Scoring close as strategy and tactics reign

It's not Tiddlywinks, as a disgruntled All Blacks captain once argued to the referee . . . but The Block NZ is very much a game.

Monopoly naturally comes to mind but it’s more like a chess match.

Strategy and tactics are as much a part of this house renovation reality TV series as is the work itself.

Add to that the regular “game-breakers” and challenges, the personalities and the producers’ penchant for throwing in more curve balls than a world series, and it all makes for compulsive, albeit at times cringe-inducing, viewing.

Last night’s Week 5 Room Reveal episode threw up plenty of this, as for the second week running no total score was given.

While it would be pushing it to say one was precariously placed at the edge of their seat, the family living room has produced the closest scoring yet — so far, that is.

Only judge Kristina Rapley’s scores were shown on host Mark Richardson’s blackboard reveal.

At the top, once again, were Gizzy Hard couple Amy Moore and Stu Watts, but a fourth victory for Team Yellow and a bounce-back from their DQ the previous week is no done deal.

Yellow and Team Orange’s Claire and Agni were locked at 8.5 apiece, Orange’s original score of 7.5 boosted by a bonus point for winning the compulsory “give and take” — a floral arrangement of a pre-selected vase.

Agni looked like the kid who opened up his Christmas present from his great-aunt Hilda to find a hand-knitted jersey inside when Richardson first turned the board. On the back of probably their most glowing critique yet from the judges, Agni was expecting something a little higher.

Perhaps karma for Orange’s petty attempt in the episode’s game-changer.

Teams were required to produce a framed “meme” — an image spread on social media — that reflected life so far on The Block. Orange chose to mock Amy and Stu’s actions that led to their disqualification. To work, it needed to be funny. It wasn’t.

“It’s a bit mean, rubbing it in our face,” Amy said.

The game-changer was won by Team Blue’s Ben and Tom for their meme showng Tom upside down inside a skip bin and the words “Ben and Tom searching for judges’ compliments”.

They collected a $2250 kitchen appliance prize pack and “a secret advantage” in a challenge.

While Gizzy Hard’s scoring was down on the perfection they achieved in earlier reveals, they remain clearly in the judges’ good books.

Magazine editor Rapley described the room as having “pudding vibes” while fellow judge and interior designer Jason Bonham said it was “like a giant caramel sundae”.

“I love the peach tone on the walls but I think it is probably going to be polarising,” Kristina said.

“It’s exceptionally well finished,” said Bonham. “Their styling again is very much on point.”

The pair agreed there was a bit of “same-same” coming through and Rapley felt they needed to “see a bit of freshness”.

Overall, though, said Richardson, the judges felt it was “another great room — great colour, great execution and great styling.”

“How does that make you feel?” Richardson asked Amy in relation to the “too samey” comment.

“A little bit confused but in saying that, an eight-and-a-half is still a pretty good score . . . we’re rapt.”

Team Purple’s Chlo and Em drew contrasting reactions from the judges — Bonham describing their room as “a disaster”, Rapley “totally disagreeing” and giving them 7.5.

The boys Blue, who have struggled with styling throughout the series, enjoyed some positive words and a score of seven.

“For the first time it’s got a bit of life to it,” said Bonham. “It’s nice to see them take a few more risks.”

Earlier in the show, a Block collective meeting was called at which Agni proposed they get their Gib delivered a day earlier each week.

Teams Blue and Purple agreed. Team Yellow, whose organisation and time management are clearly superior to at least two of the other teams and, said no, much to the others’ disdain.

“That went down like a cup of cold sick,” said Stu while Ben accused them of “saying no just to say no”.

“We’re getting eyeballed from everybody because we’re supposedly putting a stick in the spokes,” said Stu.

“But that’s alright, it’s The Block.”

Game on.

It's not Tiddlywinks, as a disgruntled All Blacks captain once argued to the referee . . . but The Block NZ is very much a game.

Monopoly naturally comes to mind but it’s more like a chess match.

Strategy and tactics are as much a part of this house renovation reality TV series as is the work itself.

Add to that the regular “game-breakers” and challenges, the personalities and the producers’ penchant for throwing in more curve balls than a world series, and it all makes for compulsive, albeit at times cringe-inducing, viewing.

Last night’s Week 5 Room Reveal episode threw up plenty of this, as for the second week running no total score was given.

While it would be pushing it to say one was precariously placed at the edge of their seat, the family living room has produced the closest scoring yet — so far, that is.

Only judge Kristina Rapley’s scores were shown on host Mark Richardson’s blackboard reveal.

At the top, once again, were Gizzy Hard couple Amy Moore and Stu Watts, but a fourth victory for Team Yellow and a bounce-back from their DQ the previous week is no done deal.

Yellow and Team Orange’s Claire and Agni were locked at 8.5 apiece, Orange’s original score of 7.5 boosted by a bonus point for winning the compulsory “give and take” — a floral arrangement of a pre-selected vase.

Agni looked like the kid who opened up his Christmas present from his great-aunt Hilda to find a hand-knitted jersey inside when Richardson first turned the board. On the back of probably their most glowing critique yet from the judges, Agni was expecting something a little higher.

Perhaps karma for Orange’s petty attempt in the episode’s game-changer.

Teams were required to produce a framed “meme” — an image spread on social media — that reflected life so far on The Block. Orange chose to mock Amy and Stu’s actions that led to their disqualification. To work, it needed to be funny. It wasn’t.

“It’s a bit mean, rubbing it in our face,” Amy said.

The game-changer was won by Team Blue’s Ben and Tom for their meme showng Tom upside down inside a skip bin and the words “Ben and Tom searching for judges’ compliments”.

They collected a $2250 kitchen appliance prize pack and “a secret advantage” in a challenge.

While Gizzy Hard’s scoring was down on the perfection they achieved in earlier reveals, they remain clearly in the judges’ good books.

Magazine editor Rapley described the room as having “pudding vibes” while fellow judge and interior designer Jason Bonham said it was “like a giant caramel sundae”.

“I love the peach tone on the walls but I think it is probably going to be polarising,” Kristina said.

“It’s exceptionally well finished,” said Bonham. “Their styling again is very much on point.”

The pair agreed there was a bit of “same-same” coming through and Rapley felt they needed to “see a bit of freshness”.

Overall, though, said Richardson, the judges felt it was “another great room — great colour, great execution and great styling.”

“How does that make you feel?” Richardson asked Amy in relation to the “too samey” comment.

“A little bit confused but in saying that, an eight-and-a-half is still a pretty good score . . . we’re rapt.”

Team Purple’s Chlo and Em drew contrasting reactions from the judges — Bonham describing their room as “a disaster”, Rapley “totally disagreeing” and giving them 7.5.

The boys Blue, who have struggled with styling throughout the series, enjoyed some positive words and a score of seven.

“For the first time it’s got a bit of life to it,” said Bonham. “It’s nice to see them take a few more risks.”

Earlier in the show, a Block collective meeting was called at which Agni proposed they get their Gib delivered a day earlier each week.

Teams Blue and Purple agreed. Team Yellow, whose organisation and time management are clearly superior to at least two of the other teams and, said no, much to the others’ disdain.

“That went down like a cup of cold sick,” said Stu while Ben accused them of “saying no just to say no”.

“We’re getting eyeballed from everybody because we’re supposedly putting a stick in the spokes,” said Stu.

“But that’s alright, it’s The Block.”

Game on.

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