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Stress levels rising in the house of cards

IT’S the business end of Family Bathroom Week on The Block NZ and the stress level has risen to somewhere between a World Cup final penalty shootout and waking up naked the night after a stag do in a Mexican jail in the arms of a 120kg cross-dresser called Roberta.

Show host Mark Richardson uses the analogy of “stacking a house of cards” for this most technical and challenging week of the renovation reality TV series.

“Get it wrong and the whole thing will come tumbling down.”

The Block NZ has brought together four teams, who, with the help of a personally-selected builder, must completely renovate townhouses at Auckland’s Hobsonville Point.

A large carrot dangles — $100,000 to the overall winners and each team pocketing whatever money is made over the reserve when the houses are auctioned off.

Among the contestants are “Gizzy Hard” couple Amy Moore and Stu Watts, who in last night’s episode are heads down and butts up trying to get back on track after a playground spat with Hamil-Tron gym junkies Agni and Claire cost them a valuable day’s work.

Yellow Team Amy and Stu’s situation, however, stagnates — thanks to the main reason why no one really wants to live in the Big A . . . the traffic.

They are waiting for a custom-made shower Amy claims is going to make all the difference.

It better. Time is ticking and builder Dave Wallace’s suggestion that they “put a little whiskey” in their coffee is looking attractive.

Amy explains her grand bathroom plan . . . an all-enclosed shower, “luscious” free-standing bath, which will give it “a crisp and clean vibe”, and beautiful green plants to create “that earthy” feeling.

All that’s missing is a fountain and couple of Cleopatra’s gorgeous hand maidens pouring coconut milk.

The four teams are feeling the intensifying heat when it comes to tiling. Not only do they have to get them laid pronto, they are required to include tiles specially selected by the judges.

Meanwhile Amy and Stu receive a package from Amy’s daughter. It features hand-made brooches for each of them, and a present for Purple Team’s Chlo and Em — clearly the 12-year-old female demographic favourites.

Yellow have an advantage in Stu being a plumber and he’s champing at the bit to rip into that side of the reno, having eaten into their time deficit by painting into the wee hours.

As the pressure valve moves closer to the red zone, Richardson decides to throw in a game-changing challenge — the winners of which get to add a point to their total at Room Reveal.

It’s called Su-dodo-ku. One member of each team, while sitting on a loo, has to solve a Sudoku puzzle written on toilet paper.

Stu goes first and, perhaps to his own surprise as “my maths is pretty average”, does not finish last. That dis-honour goes jointly to Blue Team’s architect graduate Ben and Orange Team’s gym owner Agni, both of whom can’t complete the puzzle. Chlo wins, 18 seconds ahead of Stu.

“Obviously you don’t have to be a mathematician to be an architect, Ben” Stu says.

Richardson interrupts proceedings again with an interlude hailing the builders, including Amy and Stu’s Dave.

“Who do you love more, Dave or Amy?” Stu is asked.

“Dave,” he replies.

“I’m fine with that,” says Amy.

Agni, who for most of the series so far has been more irritating than a rogue mosquito in the bedroom at night, shows his compassionate side — offering the services of his plasterer to an under-the-pump Blue Team.

But he finds himself on the “hit list” of head building honcho Pete “The Wolf” Wolfkamp after leaving rubbish on the ground next to a skip bin.

“It is completely unacceptable, completely disrespectful,” the Wolf rants, adding that if he sees it again the perpetrator will be kicked off the site for a day.

“You don’t want to be offside with me,” he threatens.

Agni apologises, as everyone else inspects their feet like children caught stealing from the cookie jar.

No one has the guts to offer the Wolf a chill pill.

The Block continues with the room reveal and judges’ scoring on Sunday night.