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Moment to reflect in a down-to-earth time-out

SUCCESS is not always about winning.

For some, success is simply living.

Last night’s episode of renovation reality TV series The Block NZ reinforced that as the four teams took on a “challenge” that gave them a humbling and poignant reality check after 10 weeks of living in their own world.

The teams headed to Ronald McDonald House — an accommodation facility, or “home away from home”, for families who have children receiving usually critical medical treatment at nearby Starship Children’s Hospital.

The McDonald’s Makeover Challenge required each team to do up a room in their own unique way to add a bit of cheer for families who will stay there — some for months on end.

They were given $500 for furnishings and accessories, and had to incorporate their team colour in some way.

For Gizzy Hard Yellow team Amy Moore and Stu Watts, that was always going to be the walls. What better way to brighten up a room than giving it a hardcore dose of yellow — a “yellow-out”.

Every team was a winner in this challenge. There was no physical prize. Victory came in the form of the satisfaction of doing something special for families who are going through sometimes unimaginable hardship — a fact not lost on the teams as they got to serve, sit, talk and eat with some of the families at the facility.

The trials and tribulations of The Block life paled into insignificance in the shadow of what these families had to endure.

“Every single person here fights a battle every single day,” said Team Orange’s Agni.

“And knowing they have been through some serious journeys, and being able to share this moment with them, is really amazing.”

“It definitely puts things in perspective for us,” said Purple Team member Em.

“These families are battling for months and years for their lives . . . it made me feel really bad about whining about a couple of sleepless nights.”

As the only parents among the four teams, Amy and Stu were deeply affected.

“I can’t even imagine, being parents ourselves, what it would be like to have such a sick child . . . you just don’t want to go there,” said Amy.

Big softie Stu’s couple of tears in the eyes was a mirror image of at least one household TV audience,

As to the job at hand, the Yellow rolled into action and out came a beautifully warm and inviting room, which aptly summed up their intentions to “leave behind a bit of Gizzy”.

It’s week 11 of 12 of the series and back at the Hobsonville Point Block site, teams have the mission of completing the laundry area of their townhouses, as well as the chance to “do over” a room they were not happy with.

As show host Mark Richardson puts it – to turn “horrific into terrific”, to put a disaster behind them and add value to their houses “just like that”.

He has given them an extra $10,000 for the do-over with one catch. If they do not beat the score judges gave for the original room, he will take the money back.

Team Yellow were always going to redo the guest room they inherited when they won the first challenge of the series, and chose to swap houses with Orange’s Agni and Claire.

That room had the theme “desert chic” and Yellow are to stick with it, but reinventing it to be more cohesive with the rest of the house.

“We’re going to desert chic the #$%#^ out of it,” says Amy, rubbing her hands as her creative streak whirs into action.

Yellow have won most of the Room Reveals of the series and their relentless pursuit is not about to wane.

There’s $5000 in the cold hard stuff to go towards their budget, plus $2000 to “undo” the cost of some of the tradie time.

While this is going on, the exterior scaffolding will be removed from all houses.

Site supervisor Pete “The Wolf”: Wolfkamp warned the teams not to underestimate the rules when it came to safety during this. To wear hard hats and high-vis vests, and not to cross safety barriers.

Why does one get the feeling someone is going to get their hand smacked.

Gisborne couple Amy Moore and Stu Watts. File picture