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Jane Yee on The Block: Love and loathing in Meadowbank

Our resident Blockaholic Jane Yee recaps the highs and lows from week seven of The Block NZ, including the return of everyone’s favourite council inspector Glyn, more tradie tantrums than you can shake a broken old bit of gib at, and a steamy bedroom tryst.

It was pressure-cooker stuff on The Block NZ this week as the teams tackled both the kitchen and dining room. The stress got to the whole damn site; there was dissension in the ranks amongst the tradies, Sam went down in a clash with some gib, Big Dyls spat on the embers of his friendship with the Wolf, and Glyn the council inspector walloped his prongs into the hopes and dreams of houses three and four.

There was a lot of action on the frontline this week, but even more in the trenches with Sam and Emma finding true love in the crossfire.

1) ROOM REVEAL

We started the week with the Master Bedroom and Ensuite room reveal. The judges’ praise and a buttload more cash rained down on Niki and Tiff, ensuring they need not redeem those Freedom Furniture vouchers anytime soon.

Winning room

Everyone’s getting mighty bored of Team Yellow being so damn good at this renovation stuff. Why not let the mediocre teams win some rooms? What is this, a competition?

Niki and Tiff cash

2) MAREE AND JAMES NEED TO PISS OFF

This week season three Blockers Maree and James turned up to show off Maree’s wedding ring, and to waste the contestants’ precious time with vapid small talk. You’d think if anyone had a clue about how nuts it can be the day before a double room reveal, it would be the folks who’ve been there, done that.

Had it been any other day, our convivial teams might have been stoked to have Maree and James stop by. But with the final ‘tools down’ looming, even our most affable duo couldn’t pretend to give a rat’s about what these freshly-showered and well-rested know-it-alls had to say.

M&J Hey guysSam and emmett busyM&J awkies

3) GAMECHANGER

This week’s Gamechanger challenge saw the teams playing a round of Boggle. Niki and her PhD brains won by a landslide, securing Team Yellow a minus one point and the keys to their safe.

Niki’s wordsmithery also scored them a night of respite at the Rendezvous where they got some inspo from the hotel’s stunning new refurbishment and missed their fellow contestants terribly.

Niki and Tiff hotel

4) DESIGN CHALLENGE

Pita Pit Lunn Ave were spoilt for choice between ‘Quite Bad’ and ‘Worse’ when it came to the design challenge this week. The contestants joined forces to create teams Blorange and Yurple, creating a feature wall to be installed in an actual restaurant for actual humans to say “WTF” at.

There was high drama when Tiff disappeared to the shops and her remaining teammates were forced to make a design decision without her, which is a really fucking stupid thing to do. Niki damn near shat herself with fear when she had to call Tiff to break the news.

Niki scared

But she had nothing to worry about because Tiff was totes chill about it and sweet with whatever.

Tiff phone

The result was pretty hideous, but thankfully The Dylsz and Emma and Courtney cocked their wall up even more meaning team Yurple had the edge.

Pita pit wall
Pita Pit wall worse

5) STAGING CHALLENGE

The staging challenge was sadly not dancing, singing and acting in costume in an auditorium but just fancying up the interior of an empty Remuera house. Basically the entire 45-hour season of The Block delivered in one three-hour challenge. The teams competed for glory, a commissioned artwork and the back cover of a magazine as they Freedom-ified the shit out of some empty rooms.

This challenge was Tiff’s to lose, given that styling empty spaces is her day-job, but dammit the girl isn’t used to working within the confines of Freedom and the win went to Emma and Courtney for their lived-in living room.

Em and Court win room

Special mention must go to Sam and Emmet who could not have screwed up this challenge more if they’d tried.

Sam and Emmet staging

6) SAM VS GIB

Seven weeks into the season Sam decided to put his newly acquired building skills to the test by cracking on with some gib fixing. It was an epic three and a half hour battle involving two sheets of aqualine and a lot of dodgy measurements – all exceptionally boring stuff on paper, but Sam’s wit and charm throughout won me over. I could watch entire episodes of Sam just tootling about the site. I feel like that could be a legitimate spinoff series of The Block NZ.
Sam Gib

7) AN UPRISING IN DISTRICT TRADIE

It’s all fun and games till a tradie gets the pip, and this week there was a groundswell of unrest amongst the footsoldiers.

At House One Ryan started getting fired up about having to chip hardened crap off Tiff’s vintage French dining table, and this guy was dropping a lot of swears after someone relocated those screws he urgently needed.

Over it tradie

Of course House Two is a permanent hot mess of tradie tension because that’s where Big Dyls lives and works. This week Wolfkamp made Wadie the tradie dive into the doompit to gently persuade the Dylbeast into building not only kitchen, but also a bridge between the former friends.

The House Three builders found themselves having to install insulation while Emma and Courtney larked about putting snails on their tongues, and they weren’t afraid to dob the girls in to the Big Bad Wolf.
E and C tradies

Meanwhile, over at House Four, things were super chill. Lead builder Chris was happy as because he’s found a new BFF in Emmet so he probs won’t be joining the other tradies in a protest rally down St Johns Rd. Yet.

8) DEJA VU

E! True Hollywood Story is the only show I’ve ever watched that could rival The Block NZ in the recap stakes. I feel like I’ve seen yellow-hazed images of Big Dyls rage-yanking gib off the ceiling a billionty times already, and I know in my heart I haven’t seen that for the last time.

If you took out all the previously aired footage, I reckon we’d be looking at two episodes a week. OMG, even typing it out loud fills me with a yearning like I’ve never known. Just two hours in Meadowbank a week? Almost sounds bearable.

Sam and Emmett recaps

9) BIG DYLS IS STILL PISSED

Speaking of rolling out the classics, Big D was still having a giant sook about Wolfkamp not being available to talk to him over last week’s gib disaster. He tried pretending Wolfie didn’t exist but when that didn’t work he did what any Licensed Building Practitioner would do and hid behind a sheet of intello.

Hiding Dyls

For six days Dyls blanked Wolfie and while it was probably the best six days of both their lives, all good things must come to an end and the pair finally found a way to air their grievances in a civilised manner – ie. Big Dyls throwing a strop and walking off in a huff.

Still dead to me

During the ragefest a classic Big Dyls trope fell out of his mouth and it’s these little nuggets of gold that make it impossible to take him seriously. You guys, there’s very little I love more than witnessing a reality TV contestant screwing up an idiom during an impassioned rant, thereby removing all gravitas from their actual point.

I well-nigh clapped with glee when Dyls tore into Wolfkamp saying “I was fucked off you couldn’t give me the time of the day” changing the metaphoric into the literal and enabling me to create this neat little screengrab.
What's the time mr wolf

10) GUESS WHO’S BACK

Glyn is back!

Casual Glyn

His week off clearly worked wonders as this once camera and hug-shy council inspector strolled onsite looking super relaxed with his casually draped satchel and beaming grin. He even joked about having a pre-inspection hug with Sam and Emmet, such fun! But beware the smiling assassin. Our Glyn was the moisture master of ruination this week as he got up to his old tricks of crying fail and breaking spirits that even Rumpelstiltsdyl couldn’t mend.

Glyn fail

11) SAM AND EMMA UP A TREE

Actually, Sam and Emma beneath the sheets getting up to who-knows-what. The cameras caught the pair canoodling the morning after what we can only assume was a night of not-painting, and the revelation was the talk of site.

Sam and Emma

The tryst was probably little more than a bit of a pash that the pair are now hamming up for the cameras out of sheer boredom, but it gave us a break from whinging tradies and never ending pita pockets. In the absence of any real excitement on the show, hearing Sam yell “I’ll go grab your jacket and your condoms” across the driveway was just the smattering of crumbs I needed to survive another week in Block purgatory.


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

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