The Block: Couple suffers major living room disaster
And just like that Bondi boys Mitch and Mark found themselves in what appeared to be a boxing ring after copping repeated blows for their living and dining reveal.
Last week they came second last after the judges slammed their fake windows, and despite getting rid of "tacky" designs, it still wasn't enough to win the judges over.
In fact, it was so harsh Mitch and Mark even offered Panadol over the headache caused by their room.
It was the show's most brutal feedback so far.
So what exactly went wrong? One word: layout.
HOUSE 1: Mitch and Mark
Brutal feedback is an understatement - Mitch and Mark got completely slaughtered by the judges' comments. They were extremely disappointed with the boys' overall design and structure.
The pair thought they nailed the use of space, but boy were they wrong.
"Ten out of 10 for getting rid of those awful fake windows," said Neale Whitaker the moment he stepped inside their living and dining room.
Before ripping it apart, Shaynna Blaze took the time to appreciate the display on their dining table from the cutlery to the matt placements.
She said it oozed Palm Springs (a theme the boys have carried throughout their house), but it didn't come together in a cohesive way. And that's when it went downhill.
"I am not quite sure where my eye wants to land," Neale said, looking very confused. "It's kind of an assault on the senses." Ouch.
Then Shaynna attacked the artwork, asking the boys what they were thinking.
Neale chimed in again to say, "I am going to be brutally honest", 'cause you know, he never usually is.
"I am so disappointed. I'm not quite sure where my eye wants to land," he said again.
"Is it that chrome-legged coffee table with the geometric leg? Is it the geometric rug? Is it those bricks on the fireplace? What bothers me is the lack of cohesion."
Shaynna was perplexed by the chrome with the antique brass finishes.
"We've got chrome, we've got antique brass, we've got gun metal, we've got bronze," she said, listing every mixed metal she knows.
Darren Palmer finally joined the conversation after staring at the room. He couldn't get past the sofa.
"That sofa is at odds in every way. There's nothing in it that says 'Palm Springs' and I am disappointed they ended up with a sofa that small."
Shaynna continued the Palm Springs chat by saying the boys took the sunshine, light and happiness out of their Palm Springs-inspired home.
"It's very dark and moody," she said.
"During the day time it's going to be like a cinema with the lights turned out," Neale continued.
Darren said Mitch and Mark's decisions upstairs were starting to cascade down - and that's not a good thing.
Shaynna said they'd simply dug themselves into a hole.
And the feedback didn't end there.
The three judges took a seat on the couch before ripping into the lack of lighting again.
They said the backlit Caesarstone (in the kitchen) would have to be on all the time because it was so dark.
"So I'm sitting here having a glass of wine," Shaynna said, setting the scene, "and I guarantee after an hour I am putting on a pair of sunnies."
And that's where Mitch and Mark offered a Panadol for the potential headaches caused by the room.
"Almost every other room that has been delivered by the boys has a sense of fun and mystery, except this room," Neale said. "And it's a bit of an anticlimax."
Shaynna then asked, "In a 460sq house, is this really all you get?"
Appears that way Shaynna.
"It's not inviting and not enticing to go in," she concluded.
I'm sure they could have kept going with their criticisms.
The boys came equal last with a score of 22.
HOUSE 2: Tess and Luke
Shaynna loved how Tess and Luke's room didn't feel cluttered and how they had good light coming through, unlike Mitch and Mark's (which she pointed out).
"Stylistically, it's all in keeping with the house," she said.
Darren said the overall colour palette was beautiful and he loved the timber flooring.
Neale then pointed out how their living and dining room worked together with the kitchen. "These two halves come together really well," he said.
But that's where the feedback turned from positive to negative … with their dining table being the centre of discussion.
"The whole reason of putting an island bench this size is so you can get more preparation space and space to sit at," Darren pointed out.
"But there's less area to sit at and we have an area in the middle that no one is able to prep on. That's all dead space," Darren said as tried to lift his entire body up on the table to reach for the middle.
Then there was the dead storage space that he and Neale also couldn't get over.
"All that storage space is totally redundant," Neale said.
Shaynna literally couldn't deal with what she was seeing. She crouched on the floor with her head in her hands saying, "I actually feel sick for them", all because the dining table was attached to the island bench and you couldn't access the storage space.
Darren then diverted his attention to the television.
"What we have got now is a compromised loungeroom where we have two chairs facing the television - and this fireplace is offset between the dining table and loungeroom and you're not taking into consideration this amazing architectural inclusion (the fireplace)." That was a lot of words.
"The couch has its back to glass windows. They hadn't planned this place in terms of visual and physical flow," he continued.
For Neale, the overall sense was "blackness".
"I felt the kitchen was oppressive last week and I was kind of hoping they would create a living and dining area that would lighten that load, but they have just accentuated it," he said.
Shaynna then said: "You're not going to believe what's going to come out of my mouth … sometimes you can have too much black."
Neale responded: "Said no one ever in Melbourne."
However, the one thing they agreed on was the choice of furniture, adding that it lightens the room. Shaynna advised Tess and Luke to get rid of the dining table - the one that gave her so much anxiety - and extend the bench.
Yes, they came equal last with Mitch and Mark.
HOUSE 3: Andy and Deb
Think of the feedback Mitch and Mark received for their reveal - Andy and Deb got the complete opposite.
The judges had nothing to fault, except for the placement of the television.
Neale had a massive smile on his face the moment he walked in, and all three judges then collectively exhaled, very loudly.
It was a sign of relief.
"Gosh, it couldn't be more different from next door," Neale said, comparing the reveal with Tess and Andy's room.
"If I were any of the homes that didn't orient the kitchen this way I'd be kicking myself. There's so much room," Darren said as he spun around the kitchen.
"I can't remember ever being in a home on The Block that has excited me more," Neale added as Darren kept spinning.
"Everything is just beautiful from the pannellings on the wall to the white fan and the way everything plays to the light and the sense of space."
Darren loved the artwork, saying it pays homage to Andy's Aboriginal heritage, and he loved how the couple wove their personalities into the room.
"They have also created a house with such broad appeal," Darren said once he recovered from his twirls.
Shaynna was mesmerised by the layout. "I don't think there's one angle you can get a bad shot," she said.
"It is absolutely the right look to get people in here and that means it will win a lot of people over."
The judges were concerned Andy and Deb were going down the "surf beach" look, but they commended them on the calm, coastal transition.
"What strikes me too is you're seeing a level of sophistication that I would associate with a professional interior designer - it is astounding they have delivered a living, dining and kitchen with such warmth and depth," Neale said.
Shaynna gave Deb the ultimate compliment by saying she can have a career as an interior designer.
"It's goosebump material," Shaynna said, adding she feels sorry for the next rooms. Wow. Harsh.
Despite the amazing feedback, Andy and Deb fell short of the top spot by one point with a score of 28.
HOUSE 4: Matt and El'ise
"So this kitchen was a real worry for me last week, but now I feel it works pretty successfully in context of space," was the first thing Neale said.
"I think the reason I like it is it feels like home and last week nothing made me feel like that, so to me they're back."
Shaynna said the layout worked, particularly drawing attention to the couch looking out to the courtyard.
"I do like the contemporary floating bench too with the storage in it," she added.
She also loved the table, saying there was something organic about it, and mixed with the stone wall, it felt very country Victoria.
But not for Neale. He was taken down memory lane, back to the '70s. He pointed out the fireplace, saying it replicated his childhood fireplace.
Darren agreed on the retro vibe but compared it with Andy and Deb's room to highlight the space issues.
"You have to navigate down different parameters," he said. And that to him that was a "planning fail".
Shaynna had a go at the arrangement of the three nestled tables.
Neale said he was disappointed they didn't have anything on them to demonstrate the differences in height.
The Darren started picking away at the fruit on Matt and El'ise's antique scale.
"I think it's questionable styling and out of context," he said.
Apart from all that, Neale loved the colour palette connecting the room to the kitchen.
"It's perhaps an unexpected cohesion, but for me, it works," he said.
Not for Shaynna, though. She wanted more olive green tones against the sharp lines of black, metal and stone, advising Matt and El'ise to add a rug of that colour.
"I've felt in the last couple of weeks they have lost it, but they're back in the game," Neale said.
Matt and El'ise came third with a score of 24.5.
HOUSE 5: Jesse and Mel (Winners)
It's been a while since Jesse and Mel have topped the leaderboard, but this week they've managed to blow away the judges with their layout and styling.
Simply put by Darren: "This is the best layout of The Block.
"We have seen two out of the five houses take this approach, putting the kitchen and dining side-by-side allowing a large space for a loungeroom."
Jesse and Mel held back an extra 500mm of space in the kitchen, and it was a decision that paid off because it allowed them to play with more room.
Then Shaynna discovered the couch.
"It's the first sofa that's made me want to go …" she said as she jumped on it and proceeded to lay down.
Jesse and Mel centred the fireplace too, which Darren loved.
He then yelled "hallelujah" when looking down at the rug.
"Not only is it a great looking choice, but it delineates the room. I think it's a really successful layout and will meet the expectations of the buyer."
Neale loved Jesse's real estate mind finally coming into play.
"Without a doubt this is the most successful living room of the day in terms of proportions," he said, adding that it's also functional.
The acoustic wall caught Shaynna's eye, and when that happens it's often negative, but in this case, she loved it.
She then commended Jesse on laying out the floorboards all by himself.
"The execution is phenomenal. I take my hat off to him because he has thrown himself at this project and given it everything."
She even wanted to give him a hug, but she then dissed Jesse and Mel's choice of artwork, saying they needed to commission an artist to bring in a more high-end feel.
"A corporate but genius look," Neale described the room.
"I really feel they're running their race now. I think it's their best room."
And because of that, they came first with a score of 29.
Mitch and Mark: 22
Tess and Luke: 22
Andy and Deb: 28
Matt and Elise: 24.5
Jesse and Mel: 29 (Winners)
The Block airs tomorrow at 7pm on Channel 9