The live auction final of The Block NZ tonight delivered more thrills and spills than Peter Wolfkamp on a motorised chilly bin. Devoted blockaholic Jane Yee was in the thick of it, and bring us this harrowing report.
What a night to be at the Grand Millennium. I arrived expecting to be part of an exciting evening that would rain hundreds of thousands down on the eight contestants of The Block NZ 2017.
I found my way to the media room, a horseshoe of tables seating a handful of journalists greeted me. At the front of the room a TV sat atop a stand, ready to broadcast the Grand Finale of The Block NZ.
I soon realised I was the only fool on the room without a laptop. Armed with only a notebook and an Auckland City Council pen I took my seat between a representative from Newshub and a freelance publicist.
I knew every media outlet would be reporting on the evening’s events so I decided I’d offer something different with a behind the scenes view from the media room. I started taking notes on the canapés (delicious by the way) and wrote down quotes from others in the room like “don’t put me in your terrible story.”
Then the broadcast started. As the season recap and Block Party footage played I started to get excited about the auction. I’d watched 54 hours of the show over the last three months and was giddy with the thought of liberty. I wasn’t just excited for myself though, I was looking forward to seeing the contestants enjoying the payoff for all their hard work.
In the last two seasons, the lowest profit was $123,000. With last year’s winners making a whopping $380,000, there was no reason to believe 2017’s Blockheads wouldn’t all walk away with smiles on their faces and a decent bank transfer pending.
Then House One’s auctioneer greeted the room and The Block NZ shat itself right before our eyes.
The bidding stalled alarmingly early as Ling and Zing’s pride and joy struggled to reach reserve. I couldn’t believe it. My money was on the brothers for the win. After what seemed like forever, the bidding tiptoed over the line and the hammer fell with a profit of just $1000 for Ling and Zing.
It got worse from there with the Andy and Nate’s beloved House Two passing in at 1.2 million with negotiations to continue out of the room.
We were told the winners would be coming onto the media room at the conclusion of all the auctions. We were only halfway through but I wanted to run away. Whoever was taking this out would be feeling shattered for their Blockmates and I didn’t want to have to look into their sad eyes with my sad eyes.
I didn’t have high hopes for the remaining auctions, but the mini quiches had just arrived in the media room. I stayed put. What followed were two more painful auctions. Julia and Ali racked up $13,000 profit, before Stace and Yanita’s auctioneer stepped up to the podium for the final auction.
No one was expecting a huge profit by this stage – they just needed enough to beat the twins. And beat them they did. The Besties’ auctioneer managed to extract a $20,000 profit. Stace and Yanita had won The Block NZ for 2017! They were ecstatic. They jumped up and down, they hugged, they flashed those beaming smiles and tears of joy began to glisten in their eyes.
Then The Block NZ shat itself again.
Out of nowhere, Andy and Nate’s auctioneer returned to the podium and reopened the bidding on House Two. Everyone in the auction room started to go a bit crazy. There was clapping and cheering and finally, there was bidding.
I was confused. If Andy and Nate got more profit than the other teams at this point, could they still win given that auction order had now effectively changed? There were now bidders in the room who had missed out on the previous houses. Surely they’d be more desperate than they were when House Two was up for auction earlier in the evening?
Before long Andy and Nate’s profit crept past Stace and Yanita’s with the final sale of $1.25 million. That gave the Dads $30,000 in profit and, as it turns out, the win for The Block NZ 2017.
Stace and Yanita were heartbroken. Andy and Nate were guilt ridden. It was a hot mess and no doubt a ratings winner.
But honestly, what the hell was that?