country-house – Michmutters

The Block judge Shaynna Blaze leaves contestant Sharon in tears

The Block judge Shaynna Blaze didn’t mince words when it came time to judge the first bathroom of the season, delivering some tough feedback to this year’s least-experienced team.

In short: Stop ruining this grand old country house, or you’ll have her to contend with.

Blaze and fellow judges Darren Palmer and Neale Whitaker went for their second walk-through of the five country properties on The Block: Tree Change during Sunday’s episode, and for the most part, their critics were positive.

Then it came time to visit accountant Ankur and lawyer-turned-actress Sharon’s bathroom. After some tough critiques in the first challenge, Sharon was confident she’d done a lot better this time around.

“I think I nailed the brief of luxe, sexy, but heritage,” she said.

“There are absolute nods to heritage all the way through… I hope they take away the energy, that feeling of luxury and country warmth that I think the buyer will want.”

They did not.

“Last week, Ankur and Sharon took us to the winery – this week, I’m not sure where they’ve taken us,” said Whitaker as the trio entered the bathroom.

“Well it ain’t this beautiful Victorian house, that’s for sure,” said Blaze, pointing out the details that most disappointed her: “Just because you’ve put that type of tap, and that type of bath, does not make it heritage at all. If any house could get me angry, it’s doing Este to that beautiful house we’ve walked through,” she said.

Blaze even asked the other two judges to start their critiques and come back to her, as the sight of the bathroom had put her “on the back foot”.

Whitaker was similarly disappointed, complaining the bathroom felt like a “pastiche” and didn’t feel “authentic”.

There was some positive feedback from Palmer though, who said he liked the room but still pointed out a few issues – tiling and an unnecessary internal wall – two things that would be very hard to change.

Blaze then continued her critique, announcing: “Honestly, it’s not a bathroom I’m feeling good in.”

She said it was especially tough to swallow, given Sharon and Ankur had chosen her favorite of the Victorian houses on offer this season.

“This is the grand dame, the jewel in the crown. Are you going to treat her like this? Because if you’re going to treat her like this, you’re going to have to deal with me,” she said.
As expected after that tough critique, Sharon and Ankur came dead last for bathroom week with a score of 20.5. (Friends Omar and Oz were the surprise winners with a score of 26, a big improvement on their negative feedback from the first challenge.)

Sharon was deflated after the judges’ scores rolled in, crying on camera as her husband comforted her.

“It just feels like I got it completely wrong, again. The choices that got caned today – they were mine,” she said.

“I’m over it and it’s week one, basically. I’m over it, and I’m so tired, and… maybe I don’t have a clue.”



The Block: Elle Ferguson and Joel Patfull leave show amid claims it wasn’t ‘on brand’

The Block’s first scandal of the season has finally aired, with influencer Elle Ferguson and her AFL star beau Joel Patfull bailing on the show without so much as a goodbye on Monday night’s episode.

It comes after weeks of headlines surrounding their shock exit, which host Scott Cam has slammed as “p*ss poor” and “unAustralian” in interviews ahead of the season.

Despite reports the couple left the competition to be with Patfull’s mother after a nasty fall, it appears the duo bowed out of the challenge because it wasn’t “on brand”, with Cam telling fellow competitors they’d complained that the toilet paper was “too scratchy”.

Ahead of the shock revelation, Patfull and Ferguson’s first room challenge copped some negative criticism from judges Shaynna Blaze, Neale Whitaker and Darren Palmer, who commented that it was “too Bondi” for the country setting.

“They have smashed the life out of this home… and that breaks my heart,” Blaze said of the room’s lack of character features.

Whitaker agreed: “If they stick with this look throughout the old part of the house and the modern part of the house, it’s going to get very stale and very samey, very quickly.”

He recommended the pair “amp up the heritage, and “have respect for the original bones” in the coming weeks.

But rather than take heed of the advice, the glamorous pair left without a word, leaving the house they’d been assigned in a state of disarray.

On hearing of their departure the next morning, Scotty was in disbelief.

“They just don’t feel like it’s … right for them to do The Block,” executive producer Julian Cress told him.

“Why would you leave after two days?” Cam marveled.

Breaking the news to the remaining contestants, he said: “Last night, if you might remember in the studio, I gave you guys an out … an opportunity, if you thought you couldn’t cut it on the show, you could leave if you wanted to, you could pull the pin.

“I obviously said that tongue in cheek because I didn’t think anyone would drop an opportunity like this, but I’ve just found out that Joel and Elle are on their way to the airport. They have left the show,” he explained to gasps from the cast.

“Why didn’t they even say goodbye?” asked Jenny from House 4.

“They didn’t say goodbye… They didn’t say thanks for having us… They just left,” Cam said, elaborating that they didn’t suggest they were leaving because of a family emergency.

“Well, everything’s fine, apparently, for some reason, The Block isn’t ‘on brand’ for them … And they also said that the toilet paper was too scratchy,” he told the shocked contestants who admitted they had all taken to “weeing in the backyard” amid the competition.

Meanwhile, Sarah-Jane, from winning House 1, declared she had predicted the couple weren’t Block material.

“I saw that coming… They didn’t make any effort to get to know us… They looked miserable the whole time… I heard that they were like ‘I can’t wear that, that doesn’t represent us’,” she told the others, adding that they seemed “sour” after coming fourth in the room reveal.

On hearing they were to be replaced imminently, she said: “I’m glad that someone’s getting the opportunity that’s going to appreciate it … Don’t bring them from Bondi.”

Parents-of-three Rachel and Ryan have now shacked up in House 2 instead of Ferguson and Patfull.

The Block Tree Change continues Tuesday night from 7.30pm on Channel 9

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