The Block‘s youthful “Insta-couple” have proved their glamorous side extends to renovations, with a win by half a point for their main bathroom on the show’s “reveal” episode.
With a big, round bath and pared-back styling, the bathroom created by Josh and Elyse was described as “dramatic” by the impressed judges on the Nine show on Sunday night.
Elyse admitted they took a risk splashing out on their unusual bath. “We did spend money on it, but it paid off, thank god,” she said.
It was a choice that immediately wowed the judges. “That is the best bath here,” declared Shaynna Blaze.
After joking whether they should all have a swim in it, judge Darren Palmer said he was seriously impressed by the duo’s efforts: “The bath is dramatic, the skylights are dramatic, the mirror’s amazing – I love all the play of circles on circles as well.”
Elyse and Josh were jubilant after receiving the winning score of 27 out of 30 – half a point ahead of runners-up Sticks and Wombat – with a $10,000 prize.
But there was less excitement among the other contestants, with some serious sour grapes on show at the end of the episode from contestants including Ronnie and Georgia, with Georgia openly critical of Shaynna Blaze’s scoring of their bathroom, to the point where she appeared to mimic the judge’s observations (and not in a polite way) on the car trip home.
Married forty-somethings Sarah and Jason, too, were unhappy with their result, with Sarah declaring: “Fourth – it’s humiliating”.
But runners-ups Wombat and Sticks, who missed out by only half a point, were accepting of the decision. In words of advice that should perhaps reverberate across the neighbourhood, Wombat said: “If you get bad feedback from the judges, just cop it.”
The larrikin pair from the NSW south coast seriously impressed the judges with their bathroom makeover. Their symmetrical design was described as “beautiful” by judge Neale Whitaker and “an architectural success” by Blaze.
“In seven days the level of sophistication has gone through the roof,” Whitaker said. “We’re seeing a lot of personality in this bathroom but in an appropriate way,” said Palmer.
For third place, Georgia and Ronnie created a bathroom that caused tension among the judges – primarily Whitaker and Palmer – because of a $1500 gold speaker placed on the floor.
The Perth couple had earlier argued about the choice of the gold speaker, with Ronnie choosing it without consulting Georgia, who was not keen on using it in the bathroom.
Palmer criticised its inclusion, particularly from a cost perspective. “From a budgeting point of view, it’s not smart,” he said.
Whitaker, however, felt Palmer was over-reacting to it. “I can’t honestly stand here in week one of the competition and take Ronnie and Georgia to task for this,” Whitaker said.
“Ooh, this is going to be a feisty series,” remarked Blaze, after sensing the tension between her colleagues.
Having the main bathroom as the primary challenge of the first week of this series was always going to be a challenge for the new contestants, particularly those without any renovation experience.
Queenslanders Hannah and Clint were placed in last position for their main bathroom, after a week that Scott Cam described as “a shocker”.
The couple were in tears after failing to complete the designated room, which they had divided into a bathroom and separate toilet.
But it was their error of choosing the wrong type of tiles – at one point Scott Cam said there appeared to be about “a billion” mosaic tiles which still needed grouting – which left them behind schedule.
“Obviously time management is their big downfall,” said Whitaker, when judging their incomplete main bathroom. “It’s a great shame [it’s not finished] because it would have been a great room.”
But his enthusiasm went down the drain when he saw the separate toilet enclave.
“All the good vibes I was feeling in the main bathroom have just left me,” he said. “It’s a really sad-looking toilet, I’m sorry.”
The couple scored only a three out of 10 from Blaze, with 6.5 from both Whitaker and Palmer, for a total score of only 16.
Cam said, however, the judges had generally considered the main bathrooms to be of a high standard, given it was only week one of this year’s competition.
“If you read these bathrooms as a sign of things to come, I reckon we’re in for one hell of a ride,” said Whitaker.
The final scores for this week’s challenge were Josh and Elyse on 27, Sticks and Wombat on 26.5, Ronnie and Georgia on 25.5, Sarah and Jason on 24 and Hannah and Clint on 16.