Hammer falls on The Block Sky High


Hammers flying through the air, punch-ups between opponents, tear-laden emotional breakdowns … that’s what you might have expected to see if you visited the set of The Block: Sky High during the final hours of renovations. But the reality was a whole lot calmer. Rival contestants were lending a hand to those lagging behind, while others shared tools and tucked into free meals brought on site by a stranger dubbed ‘The Food Man’: a local restaurant owner who arrived each day as the cameras were rolling. It seemed the only chaos lay in the minefield that was the building site, where paint trays, tangled power cords and takeaway coffee cups created an obstacle course that, after 10 weeks, the Blundstone-clad contestants traversed with ease. Then, all of a sudden, it happened: the two teams assigned the shared kitchen and dining space of the ground-floor Challenge Apartment, South Australian twins Alisa and Lysandra and Victorians Bec and George, realised they’d painted the ceiling two very different colours. Surely this 11th-hour discovery would trigger a paint-hurling war? But no, even in the face of crisis – and mere hours from series end – the two sides played the compromise card, selecting a new shade that worked for everyone. Such a demonstration of camaraderie shouldn’t come as a great surprise. After all, the five couples who took part in the latest season of top-rating reality series The Block had worked, slept and renovated in close quarters for almost three months as they transformed each floor of a former hotel in South Melbourne into a 220-square-metre luxury apartment. Side by side they toiled in their designated apartments to present three bedrooms, five bathrooms, a kitchen, living room and terrace to the judging panel in weekly showdowns, plus two rooms apiece in the final challenge. Sure, there were tiffs along the way – and the occasional social-media tirade against series ‘villains’ Matt and Kim – but The Block isn’t the kind of experience you go through without forming some kind of connection. In the end, it was identical twin sisters Alisa and Lysandra who took out the series when their first-floor apartment sold at auction for $1.435 million – $295,000 over the reserve price. In the tradition of The Block, they were awarded this profit on top of a $100,000 prize, plus the Suzuki Shadow Sport they’d driven throughout the series. And they weren’t the only ones to drive away from the auction in style: Bec and George won the viewers’ choice award, which came in the form of host Scott Cam’s Suzuki C50T Boulevard.

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