The Block

My aunt is a die-hard fan of the Australian reality TV show The Block. She not only watches and records every episode whenever she can’t watch it when it comes on, she is also one of those fans who join the long queues on open day to inspect the completed homes from the show. The Block is a home renovation show where four or five couples are given a house or apartment each that they have to renovate and sell at auction to the highest bidder. Each couple gets to keep any profit made which is above the reserve price. In addition, the couple that makes the highest profit gets a bonus prize of $100,000. As it is still a reality TV show, the producers try and spice things up by creating personality conflicts, drama and tension amongst the contestants. Personally, I haven’t watched the show in its entirety, but from the bits I have seen it seems like the contestants try to outdo each other by choosing materials and designs that make their home unique and thus, stand out from the other homes with the hope that they will impress the three or four judges who are experts in their fields. Go to the website and know more on the various blinds to select on.  
In some of these homes the unique material used could be something as simple as the clever and unconventional use of regular materials. In one of the show series, for instance, motorised external blinds were used in one of the homes. These external venetian blinds were used to reduce energy consumption, regulate temperature, control the level of sunlight coming in and provide privacy by means of tilting, opening or closing the blinds. The blinds could also be raised to give the home occupants full view of the outdoor blinds in Melbourne. These particular blinds that were used had the look of traditional venetian blinds except that the slats are more durable because they can flex and bend in windy conditions and they can be combined with steel cable guide and/or aluminium guide rails to make them even more wind resistant. To top it off, these external venetian blinds can be motorised and combined with wind/sun sensors, timers and building management systems. Judging from the comments of some of the judges, it sounds like these external blinds were impressive not only in looks, but also in ease of use.
I think what makes shows like The Block so popular with the general population is that they take everyday people and put them through challenges that take them out of their comfort zones and stretch them. At the end of it, they come out with a sense of achievement for having done something they never did before or never knew they could achieve. And that tells us that anybody can achieve something when they put their minds and energy into it and don’t give up.