Not all what it might seem on The Block
The word “reality” in reality TV should be taken with a large grain of pink Himalayan salt.
While it implies spontaneity and actuality, for those who did not already suspect it, that’s not the case by any means.
And you can be assured The Block NZ renovation series is no different.
Cameras, and there are plenty of them, can’t be everywhere at once, so when something dramatic or particularly interesting is missed, those involved are asked to repeat it.
When teams are shown talking about a situation or another team in the aftermath, they are usually answering hastily-scripted questions.
The Blockies are regularly portrayed as having specific characteristics and personality traits.
You can take it at face value, which is about as deep as reality TV shows go. But if you are going to believe everything you see or hear on a TV show, I advise you quickly hang up the phone on the foreign-sounding bloke who claims there’s something wrong with your computer.
Dramatics and controversy is reality TV’s oxygen, so those craving it were left a little lightheaded from last night’s episode of The Block.
It was A into G at each of the four townhouses on the Hobsonville Point site as the four teams applied a thick coat of grease to their elbows and went total immersion for their most formidable Room Reveal yet — the master bedroom, en suite and walk-in wardrobe.
Even Gizzy Hard Yellow Team’s Amy Moore and Stu Watts, who pride themselves on their organisation and efficiency, are under the pump more than usual.
Orange Team’s Claire and Agni look in complete control, Purple’s Chlo and Em are ticking along, as are Yellow, while Blue’s Ben and Tom are in their usual state of lost — somewhere between desperately and hopelessly.
Not that they matter. As soon as they decided to abort the walk-in wardrobe, they signed their Room Reveal death warrant, and it seems fairly certain their only chances of escaping with some financial benefit is through some sort of collusion . . . and Team Yellow’s Stu and Amy appear to be their best bet.
The boys, though, boosted their budget coffers with a much-needed victory in the Plank Walk Challenge — a traditional Block competition that requires teams to build a cantilevered plank of their own chosen length and install it over a swimming pool. One team member then walks it and pokes a toe over the edge for 30 seconds. The longest plank completion wins it.
Only two teams avoided Davy Jones’s locker — Blue winning it with a 3.82m plank while Purple were second with 3.47m.
Stu was like a captain standing proudly on the Titanic deck as Team Yellow sank ingloriously into the depths.
The Blue boys won a $33,900 spa package and 2000 “undo” dollars and later picked up a “plus-one-point” to be used at a Room Reveal when Tom won the game-changer in which one player from each team had to make as many words as possible in two minutes from lettered blocks.
The “My Little Pony” fabric controversy of the previous show took a back seat to site supervisor Pete “The Wolf” Wolfkamp going on the rampage over Agni’s horrifically sloppy exterior paint work, which had left “more paint on the windows than the walls”.
“What a mess, what a mess,” The Wolf bemoaned before screaming out Agni’s name with the intensity of a Tarzan jungle call.
Agni copped both barrels, then The Wolf reloaded and fired a couple more for good measure.
The Wolf accused him of showing complete disrespect for the hard work put in by others.
“This is beyond a joke . . . he’s basically giving everyone the finger and I won’t stand for it.
“You don’t give a damn about anybody else but yourself and I, for one, am sick of it,” he lectured Agni before ordering him to clean up all the spatter before doing anything else.”
A sheepish Agni’s apology fell on deaf ears — Wolf comparing the situation to “dealing with a 10-year-old”.
After consuming the entire humble pie, Agni’s day got a whole lot better when Orange were named winners of the soap competition held two days previously.
The two soaps they had to make from scratch, then pitch to the judge, were described as”love at first sight”, with Amy and Stu a close second.
Orange won $7250, to be added their budget, and an air purifier.
With everyone now “playing the game” and the stakes higher than ever, Amy approached Ben with a potential offer for their “plus-one-point”.
“If the girls (Purple) offered you money, and we did, would you be willing to stab them in the back?”
There could have been a long drum roll before Ben replied . . . “yeah”.
Reality looks set to bite.