The tables were turned last week on The Block, from the weather to the emotional stability of the contestants; every element was pushed to its limits. With a 48 hour lenience given for the reveal of the common area, each couple experienced some relief towards the end of the week as many upstairs guest bedrooms were finished early.
As all the couples seemed overly confident before the judges began their walk-through, I felt like home viewers were being set up for a dramatic turn of events (which we begin to see during the teasers for the coming week’s episodes — more about this in a minute).
Starting with the fan’s apartments, Chantelle and Steve embraced an Aztec meets Art Deco theme in their second guest bedroom, creating a featured parquetry wall completely handmade/designed by the couple (or should I say their builder?). Surprisingly coherent, the hand-carved timber, geometric patterns, ceiling rose and seemingly odd colour scheme (white and grey with a touch of teal, black and red) all worked together. “It’s got a real style,” said Darren, Neale adding, “They’ve found their mojo”. Coming in second place with only one point difference, Chantelle was rather disappointed with the result, “I don’t think it should have gone that way”, but remained positive declaring “We came last in the first week, third in the second week and second this week … so the formula says we will win next week!”
Dividing the judges to a point where I was slightly nervous as to what Shaynna might do to Darren, the favourite’s rooms drew a distinct line between the likes and dislikes of the three design gurus. As both the boys and the twins fashioned their room around a chosen artwork (Alisa and Lysandra’s ‘A Portrait of Amy Winehouse after Klimt’ by Sue Quinn and Brad and Dale’s ‘Colourful Life’ print by Maurice Golotta), Shaynna felt “uncomfortable” and “overwhelmed” by the large blue-, green- and purple-toned artwork in the girls bedroom, whereas Neale described the space and combination of textures as “raw luxury”. And in the boy’s room, Shaynna pulled them up on their choice of storage selection as she couldn’t reach the hanging rails, Neale believed there were “moments of brilliance but I’m not crazy about their colour palette”, and Darren thought the room was “Soft and beautiful. There’s colour and style in here.”
Although some of the comments may have been a bit harsh, I do think the judges scored the contestants perfectly this week, however I think I would prefer Brad and Dale’s room over the twins (but that’s probably just my dislike of the colour purple which they seem to be using in all their bedrooms — girls, if you are reading this, please don’t use that purple bed linen again — for the sake of my sanity!)
What didn’t divide the judges was the reincarnation of the Super K’s. Back to their sleek and stylish selves, Kyal and Kara created a haven of minimalist luxury that still provided life and warmth. A raw timber feature wall with built-in shelf was complemented by a white, grey and orange palette inspired by the gorgeous limited edition artwork by Lindsay Blamey. “It looks finished, luxurious, sophisticated and contemporary,” said Darren, who was also quite proud of himself as his advice was clearly taken on board by both the fan couples, including Kyal and Kara’s integration of wiring for a television behind the artwork so that the potential buyers had the choice — a very smart move since, at the end of the day, no matter how many rooms or how much money they win during the renovations, it is the buyers that are going to decide the final winner.
A rather easy week ahead, with the contestants renovating their main bathrooms, it seems like there’s going to be more time for drama and heartache. The previews revealed a rather intense display of emotions from the twins and combined with Chantelle’s disappointment over the judge’s decision last night, tensions are running high on The Block! So stay tuned!