On the most dramatic season of The Block NZ yet, two boys from Te Kuiti aren’t taking the bait.
It was Master Bedroom week on The Block NZ when judge Jason Bonham opened the door and collapsed into a fit of laughter at apartment three’s latest offering. Sure, it was an extremely blue room with weirdly-placed receding shelves, but it wasn’t really funny. It wasn’t as funny as Lisa’s “Eat Her Right” sign she tried to hang in in week one, it wasn’t as funny as Mikaere’s Jeepers Creepers hat, and it certainly wasn’t as funny as James Reid from The Feelers.
“She’s a bit of a kick in the guts eh, it’s very hard,” says Sam, one half of ‘the boys’ from Te Kuiti, who are slowly turning Apartment three into Jason Bonham’s chuckle factory on this season of The Block NZ . “We work our guts out and so do our builders, so for them to just come in and giggle and laugh at our efforts is pretty disheartening.” His teammate Ethan is struggling to find the words to describe the judges, wary of being impolite. “I wanna say… they’re rude.”
“The judges can give us bad comments, but I don’t know if we’ll give them back,” says Sam. His actions say differently – he briefly puts two middle fingers in the air and mouths something silently. It’s a pretty measured response to the bad feedback and pitiful scores they’ve endured every week, but the boys try not to dwell on it. “You do think about it a lot because it’s hard to hear that stuff, but what else can you do?” says Sam. “Just push past it and carry on.”
Even when the judges aren’t around, the negativity continues to seep through the cracks of The Block NZ. Whether it is controversial game-changers Sophia and Mikaere against the rest of the teams or Lisa and Ribz against each other, the boys say the tension is palpable. “On camera, in a small place, you can feel it in the air,” says Sam. “There’s definitely drama between the other teams but as far we go,” says Ethan, “we’re the boys, no drama here.”
That said, there have been moments which have come close to shattering their relaxed veneer. “There were times where I had to hold it in, when I thought I was going to lose it,” says Ethan. “I got pretty close [to losing it] so I told them [the camera operators] that I was just going to the toilet.”
He walked into a room that didn’t have a toilet. “I could hear them still following me so I just stood in the wardrobe.”
political & climate reportersFind Out More
He walked out moments later and he said he had “just needed to change his shirt.” He was still wearing the same shirt.
At the very least, The Block NZ has introduced the cool customers to the lovely, lovely, concrete jungle of Auckland, where nobody is ever stressed and everything always goes as planned. “I personally wouldn’t move here, but I’m used to the quiet and being able to shoot to the dairy down the road and be back in two minutes,” says Ethan. “The first couple of weeks were a bit of a shock,” says Sam, “but then we got used to it I guess.”
It’s that smalltown charm that’s sure to secure them the People’s Choice award of The Block NZ 2019. Finally, as they continue to hone their styling, we ask them to critique the winning kitchen/dining area from last week – a zig-zag monstrosity completely with beckoning mannequin hands mounted on the wall. “You don’t see stuff like that in Te Kuiti. You might walk into someone’s lounge and there’s a deer head on the wall,” says Sam.
“The only zig-zags you’d see would be Zig-Zag papers.”
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed, free daily curated digest of all the most important stories from around New Zealand delivered directly to your inbox each morning.