Mark and Mitch spend this episode trying to renegotiate trades bills and flogging off their unwanted furniture and artwork to their builder Jason’s parents.
But the depths of their despair isn’t low enough for Tess, who is keeping an eagle eye on her next door neighbours. When a tradie turns up to install Mark and Mitch’s barbecue she on it like a seagull on a chip, demanding to know why they still have trades on site despite being broke.
“I’ve been stalked for the past six weeks about my budget and they haven’t,” she complains before confronting Mitch about his rogue tradie.
“I’m trying to get to the bottom of it because it feels like Luke and I have been playing by different rules.”
When Mitch explains the tradie came with the barbecue, which he and Mitch have already paid for, she’s still not satisfied.
“Luke and I have been in the spotlight for budget for five weeks. We had Scott Cam come in twice to get us to send trades home.”
It’s fairly safe to say nobody saw Mark and Mitch’s predicament coming. They won a $5000 ‘savvy savers’ prize – among their $35,000 in other cash bonuses – for crying out loud.
“I’m flabbergasted,” Cam tells the pair, before suggesting they hold a fire sale of artworks.
When he heads next door to Tess and Luke, he expects them to be pleased not to be the broke ones, but instead he arrives to a wave of complaints. Tess, and some of the other contestants, think it stinks that Mark and Mitch were able to fill their house with tradies and spend up big to win rooms, without anyone stepping in to have them ease off because they were going to run out of money.
“Of course they’re going to be winning rooms and smashing it every week when they have 20 people on site,” El’ise says.
But Scott says the enormous unexpected bills only arrived this week. Up until this point, they, and the producers, thought Mitch and Mark were flush with cash. And they won’t be allowed to put their house up for auction until they pay every last invoice.
And as for Tess’s complaining…
“We did you a favour!” Scott says, pointing out that if he hadn’t intervened and had them send trades home earlier in the season, they would be equally bankrupt now.
And he won’t brook any argument. When Luke and Tess complain they still don’t have a finished house because there’s some skirting boards and other things to attend to, Scott begins to see red.
“Mate, you’re a carpenter. Finish the bloody house,” he snaps.
It was an interesting exchange in light of the couple last week blasting the show in an interview with news.com.au, claiming they’d been unfairly portrayed as lazy.
Meanwhile, next door, Andy and Deb have quietly accumulated $33,000, but even so, they’re planning a simple roof terrace to save their cash for the final room – the front garden.
Matt and El’ise have high hopes of securing their first win in 10 weeks. They’re the only team doing anything other than basic plastering and painting in their garage. They’re adding tiled skirting boards, a painted floor, storage units and a mural. Talk about over-capitalisation.
Jesse and Mel are also sitting pretty. They’re so relaxed Jesse gives his former enemy Mitch a lesson in tile cutting. Keith has been making a ham-fisted job of it, using a brick cutter to slice the porcelain tiles. Even when Jesse intervenes and shows Mitch the right way to do it, Keith remains blissfully ignorant of the fact Jesse is a qualified tiler. It’s looking more and more likely this season will end with him none the wiser.
The tile lesson ends with a Jesse and Mitch hug. Who’d have thought.
“Jesse and I have a strong bond because we’re both tilers,” Mitch says.
His partner Mark isn’t so chipper. His day of begging for tradies to cut their bills has left him upset and embarrassed.
“It feels like I’ve let people down. Everyone on the team who worked so hard to get this close,” he says.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for him. He and Mitch have been unbearably cocky at times, but no Block fan wants to see the first non-completion in the show’s history.
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