Gather around, my friends: the time has come. It’s here! It’s really, really here! It’s our last week on The Block NZ. The teams returned their tools to the Bunnings Shed, packed their suitcases and said an emotional goodbye to their houses. Let us journey onwards and upwards, as we relive the glorious moments of the final week of The Block NZ and salute our supreme winner. Spoiler alert: it’s Alex and Corban!
Ear, Ear…What’s This?
Twelve long weeks of build up and recap has bought us to this glorious moment. Four shiny couples stood before us, polished and plucked to an inch of their lives and resplendent in their auction night finery. There’s not a Bunnings puffer jacket or pair of red crocs in sight. In fact, it’s difficult to see anything given the blinding reflection off Alex’s ginormous earrings. She embraced their design theme to the very end, adorned in a bespoke copper frock, complemented by two huge chandelier earrings borrowed from their house entranceway. Corban’s chosen a fine Axminster carpet shirt with a custom-made fabric-sample kerchief in his jacket pocket, while Mark and Damo appear to have enjoyed a Geordie Shore shade of spray tan. “If we win, the pants might be coming off again,” Ben said, channeling Brad Pitt — or at the very least Mike McRoberts — in a timeless sports-jacket. Is that a threat or a promise, Ben? Either way, it was a treat to see the teams look so glamorous and, well, clean.
Alex and Corban: Winning
Auction night was all about the Super Planners. Their house of bespoke brass trim sold for an astonishing $1.552 million, making Alex and Corban a cool $227,000, plus another $80,000 as the overall winners of The Block NZ. Ka-ching! First to go to auction, Alex seemed serene though understandably shaky, while Corban remained calm throughout. Was he distracted by the radio static picked up by Alex’s earrings, or wondering what the heck Lego Man Auctioneer meant when he called their house an “adult piñata”? Should someone take to it with a custom-made copper stick? There was a frenzy of bidding on their house of dreams and, when the hammer fell, Alex and Corban were shocked, stunned, and quietly amazed. As was Judge Mark, whom I like to think spent Friday night throwing his Wagyu beef and stilton platter at the television, indignantly shouting “but they didn’t finish their entrance way on time! They don’t have enough topsoil! It’s confidence bordering on arrogance!”
Denim Track Pants and Red Foo Rap Rants
The final week was full of revelations. The Nosy Neighbours challenge uncovered several dark secrets, including the fact that Corban wore denim track pants when he met Alex for the first time; Quinn wanted to be a lawnmower (the machine, not the person) when she grew up; Damo’s man crush is Paul Henry; and James’ favourite song is “Achy Breaky Heart.” Too bad that the People’s Choice voting had finished – Damo may have had some votes reclaimed.
The past three months exposed the depth of Damo’s talents. He painted a ceiling green, fell asleep in a ceiling cavity, and invented legendary design techniques like the “technical gap.” Breaking news: Damo is also a prize-winning rapper. The Block NZ was honoured by a visit from Red Foo from LMFAO, who arrived because he’s contractually obligated to challenge teams to a one-minute rap about The Block NZ. “He is so cool!” said Maree, admiring The Foo’s swag. “He looks like a homeless man,” countered Corban. Watching the teams fumble their way through their ‘raps’ was distressing, apart from the revelation of Damo’s rhythmical genius. “My dream’s come true,” says Damo, suddenly $1000 richer for rhyming “Fielding’s the place” with “just remember my face.”
Love was the Winner on the Day
After Alex and Corban’s huge auction result, I was giddy with optimism for Maree and James. Luck went their way when they won the auction order challenge with their promotional marketing video, featuring a topless Martin the Builder. (Does this mean Martin is listed on the house chattels? That should help reach reserve). The auctioneer made hard work of the sale, refusing to take bids in the ones or five thousands. Hey buddy, it’s not your house! Take the money! The gavel fell at $1.472 million – giving Maree and James a tidy $147,000 profit. James cracked a grin in a rare emotional outburst and Maree was thrilled: they wanted someone to fall in love with the house just like they did. I love the warm fuzzy feeling that such rampant consumerism creates.
Quinn and Ben were third to go to auction and the first of the back houses. They stood together nervously; arms looped like a royal couple sitting for an engagement portrait. Bidding began at the relatively lower sum of $800,000 but rose quickly, finally stopping at $1.335 million. At only $10,000 over reserve it seemed a disappointing total, given the huge profits of the previous two houses. Quinn and Ben, however, felt the love and their response was gracious and humble. “We’re already winning in life,” said Ben, replying that $10,000 was still a lot of money. Even Mark encouraged them look on the bright side: “you can buy a lot of nappies for $10,000”.
The People Have Spoken
Earlier in the week we worried for Damo’s wellbeing after he made a ‘Wind Up Your Wife’ prank call on The Rock. Damo, Damo, Damo. The prank call worked, Jo was pissed off, and Damo took his life into his own hands. “You are a bunch of tossers!” Jo squawked. Yes Jo, yes they are. “I shouldn’t have done it, not today,” says Damo. Or any day, really.
But Damo’s antics have been a joy to watch this season, and it was no surprise when Mark announced they were winners of the People’s Choice Award. Jo and Damo collected a flash new car that matched Jo’s white dress, but more importantly they got a fancy gold hammer trophy. Straight to the pool room, Damo! Despite his pre-auction nerves Damo managed a jaunty “hello Fielding!” to camera one, as if he was Selwyn Toogood hosting It’s In The Bag. The hammer dropped at $1.386 million, meaning Jo and Damo left The Block NZ with $61,000, a car and an upside down gold hammer trophy.
But Wait, There’s More…
The auctions were complete, the winners crowned, and the evening drew to a contented close. My husband’s hand was poised to regain control of the remote the after three long, cold months in the television wilderness. Suddenly, Alex announced that she and Corban wanted to share $30,000 of their winnings with Quinn and Ben. “We really want that for your family,” Alex said, as she explained that Ben and Quinn’s winnings didn’t represent the amazing effort and attitude they’d put into their house. It was an overwhelming, genuine moment: Alex cried, Quinn cried, I cried. I think my husband cried too, though his reaction was probably related to still not being able to watch the cricket. If that moment of unexpected generosity wasn’t enough, Mark announced that 2015 would bring a fourth series of The Block NZ. It was a perfect end to a perfect night.