The Block Episode One Recap


Welcome to the new series of The Block. This series will be screening four nights a week, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night.

This years teams are:

  • Maree and James: South Auckland team Maree Wright (27) an event manager and her property valuer partner of 13 years, James Steele (28)
  • Jo and Damo: Recently married Feilding team, former children’s clothing designer Jo (34) and her Policeman husband, Damo Neal (36)
  • Alex and Corban: Married West Auckland team, fashion buyer Alex (29) and her mechanical engineer husband Corban Walls (32)
  • Quinn and Ben: Christchurch team, beauty therapist Quinn (26) and her husband Business Development Manager (30) Ben Alexandre.

You can read more about the houses here.

Our hosts, Mark Richardson and Shannon Ryan are back this year, and there are two new judges this year, Mark Gascoigne and Shelley Ferguson.

This year the houses will be renovated in the swanky central Auckland suburb of Point Chevalier.

Two pre-war bungalows have been cut in half, and over 12 weeks, need to be turned into modern two-storey houses. Each house will have a media room, butlers pantry and outdoor dining.

The teams only have incomplete plans, so that should make things interesting.

Tonight’s episode highlights:
  • The teams meet Mark in Point Chevalier
  • First team to arrive is Jo and Damo from Feilding.
  • Next up are Maree and James from South Auckland.
  • Third to arrive are Quinn and Ben from Christchurch. These two seem pretty funny, if their amateur skill levels are for reals. Go the underdogs!
  • Last but not least are Alex and Corban from West Auckland. Apparently these two already have a lot of renovating experience. In fact, the guy (which one is the guy, Alex or Corban, doh!) has already built a house out of shipping containers.
  • The cars haven’t been hidden this year. The cars at in the rear carpark of MOTAT, which from my limited knowledge of Auckland is somewhere near the zoo.
  • They head off somewhere. I am not exactly sure where they are running – oh off to MOTAT.
  • Wow the challenge is quite cool. They have to drive theirs out of the exit, but each of the cars is in a little maze/traffic jam of other cars that are blocking their exit.
  • To get their car out, they need to move the other cars (it will take a minimum of 17 moves). They can only move forwards and backwards.
  • The team that gets back to The Block first gets first choice.
  • The contestants are all over the TV ads tonight. Do you think they get paid, or is it all a part of being on the show?
  • Some of the contestants take a lot longer to figure out where their car was.
  • Maree and James were in the wrong car for half of the challenge.
  • I wish they would just get to The Block. This isn’t particularly thrilling.
  • Maree and James, even with their false start, head out first. They head off to Grey Lynn.


Second ad break – Time at The Block so far this episode: 0 minutes.

  • Second team to leave are Alex and Corban, with Jo and Damo hot on their heels.
  • Final team to leave are Quinn and Ben.
  • Maree and James get to Mark and hear about the next challenge – getting through three walls.
  • They have to build scaffholding to create a ladder to get over the first wall.
  • To get over the second wall, they have to build the frame for a wall, and use that to climb over the wall.
  • To get over the final wall, they have to use a cheery picker.
  • Inside the toolboxes are vouches to use on their house.
  • Maree and James are stuck on the cherry picker, and the other teams are catching up.


Third ad break – Time at The Block so far this episode: 0 minutes

  • The cherry picker is a lot harder than it seems. They are calling it a scissor lift, so maybe that is what it’s called.
  • Alex, one of the two hipsters wears glasses in her straight to camera chats, but not in the challenge. I wonder if they are even real glasses, or just for fashion.
  • Maree and James are first out, with Alex and Corban hot on their heals.
  • I wish that back on the hill at Point Chev Mark just gave them their cars and vouchers and we didn’t have to watch this challenge, but that was never going to happen. Have to drrrraaaaaggggg everything out don’t you producers!


Fourth ad break – Time at The Block so far this episode: 0 minutes

  • The teams are stuck in traffic.
  • This time they have come to Bunnings. They have to fit everything that Shannon has got for them into their car.
  • Jo and Damo are racing with Quinn and Ben to get to Bunnings for the challenge.
  • Alex and Corban overtake Maree and James in the carpacking challenge.

Fifth ad break – Time at The Block so far this episode: 0 minutes

  • All four teams are now on the way to The Block – which team will get their first.It looks like it will be #teamhipster (Alex and Corban).
  • Second to arrive are Quinn and Ben.
  • Third place are Maree and James.
  • In last spot are Jo and Damo.  They get a sympathy clap.

They aren’t at the actual block. But they are at an apartment complex for more challenges.


So after our first episode, we have had not-even-one minute at The Block. Oh well, maybe tomorrow night!


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  • Regan Cunliffe

    Who was your favourite team roger?

    • roger

      Favourite team definitely Quinn and Ben. How were they all in person?

  • Anno

    gotta love how tonight episode was just hour long advertisement for Honda tho!

  • Tania

    My favourites are definitely Jo and Damo, followed closely by Maree and James.

    The Honda Jazz cars are not good choices for this sort of show … unless Honda can come to the party and provide them all with a ‘pool’ CRV to use as they need to (much like how the Oz version have the contestants driving Suzuki Swifts, but they have a van to use when they need it).

    • Tania

      Just to add … I hate it when out-of-town contestants go on about locals having an advantage as they know where to go … yeah; that might be the case, but don’t go on about it … because your ‘fans’ will soon tire of it. And even if Feilding doesn’t have traffic lights, Palmerston North sure does … and I’m sure these two venture over there more than occasionally. This said, the Feilding couple are just lovely.

    • roger

      I liked Damo till he said he was a cop

      • Jeseta

        What’s wrong with that?

        • roger

          He will walk around like an arrogant know-it-all.

  • WellingtonWahine

    I’m so sick of The Block, and the constant ads for it – sorry TV3…. Actually I got turned off the at the end of the first series when that couple got nothing for all their hard work. That’s when you should have revised the Australian format and said every contestant pair would get $10k whatever happened. Too unfair for me as a viewer. There’s a nasty mean streak in the way arguments are highlighted too. How about more joy? Too late for me, though. I’ll never watch it again.

    • Guest

      Don’t feel too sorry for that couple. They give interviews constantly to stay in the spotlight and she’s now writing a column for a weekly gossip rag.

  • Ana

    Have there been any more recaps of The Block since the first one?

    • Tricia R

      It doesn’t look like it.