‘Rock the Block’ Premiere Recap: Teams Must Collaborate on Designs in Series First

Rock the Block season 5 cast

Heavy/HGTV/YouTube Rock the Block season 5 cast

HGTV’s hit series “Rock the Block” returned for season 5 on Monday, March 4, and four previous teams have returned for a second chance at the win. As always, this season sees four pairs of HGTV face off as they compete to add the most value to one of four similar homes along the same street.

In the premiere episode, host Ty Pennington announced this season’s first twist. The four Treasure Island, Florida homes are separated into two buildings, meaning each team must share a central wall with one of their opposing duos. This also means that each team must collaborate with their building-mates on the backyard design so that there is a seamless flow between the outdoor spaces.

Read on for a full premiere recap.

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers for “Rock the Block” season 5 episode 1, “Kitchen Redemption” (March 4, 2024). Do not read ahead if you do not want the winner of this episode spoiled.

‘Rock the Block’ Season 5 Episode 1 Live Recap

Host Ty Pennington kicked off the new season by welcoming the four returning teams — Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas (“Bargain Block”), Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis (“Unsellable Houses”), Bryan and Sarah Baeumler (“Renovation Island” and “Battle on the Beach”), and Page Turner and Mitch Glew (“Fix My Flip”) — to “Rock the Block”‘s first-ever waterfront properties in Treasure Island, Florida, each also complete with a pool in their backyards.

The teams were then faced with their first challenge: to design and complete the kitchen and dining rooms on the first floor of their homes. Pennington noted that none of the floor plans included any walls, meaning the teams had free reign over the floor’s layout, which Pennington called a “Dream it, Build it” surprise.

The teams were then assigned their buildings, and it was announced that each three-level home’s starting value was $1.7 million. Page and Mitch were paired in the same building as Keith and Evan, and Lyndsay and Leslie were paired with Bryan and Sarah. Pennington then set the contestants loose to begin this week’s renovation challenge.

All four duos were shocked by the size of their first floors, including the high ceilings and sprawling oceanfront views. Page and Mitch started planning their layout for their Coastal Chic home’s first floor, and decided to place the kitchen closer to the back of the house with better access to the view. They also thought to include a grocery lift from the garage below directly into the kitchen.

Keith and Evan also put the kitchen somewhere with access to the ocean view in their Organic Modern home. They had the idea to include backlit onyx countertops. Taking lessons from their season three experience, they agreed to use a more neutral color scheme in this year’s house, to open themselves to a broader market. The “Bargain Block” boys also opted to add a feature wall across the middle of their home’s first floor.

For Bryan and Sarah’s Natural Zen design, the Baeumlers went with a much more open-concept kitchen and living area, with Bryan calling the idea of a formal dining room “a dinosaur.” They also noted they had the home-field advantage as they live in Florida. In their design, the couple put their kitchen in the center of the space, adding a wall where they planned to put the range. They also thought to include an elevator in their home.

Lyndsay and Leslie decided to go with a Tropical Retreat theme for their design. They put the kitchen and entertainment area in the back of their home, in line with their competitors who wanted to place it close to the view. Lyndsay also thought to include a wine room, a nod to St. Augustine, Florida being the “birthplace of American wine.”

Partway through their workweek, Pennington had the teams gather on a pirate ship adorned with a “Rock the Block” flag for their first Design Surprise. Each team was given a treasure map and set loose on an island to find one of four treasure chests, each of which contains a material that must inspire an element in each team’s kitchen designs. In the end, Keith and Evan got gold, Page and Mitch got fabrics, Lyndsay and Leslie got twine, and Bryan and Sarah got wood.

The teams also got a chance to begin their outdoor space collaborations. Bryan and Leslie walked out of their chat to get a coffee, leaving Sarah and Lyndsay to decide on a wood finishing as their focus, with elements of stone and stucco mixed in, and a pair of brick driveways. Keith and Evan and Page and Mitch handled their planning like a negotiation. Keith came in hard on a Chevron garage door, and Page countered that they would get to pick the color.

After the group came to a census on a darker slate garage mixed with lighter wood and tile work, Page said, “The art of negotiation is making the other party feel like they’re getting more than they’re actually getting. At the end of the day we wanted to control the color, and that’s exactly what we got to control: the color.”

Spoiler Alert: Who Won ‘Rock the Block’ Season 5 Kitchen Redemption?

At the end of the workweek, “Rock the Block” season 3 champions Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson arrived by boat to judge the finished spaces.

The “Married to Real Estate” stars’ first stop was Keith and Evan’s kitchen, which had to forego backlit onyx in favor of a cheaper quartz countertop. Egypt and Mike were fans of the boys’ decision to divide the floor into walled-off spaces, as well as their custom art.

Next up for judging were Lyndsay and Leslie. Egypt and Mike felt the kitchen was a strong focal wall as they entered the home. Egypt noted that the twins’ wine cellar wouldn’t be included in an appraisal, and the twins disagreed, pointing out in a confessional that they were biting their tongues while hearing Egypt’s remarks.

Mike took the elevator upon entering the Baeumler’s house. They were blown away by the inclusion and gave positive marks for the curved wall in the kitchen. Egypt didn’t like the lack of a formal dining room, though Bryan got her to admit she rarely uses her own dining room at home.

At Page and Mitch’s, Egypt and Mike instantly took a liking to the bi-fold window that stretched across their kitchen countertop. They were pleasantly surprised with the grocery lift but felt like it could have been hidden away better.

After deliberations, Egypt and Mike announced the winners of the Kitchen Redemption challenge, who will walk away with a bonus of $1,000 to use in next week’s challenge. Page and Mitch won the Kitchen Redemption.

Next week’s episode of “Rock the Block” will air on HGTV on Monday, March 11, at 9 p.m. Eastern, and will see the teams tackle their homes’ Living Room spaces.

READ NEXT: Jenny Marrs Shares Pregnancy News After Unanticipated Ultrasound