$1,650,000 — Recapping the Final Episode of ‘The Block’ as Poetry

The Block's 2023 finale.

Joel Burrows is a poet who has been published by CorditeGoing Down Swinging, and Stilts Poetry, amongst others. He’s also a huge fan of The Block. In this series, Block-etry, Joel recaps each episode of The Block’s season 19. Please enjoy his breakdown of The Block’s 2023 finale.

Prologue: Hype Edition

Five households, all alike in dignity.
Charming Street, Hampton East,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the
Milky Way, the universe, between the
Palms of a God who hates it when I binge
Hentai, is where we lay our last scene.

Kyle and Leslie, are you ready to
Humble yourselves to the finale, its edit?

Kristy and Brett, are you ready
To make The Block great again?

Gian and Steph, are you
Ready to make bank or weep?

Eliza and Liberty, are you ready
To make the property market worse
For the Centrelink babies, the
Widows, and a generation of kittens?

In 29 AD, Jesus said,
“How hard it is for those
Who have wealth to enter
The kingdom of God.
Indeed it is easier for a camel
To go through the eye of
A needle than for someone
Who is a rich man to
Enter the kingdom of God.”

Five households, all alike in dignity.
They want to become beefy camels.

Australia is hyped for this scene.

Bids on the Bids

Friends, lovers, it’s 24
Hours until the auction takes place.
It’s time to reveal the reserves.

A reserve price:
The lowest auction bid that
Channel 9 will accept.

Each dollar under
A reserve price,
Channel 9 keeps,
Each dollar over
A reserve price,
The players keep.

Each contestant on
The Block wants
The reserve to be low.

Hands, knees,
And eyebrows, they
All start to sweat.

In Brighton Baths, Melbourne,
The cast around a virgin white table,
Scotty Cam dramatically
Takes his time, slows his speech.

He then gives all the
Teams a vinyl of Elvis music.
Scratched into each
Of these artworks, a price.

Alan Wearne, my poetry mentor,
That last stanza wasn’t a metaphor.

As each teams unfurl
Their vinyls,
Stomachs spasm with sick.

“Our reserve is a cooker,” Leah says. 

“Not happy with that,” Gian hurls.

Kyle, Leslie, Leah, Ash,
Kristy, and Brett: $2,970,000

Steph, Gian, Eliza,
And Liberty: $3,250,000

To quote the tattoo on a
Dapto dude n
amed Dunk, who
I met at a 2016 house
Party in Dapto, “Sink or swim.”

It’s auction time, baby.

Let’s get these bids on the bids.

Gian and Steph

Dear Gian and Steph,
I’m writing this letter to you
From my living room,
Next to a jar of dried flowers.

Tonight, you’re up first.
The auction order, it’s chaos.

As you walk from the house to
The Block’s auction station,
My toes, they wriggle with nerves.

Dear Gian and Steph,
As you both know, I am
Not either of your fathers.
However, while this is the
Case, I am proud of you.

On The Block, you began
This season as a plague
Of rats, memes, cane toads.

You both cheated, exploited the love
Of Steph’s dad. You exploited his labour.
He helped you build a meh bathroom.

In the aftermath, Channel 9
Adorned you, they crowned you,
In both tar and feathers.
They strung you like a pinata,
The edit, it beat you, near-death.

However, you surrendered.
You let the narrative devour you.

Dear Gian and Steph, you surrendered
To the edit, and in return, as you sit down
Next to Scotty Cam, you win $1,650,000.

Your repetition, intact. 

During the auction,
One of your bidders faints.

Were they
Shocked with
The cost?
Was it due
To them being
Proud of your
Was it a
Heart attack?
We cannot
Ever know.

“Five million,” Gian mutters.

Gian and Steph, kiss and weep.

Dear Gian and Steph,
Buy Giuseppe some flowers.
Buy Gabriel some flowers.
And get Steph’s father a beer.

Dear Gian and Steph,
You are both millionaires.

What a wild end to this year.

Eliza and Liberty

Eliza and Liberty,
The two sisters.
Eliza, no longer
The Angel of Death. 

The reserve: $3,250,000.

The bid: $4,100,000,

The profit: A whopping $1,050,000.

“That’s going to change lives,”
Says an auctioneer. Eliza is a river,
An ocean, a slip-n-slide of tears.

They have just won more
Cash than my grandmothers
Ever earnt in their lifetimes.

“Australia is
proud of you girls”
Scotty Cam notes,
“Because you did
It with girl power.”

Capitalism: A feminist manifesto. 

Gentrification: A slay. 

Kristy and Brett 

Make The Block great again.
Dose it in drama and bile.
Release 100,000 hornets into
Your worst friend’s bathroom,
And froth and laugh as they
Wilt into bones, a slain beast.

The reserve: $2,970,000.
The first bid: $2,970,000.
The finale bid: $3,035,000.

Kristy and Brett score $65,000.
A year’s worth of money for some of us.
Kristy and Brett, they are pissed.

“Cool,” Brett says, his face a mask.

“Australia got what they wanted.”

“Stay strong,”
Brett says to Kristy,
“Say nothing.”

“Australia got what they wanted.”

Kyle and Leslie

Kyle and Leslie, two
contestants that
Rose back from the dead.

Now, do I regret locking them
In my car with the windows wound up?
No, that only made the pair stronger.

I’ve been summoned
To court, it’s sometime next week.

The first bid is $3,100,000.

Kyle is frozen.

Leslie rubs her hands and
Washes them with invisible soap.

No other bids.

The invisible
Soap runs dry.

Kyle and Leslie,
They win $130,000.

They could buy two car spaces with
That money, in the middle of Melb’s CBD.

Leah and Ash

“We’re so good. We’re fine.”

A quote from Leah,
After winning all of Elon Musk’s
Money in a poker game.

A quote from Leah,
Holding her two-year-old, he just
Had a locus-based nightmare.

A quote from Leah,
She’s a
n astronaut,
She’s hunting for Earth 2.0.

Oh! I just got a
Note from my Producer!

A quote from Leah,
After her house failed to sell.

Yup, that is right.

Her house failed
To sale at auction.

Congratulations, Gian and Steph.
You have won the 2023 finale of The Block.

What a win.
What a win.
Chungus win.

Block-erty: The 2023 Finale

It’s 9.15PM on a Sunday
Night. The sky is deep
Elephant grey, November 5. 

From between the cushions
Of my couch, a hand emerges.

It reaches for my
TV remote and
Then turns off my TV.

The credits stop
Rolling, Scotty Cam is
Born from a crease.

He then shakes the lint
And an old Starbust wrapper
Off the back of his back. 

He then goes to leave.
Today must be special.
He goes to whisper
Through my front door.

“Wait,” I say, “That’s it?”

“That’s it, Joel Burrows,”
Scotty Cam states, “goodbye.”

“No analysis?” I say.
“No break down, no TV?”

“Joel Burrows,” Scotty Cam states, “I am but a gargoyle.
I was once a piece of stone or marble. My meaning and
Form, chiselled by the likes of a haggard producer, Mitre 10 ads,
McCafé commercials, and the ghost of the late Michelangelo.”

“However, as we both know, The Block is not a gargoyle.
It’s thousands of hours of TV. It’s just a slab of stone, maybe marble.
As a living gargoyle, it’s not up to me to be a chiseller.
I refuse to release the statue that’s buried inside of the 2023 stone.”

“That’s disappointing,” I say, “I hate how abruptly this series ends.”

“It ends too abruptly each year.”

“So it goes,” Scotty Cam states, “so it goes.”

“Best of luck with
Your future endeavours,”
Scotty Cam states.

“And sign up for
The Block, in the
Next few years.
It would make for
Some cracking TV.”

The credits stop rolling,
Scotty Cam,
He slips through a crease.

The end.

As it stands, The Block’s 2023 finale is streaming on 9Now.

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