse fails to deliver on auction day for all 5 couples.

What’s the general feeling about tonight’s The Block Glasshouse finale?

Pretty sure we just watched three of the five couples get kicked in the nuts – but that’s reality television isn’t it folks?

After catching up with the contestants, the wedding between Max and Karstan, finally seeing the reserve prices and choosing auction order, we finally got into the nitty gritty of auction time which usually results in gasps of shock and tears of joy and couples revel in new-found money.  This time however, it wasn’t a pretty result.

After a false start ( bidders refused to move off the reserve of $1.5 million) first couple off the ranks, Chris and Jenna eventually managed to sell their apartment for $1.81 million – $310,000 over reserve.  We all at home breathed a sigh of relief as the couple avoided a disaster and walked away with some mega coin in their pocket.

Next up, brothers Simon and Shannon, whose reserve of $1.565 million (that includes the $10,000 off they won) was quickly bypassed as bidding was fast and furious, eventually selling at $1.9 million – $335,000 above profit.

While these figures are no where near what we’ve been treated to the past few seasons of The Block, $300,000+ is nothing to scoff at.

It’s here when things began to go downhill and the grey in host Scott Cam’s hair began to push on through.  Couple three – Max and Karstan had the highest reserve and the other contestants, their estate agents and pretty much all of us at home were expecting big numbers – but what we expect and what actually happened are two very different scenarios.

Max and Karstan’s reserve of $1.67 Million (minus the $30,000 bonus) saw the couple’s auction falter from the very beginning.  An opening bid of $100,000 under reserve and no real interested bidders saw expectant smiles turn to tears as the hammer went down on a final bid of $1.71 million – $40,000 above reserve.

A general “wtf just happened” hit social media as the couple expected to win the season walk away with only $40,000 profit. While it’s not the first time such a poor result has happened on the show (All-Stars Mark and Duncan nabbed $25,000 for their efforts) I don’t think anyone saw this result happening.

Dee and Darren, couple number four, entered the auction a little more hesitant after the poor result for Max and Karstan and rightfully so.  While often judged for poor attitudes, there was no denying the finished apartment offered by the couple was nothing less than perfect.  Unfortunately, none of the bidders saw it like that.  Their reserve (equal lowest with Michael and Carlene at $1.4 million or $1.37 million minus $30,000 bonus) saw bidding halter almost immediately and finally selling for $1.38 million.

$10,000 over reserve.

By this stage, two of the four couples are walking away with over $300,000 while the other two combined make up $50,000.  Pretty safe to say, there were more than a handful of expletives shouted in almost every lounge-room tonight.

Lucky last couple Michael and Carlene (yes, I WANT that lounge/dining room) entered the auction with the lowest of expectations after the previous two results.  Just like Dee and Darren, they started with a reserve of $1.4 million which was taken down to $1.38 million after their bonus was subtracted.  Good thing is was as at one point, the discussion of passing in the apartment was talked about.

While passing in seemed like the best option (a property has not been passed in on The Block since season 4, when three of the four properties failed to sell at auction) a final bid of $1.39 million meant the couple walk away with only $10,000 profit.

Devastated:  Michael and Carlene walk away with $10,000 in winnings.  (9News)
Devastated: Michael and Carlene walk away with $10,000 in winnings. (9News)

So what caused, as Scott Cam says “the most traumatic and bizarre auction I’ve done“.?  Could it be the reserve prices?  The fact some of the apartments had no windows and the only source on natural light came from the exposed terrace?  How is it that couple Chris and Jenna, who placed the lowest 7 times after judging, walk away with so much money compared to Michael and Carlene who topped the judges board?

There are some reports noting that over the top reserves for the location plus the lack of interested bidders played a massive part.

Sound off in the comments below!

Either way, I can’t imagine this to be great advertising for wannabe Blockheads for the next 2 series (yes, another 2 series is already in the works!) of The Block.

The Glasshouse Auction. The Block Finale

Will Michael and Carlene take out The Block Glasshouse?  Source: Supplied
Will Michael and Carlene take out The Block Glasshouse? Source: Supplied

Spoiler Free!  While the auctions have officially taken place, no word on final standings here until after the official airing tonight!

It’s auction time!  Nine’s reality hit The Block: Glasshouse comes to a close tonight with the couples all heading to auction, hoping to take out the $100,000 top prize.

Tonight’s finale will see each couples original reserve price plus the current reserve price with prizes won over the last two weeks for work on apartment 6 subtracted off the reserve.

Max and Karstan have won $30,000 off their reserve along with Dee and Darren.  Michael and Carlene earned $20,000 off their reserve with Simon and Shannon nabbing $10,000 off while Chris and Jenna remain the underdogs going into auction with their original reserve.

So how have the couples and apartments fared up to now?  Word has it that all apartments are expected to reach around the $1.3m to $1.5m dollar mark with Ray White agent Matt White tipping Max and Karstan’s apartment to win (Matt is Michael and Carlene’s agent)

I’m hopeful of and not expecting another surprise win like last season when Steve and Chantal walked away winners from The Block: Fans Vs Faves – meaning, sorry Chris and Jenna, you guys were entertaining but I don’t see you for the win.  I’d like to see Michael and Carlene take out top prize but then again, I’m completely in love with the bookcase enclosed lounge they delivered – and therefore slightly biased.

My final tip – It’ll be a battle between couples Dee and Darren and Max and Karstan.  Both have produced the most consistent apartments with high quality finishes.  I’m not officially picking a winner – as you know, it never pans out for me!

The Block: Glasshouse auction finale airs tonight, Channel 9 from 6:30pm.

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…

hmmmm
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.

An Open Letter to The Blocks Chantelle Part Deux

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So when I wrote my first letter to The Block’s Chantelle back in Jan this year, little did I know that letter would become one of the most read posts on TVNOW to date.  It is with that, I thought I would write a follow up letter to Chantelle, that it turns out, is more of a letter to Chantelle about Steve.

Dear Chantelle from The Block Fans vs Faves,

We’re nearing the end of your journey on this current season of The Block: Fans vs Faves, and I must say, I may have unfairly judged you in my original letter to you.

You see, we didn’t really know you that well and first impressions were not that great and I feel my dissatisfaction towards the results of those elimination rounds (where yourself and Steve made it through to The Block) was unfairly directed towards you.  Spotlight shopping and Winnie The Pooh cushions aside, you have proven yourself to be quite the competitor on The Block.

You know (mostly) when to step up and get the job done, when to step back (hello Keith), have provided some interesting and pleasing design choices (living/dining) and have no qualms about using a buzz saw or getting your hands dirty.

This is where I now go back to that whole ‘misdirected issues’ part I mentioned above.  See, you seemed to have done quite well on The Block and during the elimination round and early weeks, you were front and centre leaving others to really sort of forget about your partner in crime, that of course, being Steve.

If you look at my original letter, I used the words “Steve, I think, is just along for the ride” and it’s funny, now almost 10 weeks later, that statement still rings true as when I wrote it back in January. Steve may and well put his representation as  whiny, lazy and completely clueless down to bad editing but to be honest dear Chantelle, I don’t think many people like him and his childish outbursts and acts of passive-aggressive behavior (as edited as they may be) might be bringing you down with him.

Steve’s interactions with Foreman Keith, in all honesty, actually look like Steve is 10 year old being told off by a teacher.  It’s not pretty to look.  So this is where I apologize to you for my initial outburst and say to Steve, mate, nut up champ.  Grow a pair, get your hands dirty and finish the job just like Chantelle has been doing.

Yours,

Anthobuzz

P.S: I still think you won’t win The Block.

The Block: There’s a Bath in the Bedroom Dear Viewers

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Brad and Dales Bath in the Bedroom

We got our first glimpse of the completed upper levels of The Block last night (main bedroom, ensuite, walk in robes and landing) and I must say, I have serious issues with one certain reveal.

Brad and Dale, in all their wisdom, decided to extend their ensuite into the main bedroom, sacrificing space to allow half of the room to be classified as a wet area to hold a bath.  There is no other bath in their apartment, this is the only one.

Seriously.

Now, I can see some sort of inspiration taken from last year when the twins, Alisa and Lysandra, opted to place a bath in their walk in dressing room.  Their final result was nothing short of spectacular and were scored accordingly so by the judges but Brad and Dale’s finished product, while it looks high quality, is not practical in its placing.

Not only have the boys sacrificed space to allow for a bath in the main bedroom, they’ve also managed to halve their buyer demographic with the only bath in their apartment taking up half the main bedroom, families or couples looking to have children won’t be interested in attempting to bath their youngsters in the main bedroom!

While I may be a little less than thrilled with the boys finished room, the judges were rather impressed.  With one set of scores still to be revealed (what’s with the cutting of the ep?) Brad and Dale and Steve and Chantelle are both tied for first place with a winner to be revealed in tonight’s episode of The Block.

Who will win?  Did you like Brad and Dale’s bath in the bedroom?

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.