It’s ham­mer time on The Block

Put the cham­pers on ice, Block­heads, auc­tion day is com­ing

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - CONTENTS - Neale Whi­taker:

If I had a dol­lar for ev­ery time some­one asked me, “Who wins The Block?” I’d have about fifty bucks. But even if I knew – and I don’t – I wouldn’t tell. Af­ter 12 weeks of blood, sweat, tears and tantrums, I’m not go­ing to be the spoiler.

The fact is, no­body knows, as the auc­tion hasn’t yet hap­pened. Like the rest of Aus­tralia, I will be glued to the TV on Satur­day night to see which of the show’s five cou­ples go home: a) a lit­tle bit richer, b) very much richer, or c) dev­as­tated.

I’d like them all to win, but alas it’s a com­pe­ti­tion, and af­ter 10 sea­sons of judging, I can safely say it’s game on. De­spite those all-im­por­tant re­serve prices, it’s a far more level play­ing field than it might seem, and that’s what makes the auc­tion ir­re­sistible view­ing.

This is the point when Shaynna, Dar­ren and I can put our feet up (metaphor­i­cally at least) and say, “Our work is done.” We’ve given our best ad­vice to five cou­ples (make that four cou­ples and a pair of lar­rikins) from dif­fer­ent cities and – in this series – dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions, who have com­peted to build su­per-lux­ury apartments in one of in­ner Mel­bourne’s most sought-af­ter sub­urbs. Apartments with mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar price tags that tick all the boxes on the real-es­tate bucket list: ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy, un­der-floor heat­ing, cut­ting-edge kitchens, but­ler’s pantries, walk-in wardrobes, lush ter­races and some dizzy­ing sky­line views. And, yes, there are a hand­ful of ver­ti­cal gar­dens, but the real jewel in the crown is the hor­i­zon­tal one atop the mag­nif­i­cent Art Deco build­ing.

Judging The Block is no pop­u­lar­ity con­test; it’s tough love. When I likened New­cas­tle cou­ple Kim and Chris’s pow­der room to a pub­lic loo, I meant it. It was cold and cheer­less. But, a week be­fore,

I’d told them their master bed­room was the most glam­orous I’d ever seen on the show. I meant that, too.

Soar­ing highs and plung­ing lows are par for the course on a re­al­ity ren­o­va­tion show, but it’s been a great com­pe­ti­tion and I’d like this par­tic­u­lar bunch of Block­heads to know they’re the best yet.

So Kar­lie, Will, Dan, Carleen, Andy, Ben, Sasha, Julia, Chris and Kim… here’s to all of you. There’s not a chump among you, and there never was. May the best apart­ment win. Neale Whi­taker is ed­i­tor-in-chief of Vogue Liv­ing.

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