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Pop CultureJuly 11, 2018

The Block NZ, week 1: Four couples stranded like a wheelbarrow on a mudflat

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The Block NZ is back, and it’s time to rejoice like we just won a Bosch kitchen upgrade that includes both a griddle and a hand blender. Tara Ward power ranks.

Somewhere in the pristine new suburb of Hobsonville Point lies four new couples on four new mattresses inside four new townhouses, which are as empty as my soul after I finish recapping all 48 episodes of this magnificent beast of a reality show.

If you were expecting a renovation show, then adjust your volume and look away now. Season 7 of The Block NZ looks like the frenzied love child of Changing Rooms and Top Town, with more challenges than Hirepool product placement moments.  “You’ve got to be shitting me,” Amy said during the first of this week’s four contests: a puzzle scavenger hunt, a poke around Mark’s barrow, an abstract art task and a ‘balls in mud’ game. Ball gags, they never get old.

But The Block NZ is forever a journey of discovery. This week we learned that skylights are windows into the soul, that it’s never too late at night to wear a face mask, and that ‘Peacock Blue Lux’ is an internationally recognised design trend. Who knew there’s a wrong way to point a dehumidifier, or that the Mystery Safe would cause a nasty pass-agg ruckus the likes of which the immaculate Hobsonville Point has never seen before?

Who knew? Mark knew. Mark knows everything.

Let’s relive the highs and lows of The Block NZ’s first week with the inaugural Power Rankings. Similar to the challenges, these rankings make little sense and serve no purpose – but like eight reality show contestants stranded in a wheelbarrow on a mudflat, you’re stuck with them.

1) Tom and Ben

I’ll be honest, Ben secured the coveted #1 position as soon as he busted out this glorious knitted masterpiece:

These two made a series of deadly tactical moves, including sucking up to The Wolf by giving him a book on motorcycles.

Finally, they broke the internet with their matching avocado pants.

Could be a load of guacamole, but I reckon these two have the game in their New World reusable bag. Sure, they might not finish their first room due to their ambitious design plans, but let’s stop pretending this competition is about anything other than pushing your best mate around in a wheelbarrow. Winner, winner, McCafe dinner.

2) Chlo and Em

Chlo and Em sprayed their endless positivity across the building site like an over-primed diesel heater about to erupt into flames. A trail of happy glitter lay in their wake, and they broke all the glass ceilings when Em stayed home to “be the man with the tools” while Chlo went shopping. Next week, Chlo and Em solve world peace while undercoating their bathroom, and I am 100% here for it.

But I’m worried about Chlo and Em. First, they think Mark is “absolutely gorgeous” and then they set their room on fire, which must have created a shitload of H&S paperwork for The Wolf. Fire away, Chlo and Em, the world is your blue lux peacock oyster.

3) Amy and Stu

They’ve a combined age of 95, but Stu’s still prepared to put his butt on the line for The Block NZ.  I will not rest until I see this creative masterpiece given its own gallery, nay its own wing in Te Papa.

Because when life gives you lemons, you cover your arse in purple paint and press it against fate’s cruel canvas. You choose the botanical bedhead of your wife’s dreams, you install a temporary toilet in a cupboard and suddenly, Mark Richardson’s serving you lemonade in a McCafe reusable cup. In the words of Guru Stu, “more is too much, or more isn’t enough”, and I think we can all agree that’s a life lesson to get tattooed across your heart.

4) Claire and Agni

These pyjama-wearing power-nappers are all over the place and I bloody love them for it. While the contestants schemed to steal House 4 away from them, Agni snoozed in the Vitara and Claire stuck her hands into Mark Richardson’s Mystery Wheelbarrow of Hopes and Dreams. See no evil, speak no evil, paint no evil on thy architraves and God will reward you with a new patio heater.

Keeping with the classic ‘Desert Chic’ room brief, Claire and Agni painted half their room gloss black.  Shelley suggested they “rethink the black” which is designer speak for “WTF are you doing”, and it was no wonder poor Agni was a bit “frizzled”. Frizzle my nizzle, let’s hope a million coats of ceiling paint and a quick power nap can make all their desert/dessert dreams come true.

Special mention:

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