Coming back to The Block after the lockdown was always going to be tough for the contestants.
But nobody was ready for the new COVID normal, WA contestant Jasmin tells TV WEEK.
"Obviously, I knew there were going to be some changes with things like masks and rules and hand sanitiser, but doing more meetings over Zoom or over the phone or over text was incredibly challenging," she says.
"Mistakes can happen with phone calls, especially things with scale. Or colours can look different. Plus, when you're ordering everything online, it becomes a bit of a logistical nightmare.
"If you don't put in your order on Monday or Tuesday, there's every chance you won't get it by the weekend."
Throw in new distancing rules that kept tradies, contestants and crew at least 1.5 metres apart in a week when Jasmin and husband Luke were trying to finish a bathroom, and the result was almost impossible.
"Usually, with [bathroom] fit-off on a Saturday you can have up to 10 people on top of each other, trying to quickly do what they need to before it's tools down," Jasmin, 36, explains. "It was incredibly challenging."
And then comes news that one contestant, Harry, had been caught visiting – and possibly working – on his house during the weeks away.
The other 'Blockheads' immediately confront him, and a new nickname – Dirty Harry – is born. But Harry insists he was only measuring a space so he'd be ready for their return and that nobody told him it wasn't allowed.
"The goal posts of The Block change every five minutes, so it's really hard to know what they are," Jasmin says. "But I would have assumed that going on site when no-one else could have seems a little unfair."
It was another blow for the contestant who, thanks to her home's 1910 style, had already been forced to abandon the dream she had before coming onto The Block.
"Any plans we had before the show started were completely wiped," she says.
"Then we came up with a whole new set of plans when COVID hit and not all of those could be executed either. So there was a lot of reworking what we'd imagined along the way."
It all combines to make a week that left Jasmin missing her safe Western Australian home.
"I would see people [back in WA] walking their dogs, getting a takeaway coffee, living their day-to-day life, and there were feelings of remorse for my old life," she says. "Being a mum makes you miss being with your kids, no doubt about it.
"But we were so incredibly busy, head down and bum up, that we just got on with it. And we always knew we were doing it for our family."