It’s hammer time on The Block
Put the champers on ice, Blockheads, auction day is coming
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.