Fans flock around the Block

Thou­sands queue for peek in­side TV show homes be­fore they go to auc­tion

The New Zealand Herald - - News - Meghan Lawrence

Thou­sands of peo­ple lined up to see The Block NZ houses yes­ter­day dur­ing the first pub­lic open home. Fans of the pop­u­lar ren­o­va­tion TV se­ries had a chance to go through the fin­ished Hob­sonville Point prop­er­ties and even meet the four star­ring teams; Amy and Stu, Chlo and Em, Ben and Tom and Claire and Agni.

Those want­ing a sneak peek joined long queues that filed through the homes be­tween 9am and 2pm view­ing the liv­ing, kitchen, bath­room, and out­door ar­eas. How­ever, the top floors of the homes were off lim­its to keep the queues mov­ing swiftly.

Or­gan­is­ers ex­pected about 4000 peo­ple through­out the day.

The sev­enth season of the show has been run­ning since July 8, with the houses go­ing to auc­tion on Septem­ber 30.

Real es­tate agency Ray White has put the homes on the mar­ket with the listings for 21, 23, 25 and 27 Frances Bry­ers Rd go­ing live in the last week.

Amy and Stu’s house at 27 Frances Bry­ers Rd is de­scribed in the mar­ket­ing ma­te­rial as hav­ing a vi­sion­ary study nook and read­ing re­treat and bold taste­ful colour choices.

The house ap­peared to be the judges’ favourite, cel­e­brat­ing the most room wins.

“Ev­ery de­sign de­ci­sion in this

The houses are to be auc­tioned on Septem­ber 30 at the Grand Mil­len­nium in Auck­land at 7pm.

house . . . ex­em­pli­fies cut­ting-edge style and live­abil­ity.”

Chlo and Em’s agents de­scribed their house, 25 Frances Bry­ers Rd, as be­ing styled to de­signer per­fec­tion with a won­der­ful fam­ily zone.

Other high­lights of the house in­clude a pow­der room, sky­light over the bath and the in­ter­nal ac­cess garage with elec­tric car charger.

Auck­land friends Ben and Tom’s house at 23 Frances Bry­ers Rd is de­scribed as triple-level liv­ing with the most sky­lights on The Block. It also has a “mind-blow­ing” bath­room and lots of sun from the huge light well.

While 21 Frances Bry­ers Rd, cre­ated by Hamil­ton cou­ple Claire and Agni, has a kitchen that is a busy fam­ily’s dream come true as the mess can be hid­den in its large but­ler’s pantry. “Clever, time­less de­sign will never go out of style,” the list­ing said.

For the first time on ei­ther The Block NZ or The Block Aus­tralia, bid­ders can bid re­motely.

Gavl has part­nered with the block to let po­ten­tial buy­ers bid and watch the auc­tions live from wher­ever they are once they have pre-reg­is­tered.

Back in July, four new teams of DIY en­thu­si­asts de­scended on The Block NZ’s Hob­sonville Point site, with a twin­kle in their eye and a hope­ful spring in their step.

Ap­prox­i­mately 3000 episodes later, those same four teams are stag­ger­ing down the home stretch to­wards auc­tion night, fu­elled by just a few snatched hours of sleep and bot­tom­less cups of show spon­sor cof­fee.

It would be safe to say Amy and Stu, Ben and Tom, Claire and Agni, and Chlo and Em have all learned a few hard les­sons dur­ing their ten­ure on The Block.

And af­ter spend­ing more hours of my life than is prob­a­bly healthy watch­ing the show this year, I’ve dis­cov­ered a few things, too:

DIY doesn’t mean squat

Just in case prospec­tive con­tes­tants haven’t al­ready taken note, suc­cess­fully com­pet­ing on The Block NZ is as much about win­ning ran­dom games of skill as it is about know­ing which end of a ham­mer to hold.

If you’re plan­ning on ap­ply­ing for any fu­ture sea­sons, it might pay to start prac­tis­ing the fol­low­ing: dec­o­rat­ing cakes us­ing power tools, cre­at­ing paint­ings out of scraps of car­pet, herd­ing sheep us­ing a hu­man dressed as a sheep­dog, and build­ing tow­ers out of marsh­mal­lows and noo­dles.

Blocked pipes are no fun for any­one

The prover­bial well and truly hit the fan for a mor­ti­fied Chlo and Em this year when they man­aged to block up their town­house’s pipes in week four.

So, for the sake of the en­vi­ron­ment, the plumbers get­ting show­ered in sewage while cut­ting open blocked pipes, and the un­for­tu­nate view­ers watch­ing all this un­fold while eat­ing their din­ner, may all fu­ture programme con­tes­tants mer­ci­fully think be­fore they flush.

Sleep de­pri­va­tion will mess with your brain

That’s the only con­clu­sion I could come to when Amy and Stu hid their elec­tri­cian in an al­cove, so as to skirt the show’s strict 6pm Tools Down dead­line dur­ing hall­way week.

It re­ally would have been the per­fect crime for the Gizzy Hard crew, had it not been for those mi­cro­phones at­tached to them and the cam­eras film­ing them.

There is such a thing as too many re­cessed shelves

I’m not ex­actly sure what the ideal num­ber of re­cessed shelves in a bath­room is, but, thanks to Claire and Agni, I do know that nine is not it. And while we’re at it, let’s also agree now that ponga trees are best kept out­side and not in the fam­ily bath­room.

Me­di­aWorks has a new go-to star

What is it with David Sey­mour and Me­di­aWorks’ re­al­ity TV sta­ble this year?

Just a cou­ple of months af­ter hi­jack­ing Danc­ing With The Stars, the Act Party leader also stopped by The Block NZ to judge one of its 500 chal­lenges. At this rate, don’t be sur­prised if Sey­mour winds up be­ing one of the ner­vous grooms meet­ing his bride at the al­tar on Mar­ried at First Sight NZ too.

Be­ware those who ap­pear to not know what they’re do­ing

Right from the start of this year’s The Block NZ, Amy and Stu looked like a shoo-in for the se­ries win.

They snaf­fled the most cov­eted house and then pro­ceeded to pro­duce one im­pec­ca­bly fin­ished room af­ter an­other — even man­ag­ing to score 21 out of a pos­si­ble 20 at one point.

In con­trast, child­hood bud­dies Ben and Tom flailed around for nine weeks, mak­ing de­ci­sions that left all of us won­der­ing ex­actly where Ben had found his ar­chi­tec­ture de­gree.

But then came kitchen week, where the boys fi­nally pulled their en­tire house to­gether with a sim­ply stun­ning kitchen and din­ing space.

Sure, Ben and Tom’s house still fea­tures a void that looks quite ter­ri­fy­ing (a sen­sa­tion I imag­ine ev­ery­one en­joys feel­ing while walk­ing around their home), but they’re sud­denly giv­ing early fron­trun­ners Amy and Stu a run for their money.

A re­cent visit to the build­ing site by for­mer con­tes­tants Niki and Tiff wouldn’t have been that re­as­sur­ing for the Gis­borne cou­ple ei­ther.

Af­ter also win­ning the ma­jor­ity of room re­veals dur­ing their own season, Niki and Tiff fin­ished last on auc­tion night, while a cou­ple of blokes (Sam and Em­mett) walked away with the win.

Is his­tory about to re­peat on The Block NZ?At least it’s fi­nally start­ing to look like a real com­pe­ti­tion.

May all fu­ture programme con­tes­tants mer­ci­fully think be­fore they flush.

Photo / Greg Bowker

Saoirse Here­wani was first in line to see the Block NZ houses at Hob­sonville Point.

Af­ter nine weeks of bum­bling Ben and Tom are now mak­ing the run­ning.

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