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Pop CultureAugust 5, 2016

Jane Yee on The Block: Like, literally on the actual Block!


Our resident Blockaholic Jane Yee recaps the highs and lows from week 10 of The Block NZ, and gets an exclusive tour of 95 St Johns Road from none other than Niki and Tiff.

And just like that we’re down to the last few days on The Block for 2016. This season has flown by like a disoriented moth but the good news is we’re all about to be put out of our misery. Week ten in Meadowbank saw the teams tackling the great outdoors and the final days felt more like the end of days as the heavens opened and poured down delays, dilemmas and drama (plus actual rain) on houses one through four, 95 St Johns Road.


Emma and Courtney picked up their first legit room reveal win on Sunday with their tidy wee garage and laundry. So what if the new owners won’t be able to open their washing machine  if they’ve parked the car in the garage? Man, some people are so fussy.

Room reveal winner copy

Tell you what though, if you do buy House Three and need to do a load of darks, don’t put the car up on the road. That’s where Emma and Courtney’s beloved Honda Jazz was parked when it got clipped by a passing hooligan (or maybe Harris???)

The perp didn’t stick around to be caught on camera, which is a shame because it could’ve made for some nice interchannel cross-promotion with Police Ten 7. Part of me suspects the little blue Jazz set up the whole thing in order to be the first cast member to escape The Block.

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I’m not going to go into the “don’t touch me” standoff between Big Dyls and Wolfkamp, because I’m pretty much desensitised to the crazy now. Sure, I’m bored of the renegade contestant versus the strict site foreman storyline, but that doesn’t mean I don’t treasure every one of Dyls’ impassioned tirades to camera. This week, when referring to being wronged by the Wolf, Dyls told us he holds a grudge forever and that he’s like an elephant – he never forgets.

Except that time he forgot how far apart the steps were supposed to be on his floating staircase.

Or that time he forgot the ‘no powertools after 6pm’ rule.

Or that time he forgot to insulate the ceiling in the master bedroom.

Aside from that stuff, total elephant.

dyls elephant copy


The Block houses are a collection of bloody pigstys so production decided to wheel out The Mums, because mums (along with girlfriends, sisters and apparently even sister-in-laws) love to clean! There were a couple of dads there, but I’m not sure what they got up to as it was all about the little ladies getting their tidy on.

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I can only assume the menfolk were busy fixing cars, excelling at sport and being CEOs.

Men out copy


You know what else women love to do? Washing. We fucking love that shit – we can’t get enough of it. If only someone would think up a competition that involved racing to hang out washing, we’d be all over it. I was super pumped the Block mums were awarded this humbling opportunity to represent women the world over by showing off their mad skillz at the clothesline.

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Sam’s mum won, btw, picking up a whole mess of outdoor lighting for Team Purps and a minus one point that they will definitely play come Sunday because it’s the last room reveal!


There was a helluva lot of weather in Meadowbank this week. It rained and rained and rained some more, which made outdoors week resemble Glastonbury festival – only without all the music and good bits.

Weather 1 copy

If this had been some kind of celebrity Block season all that intense rain would’ve been enough to impel Jason Kerrison to abandon the renos in favour of knocking together a rapture-ready ark. And I tell ya what, it would’ve come in bloody handy too. Barry would no doubt have preferred discussing outdoor lighting plans from the the deck of an ark than doing so while sinking in Sam and Emmett’s swamp of sadness.

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I know I’ve moaned a lot this season, but if it hadn’t been for The Block NZ 2016 I truly believe I would never have witnessed someone doing a kickflip with a wheelbarrow. Yeah boi! Or something.

Kickflip wheelbarrow copy


I should have known it was silly to think we weren’t going to see Marty the Builder this season. It turns out he’s been hiding in the Challenge Warehouse for the last nine weeks! Possibly even for the last year?

Marty copy

Marty was dusted off to judge a paving challenge. Aside from having the word ‘arty’ in his name, I’m not sure how qualified Marty is to be judging creative paving designs, but who cares? Because, honestly, I never thought I’d get to enjoy the dulcet tones of his thick Scottish accent ever again and hearing his voice took me right back to the comfy blankets of seasons three and four. Speaking of comfy blankets…

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The Dylsz did a cracking double-act impression of Steve Irwin as they wrangled a thin piece of readylawn snake…

Steve Irwin snake copy

But the challenge belonged to Courtney and Emma who were vez excited about getting a whole whack of outdoor furniture for free.

C+E paving challenge win copy


The Wolf gathered everyone on site together for some beersies courtesy of some suppliers. He explained that it’s a building tradition to celebrate the roof going on, as it just had on Mysterious House Five, with some drinks.

Roof shout Wolf copy

Apropos of nothing, I feel like Wolfie makes shit up sometimes so I googled, but it turns out the Roof Shout is actually a thing. Knowing this now, I would’ve liked to have seen them getting on the piss as each roof went on the Block houses – I feel like that was a missed opportunity for The Block Uncut, which I definitely would’ve watched.

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The final challenge for the week saw the teams using Lego to build models that represented their time on The Block. The prize was a visit from a team of Green Acres cleaners, presumably all women because remember, we love that shit!

Niki constructed a tall yellow thing with stairs and doors and ladders as a metaphor for all the steps, obstacles and opportunities the Yellow Team have faced in the bank of meadow.

Emmett built a rollercoaster track to symbolise the up, down and sometimes crazy ride that is The Block NZ.

Little Dylz did a model of House Two, sans a bit of roofing in a nod to the time He Who Never Forgets forgot to insulate the ceiling. He also made a dinky little swear jar because there was many a profanity that particular week.

Emma whipped up, get this, a house. In her mind Team Blue had spent the last nine weeks on the Block building a house, so the best denotation of that journey was a model of a frickin house. Honestly, I can’t fault that logic and I reckon she should’ve won – but Niki did, because that’s just how Team Yellow rolls.

Emma lego copy


Council Inspector Glyn made a brief but impacting appearance this week to do the final sign-off on the previously damp framing in houses Three and Four. With his prongs of power delivering passes all round it was time for one final hug.

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And just like that Glyn was gone. Out of my living room, out of my life, but forever in my dreams. Love u Glyn.

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I went on a media tour of the houses on Monday. Niki and Tiff led us around each house – it was great, and they were really bloody nice. We finished the tour in their house, ate heaps of yum stuff off their vintage French dining table and did an album cover shoot on their orange rug.

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They told me that Peter Wolfkamp is the nicest guy to walk the earth and that watching the show back was the first they knew of Big Dyls’ seething hatred towards them, which totally bummed them out.

This was the first time I’ve toured the Block houses and, along with the inside goss, it was really quite fascinating. I particularly enjoyed touching up The Dylsz’ schist wall and discovering they hadn’t done a great job of washing the sheets.

Dylsz sheets copy

Schist wall copy

I was gutted to see the Chux cloth and scouring sponge weren’t on display in their kitchen, but don’t worry guys! A quick poke around in the cupboards and I was able to restore the kitchen to it’s full room-reveal glory.

chux cloth copy

A lot of stuff makes more sense in person and some of the things I thought were a bit naff were much better in real life. Conversely some of the things I thought were awesome on the telly were not as awesome in person. The experience made me close to enthusiastic about The Block again, which is incredibly shit timing.

I’ll tell you what else is shit: the weather in Meadowbank.

rainy feeney copy

If you get the chance to go to the public open homes this weekend, do it. It will be a pain in the arse queuing up, no doubt, but seeing the houses is surprisingly good fun. Also, I found  Niki and Tiff to be legitimately awesome, and all the contestants will be onsite at the open homes on Saturday so it’s bound to be a bloody good time. Take a mate. And an umbrella. And, if you feel so inclined, a placard.

We’re nearly there guys. One more room reveal, a few filler episodes of recaps and challenges, and then we’ll be hissing right into auction day. The end is nigh and I’m hanging in there like a pair of giant knickers on the washing line of womanhood. Pegs don’t fail me now.

The Block NZ airs Sunday 7pm and Mon-Wed at 7.30pm on TV3

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