Look out Jennifer Lopez, Scotty Cam from The Block is moving up the world – now he has half a street. Well, enough of a street for five houses worth anyway.
The newest series of the hit Nine show premiered on Sunday night and instantly launched the television careers of two characters from the NSW South Coast, going only by the names of ‘Sticks’ and ‘Wombat’.
The NSW south coast pair are contestants alongside Queenslanders Hannah and Clint, Melburnians Josh and Elyse, Perth’s Georgia and Ronnie and forty-somethings Sarah and Jason, who are rather hilariously described as the show’s “old couple”, albeit with an air of bemusement from Cam.
As for Cam himself, you’ve gotta love the show’s host because even now that Nine’s hit show has veered from apartment blocks to old weatherboard bungalows, his enthusiasm comes out of every pore.
After announcing to viewers how the houses actually made it to the suburban Melbourne site – “all I’ve got to do is find ’em, chop ’em in half, stick ’em on a truck and get ’em here” – the Gold Logie-winning host is pictured at one point even reversing one of the trucks with a house on it.
No doubt it will prove a good lesson to the rather fresh-faced and happy contestants who are still in denial about the level of work (and delirium) in front of them.
Describing the show’s dilapidated buildings as “too good to demolish”, Cam says “these joints have been home sweet home for Aussie families for generations and now they get to do it all again”.
But in the first episode it was the two larrikins who stole the show. Although Sticks and Wombat play up to every Aussie stereotype in the Nine casting book, viewers will love it.
Reminiscent of those two marvellous old hecklers on The Muppets (Statler and Waldorf, for the trivia heads among us), the friends appear to be giving a running commentary to every development of the show, with the best dry Aussie humour possible.
Take the arrival of Insta-perfect couple Josh and Elyse – she is a model with 600,000+ Instagram followers, he is a plumber with similarly good looks.
Wombat, the one with the true blue nickname and the bushy red beard, chimed in: “How ugly are Josh and Elyse,” he says. “They have to be the ugliest couple on The Block.“
When all of the couples took stock of the houses they have been assigned and the job in front of them, there were some restrained but slightly panicky comments: “You’re joking, they’re weatherboard houses,” exclaimed Ronnie from Perth, on arrival with his wife, Georgia.
“There’s not a lot of house here or a lot of roof,” said Sarah, who with her husband of 25 years Jason, has been dubbed the “nice” couple of the show. (“Golly gee” appears to be their swearing phrase of choice – for the moment, anyway).
All the contestants had the usual level of incredulity to the state of the houses they have to renovate. Then there was Wombat’s reaction. “When we walked in, we found a derelict old ice den,” he said.
With 48 hours to renovate a bedroom — and then face the feedback from the show’s judges — surely it’s only onwards and upwards from there.
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