Going to the dogs to break Block tedium

Gisborne couple Amy Moore and Stu Watts. File picture

Back in the day, most New Zealand families would congregate in the lounge at around 6pm each Sunday for their weekly fix of what became an iconic TV series — The Dog Show.

Many would accompany it with dinner — in the Taewa family’s case, home-made scones plastered with Fernleaf butter and golden syrup, before the uprise of the cholesterol Nazis.

It was hosted for 15 years by John Gordon, an amiable fellow with a wit drier than eating crackers during a sandstorm in the Sahara, and featured whistling farmers and their one-syllable-named dogs trying to herd sheep through, over and around obstacles or into pens.

Last night’s episode of The Block NZ paid tribute to that golden era of TV, albeit with a difference that had my 10-year-old son cackling like a witch on nitrous oxide.

The Feeling Sheepish challenge broke the tedium as the four teams work on the entrance-way, stairwells and powder rooms of their Hobsonville Point townhouses.

Host Mark Richardson describes it as one of the more niggly and technically-challenging areas, while site supervisor Peter “The Wolf” Wolfkamp warns it is “the one space that has tripped up every team” in past Block series.

But with teams now well into the flow two and a half weeks out from auction day, you get the feeling the only major dramas they face from now are ones concocted by the producers and script writers.

We’ll see.

They clearly didn’t have too much to work with this week — dedicating time the viewers can never recover to such banality as Team Halftime Orange’s Claire, and Team Deep Purple’s Em and Chlo, measuring armpit hairs (I quote a 10-year-old when I say “ewwww”) to Claire and her other Orange segment Agni, debating the correct pronunciation of Bardot (no Agni, you muppet, it’s bar-doe).

This riveting action all went on while three of the teams faced the potentially-derailing task of completing the exterior painting of their houses before the end of the week, when the outside scaffolding is to be taken down.

Not a problem for Team Mellow Yellow trooper Stu Watts, who has become the stuff of Block labouring legend.

“You’re still beating us, even though you have got more space (to paint),” compliments Em.

Double the space to be exact.

Even Agni is unable to escape brush work, thanks largely to him losing driving privileges after being busted speeding during a challenge.

“That is music to my ears,” says The Wolf.

“Maybe he’ll stick around and do some work.”

“I’d rather pull a nail,” bemoans Agni.

The only team not having to paint are Team Blue Suede Shoes Ben and Tom, whose work was done for them courtesy of winning Dinner Wars Week.

The Block site is visited by 2016 Block contestants Nicky and Tiff, who pass on some valuable advice. They tell the teams to embrace and enjoy the rest of their time.

“What you get out of this experience is so much more than money.”

The Block veterans also had some sage words for Amy when questioned about the social media sewage system.

“We tried to keep our mouths shut (“I’m not very good at that,” replies Amy) and ignore the haters.”

The show ends with a sheep-herding debacle. One team member is the farmer, the other is the dog, complete with canine onesie. No one succeeds, so the four teams split the prize of $8000.

We don’t know if the teams got to keep the onesies. We don’t know if Amy will carry out the Gizzy pyjamas tradition and wear it to the supermarket on a Saturday morning.

  • I know, I know . . . Amy Moore was referred to as Amy Watts yesterday. No, she and Stu did not secretly marry during the series, filmed five weeks ahead of what we see. It was pointed out that a very nice ring could be bought out of the $100,000 first prize (if they were to win), although Stu could counter it would also buy a sweet set of wheels.

Back in the day, most New Zealand families would congregate in the lounge at around 6pm each Sunday for their weekly fix of what became an iconic TV series — The Dog Show.

Many would accompany it with dinner — in the Taewa family’s case, home-made scones plastered with Fernleaf butter and golden syrup, before the uprise of the cholesterol Nazis.

It was hosted for 15 years by John Gordon, an amiable fellow with a wit drier than eating crackers during a sandstorm in the Sahara, and featured whistling farmers and their one-syllable-named dogs trying to herd sheep through, over and around obstacles or into pens.

Last night’s episode of The Block NZ paid tribute to that golden era of TV, albeit with a difference that had my 10-year-old son cackling like a witch on nitrous oxide.

The Feeling Sheepish challenge broke the tedium as the four teams work on the entrance-way, stairwells and powder rooms of their Hobsonville Point townhouses.

Host Mark Richardson describes it as one of the more niggly and technically-challenging areas, while site supervisor Peter “The Wolf” Wolfkamp warns it is “the one space that has tripped up every team” in past Block series.

But with teams now well into the flow two and a half weeks out from auction day, you get the feeling the only major dramas they face from now are ones concocted by the producers and script writers.

We’ll see.

They clearly didn’t have too much to work with this week — dedicating time the viewers can never recover to such banality as Team Halftime Orange’s Claire, and Team Deep Purple’s Em and Chlo, measuring armpit hairs (I quote a 10-year-old when I say “ewwww”) to Claire and her other Orange segment Agni, debating the correct pronunciation of Bardot (no Agni, you muppet, it’s bar-doe).

This riveting action all went on while three of the teams faced the potentially-derailing task of completing the exterior painting of their houses before the end of the week, when the outside scaffolding is to be taken down.

Not a problem for Team Mellow Yellow trooper Stu Watts, who has become the stuff of Block labouring legend.

“You’re still beating us, even though you have got more space (to paint),” compliments Em.

Double the space to be exact.

Even Agni is unable to escape brush work, thanks largely to him losing driving privileges after being busted speeding during a challenge.

“That is music to my ears,” says The Wolf.

“Maybe he’ll stick around and do some work.”

“I’d rather pull a nail,” bemoans Agni.

The only team not having to paint are Team Blue Suede Shoes Ben and Tom, whose work was done for them courtesy of winning Dinner Wars Week.

The Block site is visited by 2016 Block contestants Nicky and Tiff, who pass on some valuable advice. They tell the teams to embrace and enjoy the rest of their time.

“What you get out of this experience is so much more than money.”

The Block veterans also had some sage words for Amy when questioned about the social media sewage system.

“We tried to keep our mouths shut (“I’m not very good at that,” replies Amy) and ignore the haters.”

The show ends with a sheep-herding debacle. One team member is the farmer, the other is the dog, complete with canine onesie. No one succeeds, so the four teams split the prize of $8000.

We don’t know if the teams got to keep the onesies. We don’t know if Amy will carry out the Gizzy pyjamas tradition and wear it to the supermarket on a Saturday morning.

  • I know, I know . . . Amy Moore was referred to as Amy Watts yesterday. No, she and Stu did not secretly marry during the series, filmed five weeks ahead of what we see. It was pointed out that a very nice ring could be bought out of the $100,000 first prize (if they were to win), although Stu could counter it would also buy a sweet set of wheels.
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