Sound the alarm, evacuate the building and douse the entire city of Auckland in flame-proof retardant, because The Block NZ is back, and this season is: Firehouse!
The Block NZ returns tonight for its eighth glorious season, which Mark Richardson promises will be “the most challenging season of The Block, EVER”. Exsqueeze me, Mark Richardson, I sat through two episodes last year when Chlo and Em deliberated over which paint colour best matched their mother’s nipples. If that’s not the most challenging content we’ll ever see from The Block NZ, please jam 23 marshmallows in my mouth and call it a fluffy bunny.
While the world around us goes down in flames, The Block NZ: Firehouse is bucking the trend and building from the ground up. Tonight, four new teams begin their renovation journey, hoping to sell their property for the greatest profit and win a cool $100,000. Let’s take a look at what we can expect from this year’s hot and flamey season.
Why is it called The Block NZ: Firehouse?
Because, my little DIY cherubs, this year’s teams are rebuilding an old fire station in Kingsland, Auckland. It also used to be a boarding house, but now they’ve chucked an extra storey on the top and turned it into five, hopefully fancy schmancy, apartments.
Or, maybe it’s just an excuse for Mark Richardson to wear some big pants and carry a helmet. Hard to know.
Is it the biggest, most expensive, most ambitious, most competitive reno in Block NZ history?
Funny you should ask! Yes.
What’s the vibe?
It’s all very Lara Croft-y, and I’m not sure if the contestants are here to reline some walls or save us all from certain death. Either way, the apocalypse has arrived and the only tools we have to fight it are a spirit level and a hammer. Seems fine.
Who’s in it?
It’s the status quo for The Block NZ, with four young, attractive couples eager to transform these ramshackle buildings into top-dollar properties. Some contestants have building experience, others have solid design skills, while one team accidentally painted their home the wrong colour and I can’t see any problems ahead for any of these teams whatsoever.
But bless their wee hearts, because what these teams lack in DIY skills they make up for in enthusiasm. It’s a shame nobody told them renovating a property would involve wearing full body lycra and sliding down a sheet of polythene, but whatever happens this year, I’m putting all my money on the bloke called ‘Ribz’.
What’s new for 2019?
Kristina Rapley must be trapped in Claire and Agni’s fourth bedroom, because The Block NZ has a new judge, designer Lizzie Whaley. Lizzie’s dog’s name is Harvey Specter, which means she immediately scores 10s all round, plus any +1s that Agni forgot to bring to judging last year.
Can we expect a lot of fire-related jokes?
Short answer: Yes.
Ah, Mark, you do make us laugh. What about the other hosts?
The gang’s all here. Mark Richardson is back to rile up the contestants, Shelley Ferguson has returned to provide advice on both design and how to chop up a sponge cake with a chainsaw, while our beloved Peter Wolfkamp continues to skulk around the building site saying “we have a problem” on repeat.
What challenges can we look forward to?
The Block NZ is a grown-up What Now with some fancy bed cushions thrown in. The challenges get more batshit crazy as the Block NZ time continuum advances, so I’m here for anything involving Colin Mathura-Jeffree herding sheep through a gate while leaping into the sea dressed as a giant wooden bird. Don’t think it won’t happen. It will.
What design trends can we expect?
Your guess is as good as mine. The Three promo moved too quick for my tiny brain, and all I could come up with was this screenshot of the arse end of a giraffe. V stylish, that’s a 10 from me.