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The Block Episode 11: Crunch Time at the Pointy End

Judgement day is looming. Looming, I tell you! It’s crunch time! The Wolf is let loose! It’s fun and games! With serious consequences! And a smashing challenge! Blimey, we’re only 43 seconds into tonight’s episode of The Block and already I’m equal parts astonished and terrified.

It’s Day 14 on The Block. I know it, because it comes up on the screen and then Mark Richardson tells me. Mark’s looking sharp tonight in a charming maroon ensemble – an obvious nod to the mighty Southland Stags. We’re at the pointy end, Mark tells us, which sounds dangerous – has someone told Peter Wolfkamp? We need Health and Safety on our Pointy End, stat.

Firstly, we revisit The Wolf telling Alex and Corban what fools they were for using the wrong painting roller. It’s given them Crazy Acne Walls that they must sand back immediately. Corban doesn’t buy it and thinks Pete is pulling his leg. I’m with you, Corban – just don’t let Pete pull your Pointy End. Ignore The Wolf. Haven’t you heard? Judgement day is looming – you don’t have time to sand!

Stucco-on You starring Peter Wolfkamp

Stucco-on You starring Peter Wolfkamp

The Wolf is on a painting crusade. At Jo and Damo’s he praises their smooth walls and asks Jo if she’s a novice at painting. “No, I’ve only done it once before” she says. Erm, Jo, I think that means you are a novice. Jo gasps in horror when Alex confesses her Accidental Stucco Wall secret.   Don’t be too hasty, Jo – give it a couple of decades and those stucco walls will be trendy again. Look at Axminster carpets! Dodgy in your Nana’s house, now selling for shitloads on Trade Me. Alex puts her foot down – mind the Pointy End, Alex – and Corban admits that he too wants walls like a baby’s bottom. But then, who doesn’t?

The Wolf pounces on his next victim: Maree and her red Crocs. Recognising this as a true crime against fashion, The Wolf bans her from ever wearing them in public again. Oh, and something about them being a health and safety risk, blah blah blah. I recognize Maree as a rule breaker from way back, and I love it. To add salt to the wound, The Wolf reminds James and Maree of their unfinished jobs. Sheesh, Pete, enough already. Less hui, more do-ey. Move along!

Digging for Freedom

Digging for Freedom

Yawn, challenge time. Quinn hopes it’s an egg & spoon race – me too, it would be more exciting and finished sooner. Alas, it’s the Freedom Furniture Digger Challenge, and I don’t think it involves an Australian soldier. Teams must navigate a digger through the warehouse, pick up furniture and organize in price order. Then some guff about time penalties and if anyone’s still watching after these longwinded rules then you win a week’s worth of sanding Alex and Corban’s walls. Or something.

The garage door opens to reveal a time travel portal to The Block 2013. The Flight of the Conchords appear, having driven the digger (not the Australian soldier) all the way from Bulls. Apparently everyone from the Manawatu uses diggers to move their furniture, as Damo confidently volunteers to go first. Oh dear, the digger won’t move forward – just like this challenge.

Next, a montage of contestants driving the digger.  All the girls think their man is the best driver since, like, forever. “He’s awesome!!!!” squeals Maree. Can I see those stucco walls again? They were awesome, too. “Whoever thought that girls could drive?” says Alex. I hope she was being ironic. Nine hours later, Maree and James are named the winners. “Holy moly!!!!” squeaks Maree.

Wolf vs Croc

Wolf vs Croc

Now to the usual Block pre-room reveal panic. Lots of painting, tradies and The Wolf in a hi-vis jacket. Mark tells us Maree and James were up all night trying to paint themselves out of a corner. Stuck in a corner, Maree? Just turn around and walk towards the centre of the room. You can do it! But this is the least of Maree’s worries. The Wolf’s Red Crocs Radar Alert has gone off, and by crikey, someone will pay – as long as it’s not him. Holy moly, Maree! Put your boots on, for the love of god!

Next to Quinn and Ben’s house. I’ve missed why they’re carpeting over expensive polished concrete floors. But they are, which means they’re at a loose end while the carpet is laid. Cue a montage of these two eating, making food and twirling…twirling?! Their biggest concern is a wonky door on their new beer fridge. “Effing heck” says Quinn. Indeed.

It's a jungle out there

It’s a jungle out there

Meanwhile, Maree has sent James to look for a Man Plant. It needs to be green with leaves. Good luck James, that sounds really tricky. While James is away, the Wolf pounces to critique Maree’s painting. “Stop being so mean!!!!” Maree whines. If only she’d thought to wear her Crocs to divert attention from the terrible paint job.

The teams are running out of time before noise restrictions begin. The Wolf appears in his high-vis jacket again and tells them there’ll be no tradies tomorrow. First no Crocs, and now no tradies? ‘Tis a cruel world on The Block. Tonight’s episode ends with the 6pm deadline, leaving teams in the lurch before tomorrow night’s Big Room Reveal. So much to do, so little time. But did anyone see where the Pointy End went?

By Tara Ward

Watch The Block NZ on 3 Now here