Rooster soars among the concrete clouds
Roosters can fly.
So says the online omniscient better known as Wikipedia.
But any hopes of that being proved in the physical sense in last night’s episode of renovation reality TV series The Block NZ were dispelled in inglorious style.
As their builders and tradies were in full flight working on their kitchen and dining room areas, the four teams headed to a Hobsonville Point pier to pit their aeronautical skills in The Birdman Challenge.
The 1965 action adventure movie Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines followed the trials and tribulations of those trying to win a wad of cash by being the first to fly over the English Channel.
All teams Yellow, Orange, Blue and Purple had to do in The Birdman Challenge was launch themselves off a pier in a craft they made from piping, wood, duct tape and corflute.
Now we all know that this is all that MacGyver would have needed to create an aerodynamically-perfect glider, which he would have steered into the bad guys’ hideout, rescued the hot chick and been back home in time for dinner and a nightcap.
The aviation engineering skills of The Block contestants weren’t quite in that realm.
Team Yellow’s Stu Watts and Amy Moore, not surprisingly, designed an aesthetically-pleasing craft they dubbed “Rocket Rooster Stu”.
“Do roosters fly?” Amy asked.
“This rooster flies,” Stu replied.
“To the pub,” Amy retorted.
The only bar Stu got anywhere near was a sandbar, as his attempt to defy gravity resulted in a splashdown of which Gizzy bridge-jumpers would have been proud.
It ended up, however, being good enough to nab second and $5000-worth of outdoor lighting.
The winners of the challenge were Team Blue’s Ben and Tom, who relied more on Tom’s physical abilities than design superiority.
He simply ran fast, dived long and collected $10,000 in outdoor lighting for distance achievement.
There was no fly-my-pretty for third-placed Team Purple, whose Love Bug had less flutter than a safe dropped from the observation deck of the Empire State Building, while Orange’s fourth-placed Stealth Flyer went down like an unlucky mallard on the opening day of the duck-hunting season.
The challenge was judged by politician David Seymour, a man well familiar with incompetence and humiliation from his agonising tenure on Dancing With The Stars.
Birdman was an interlude to a high-intensity week so far for all teams, as they chase the Room Reveal $12,000 first prize.
The personal conflicts of recent weeks have been set aside and over-ridden by the sheer scale and importance of this week’s reno, although a sign on Orange’s Team’s house while Claire was painting outside — and Agni was looking for a reason not to — shows tension is never too far away.
“Team Gizzy Sucks” the sign reads, which is in a way correct — they have vacuumed the money out of most Room Reveals.
Yellow’s wounded rhino charge continues. They have had no problems hitting their deadlines, with Amy describing their progress as “a hive of bees working together as a family”.
That apialogical analogy fits in with one of the “secret” features of their kitchen — a table made by a Gisborne artist from upcycled beehives — and the colour on their wall, manuka honey.
This week teams are also required to create a themed dining room centre-piece.
Yellow drew fire as their theme and Amy has an idea of linking a cigarette plant (also known as a firecracker plant) to her home-made candles.
The renovation enthusiasts and home handypeople would have enjoyed last night’s episode, which featured plenty of onsite work coverage, appliance selection and the gradual coming together of design ideas.
Yellow’s three rival teams are facing issues but you get the feeling it will all work out and, come Room Reveal, there will be areas summed up by Amy’s favourite word . . . “amazing”.
This contrasts starkly with the most distressing image of the episode — Stu parading around House 4 in nothing but his undies.
Note to producers — if you’re not going to leave that on the editing floor, please carry the warning “the following features graphic images that may disturb”.