There was a worrying development in Monday’s episode of The Block, as a contestant hammered into the floor of his house – only to discover what he suspected to be asbestos.
Melboune plumber Tom was nearing the end of the demolition process for he and wife Sarah-Jane’s guest bedroom, with just a small section of floor left to smash.
But when the mallet came down, he made a startling discovery.
“As soon as I saw it, I’m like: Oh god, here we go, more delays,” he said.
The Block moved quickly once the deadly substance was spotted, with everyone in House One downing tools for a full day as a team moved in to assess the risk and remove the asbestos.
“They shut our house down, and rightfully so – asbestos is very dangerous,” said Tom, who was left with little to do but visit his fellow contestants while he nervously waited to see how long his house would be out of action.
Some six hours later, foremen Keith and Dan finally returned to the site to give the all-clear that work could resume.
And Dan also offered some explanation as to why the asbestos hadn’t been spotted before the houses were handed over to the contestants: “In this location, under the fireplace and used as formwork, it’s very hard to locate. That’s why we didn’t find it – Tom’s done the right thing in alerting us,” he said.
Elsewhere in Monday’s episode, contestant Sharon was clearly still smarting after she and partner Ankur’s bathroom came dead last in Sunday’s judging.
The couple had copped a particularly tough critique from judge Shaynna Blaze, who warned them that their house was “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.”
Sharon was left in tears immediately after the judging, declaring that in week one on The Block, she was already “over it.”
One episode on, and she was in a more defiant mood.
“(Shaynna) goes, ‘That’s my house, I love this house, I’m really angry that they did this …’” Sharon began.
“Well, it’s not your house, babes. You haven’t bought it. If you’re gonna buy it, that’s a different story.”
She continued to call out Shaynna directly, arguing that she had missed some of the key details in the room the couple had included to appeal to her.
“Also, I did try to cater for you. You said you wanted antiques, but your antique eye didn’t even recognise the antiques in the room. I literally had stuff in there from the 1890s!”
Sharon said that, in the wake of the tough judging, she’d made a promise to husband Ankur that she wouldn’t beat herself up so much moving forward.
“That’s the pact that we’ve made to each other, because I’ve literally spent every day crying since I got here – and that’s not a good thing.”