Everything you need to know about The Block

The Block
The Block. Photo: Channel 9

The Block is an Australian reality TV series which is broadcast on the Nine Network. The show follows up to five couples in a competition against each other as they renovate and style houses or apartment buildings with the aim of selling them at auction for the highest price. The show originally ran for two seasons in 2003 and 2004 and then was brought back following a six year absence. The show is supported by a number of commercial and brand sponsors which are featured throughout episodes of the shows.

What is the premise of The Block?

The premise of the series was initially around four couples renovating derelict apartments over a period of 12 weeks with a $40,000 budget. The apartments were then sold at auction with couples keeping the proceeds of the sale after the reserve price. The couple who made the highest profit would also win an additional $100,000. The format of newer seasons since the show was brough back following its six year hiatus is relatively similar, except the show now features five couples and is now based primarily in Melbourne.

The first two seasons were filmed in Bondi and Manly, the third was filmed in Vaucluse before the show later moved to Victoria. The fourth season was filmed in Richmond and broke tradition to feature four terrace houses, instead of an apartment block. The fifth season retained the same format. The show moved filming back to Bondi for the sixth season, but filming has remained in Melbourne since the seventh season.

The show initially aired once a week during its first three seasons, but this was later changed to a format where episodes were aired across multiple nights of the week.

The Block Season 1

The Block first aired in June 2003 on the Nine Network on Sunday’s at 6:30, the networks flagship time slot. The show was first presented by host Jamie Durie and was filmed in Bondi. Four couples were selected from a pool of 2,000 applicants to compete in the show including Adam Thorn and Fiona Mills a married couple from Banksia who had previous renovation experience, having previously renovated three other homes before the series. They were show favourites for most of the season. They won the season after their apartment earned the highest profit of $156,000 after their apartment sold for $751,000. The other couples were Warren Sonin and Gavin Atkins, the first same-sex couple to compete on the show, Paul and Kylie Ingram and Phil Rankine and Amity Dry. The combined profits from the season was $443,000.

The Block Season 2

Season 2 of the show was expanded to 26 episodes following the success of the first season and first aired in April 2004. Two of the properties did not sell at auction, netting only a $155,000 combined profit. The four couples in the show were selected from a pool of 18,000 applicants and included; Andrew and Jamie who came first, Jason and Kirsten who came second and Matt and Jane, Steven and Richard who tied for third place.

Scott Cam
Scott Cam. Photo: Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

The Block Season 3

The show was revived after six years and aired its third season in 2010 with four apartments in Vaucluse being renovated. Scott Cam was brought in as the host of the show. The combined profits of the show were $339,5000, one property did not sell at auction.

The Block Season 4

Season 4 of The Block introduced some form of changes that included a location change, an initial elimination challenge that saw four couples get eliminated and a challenge that included four separate houses instead of apartments. Shelley Craft was also introduced as the host of special challenges where contestants were able to win additional cash and prizes. The winning couple Polly and Waz who made a $15,00 profit on their home, the other three couples properties were all passed in. Josh and Jenna became engaged during the show. Rod and Tania later sold their apartment for the highest profit on the show ($72,000) but missed out on winning as it happened after the auction.

The Block Season 5

Season 5 was based in Melbourne and continued with the terrace housing format. The auction of the four properties resulted in a combined profit of $1,723,0001.01. Brad and Lara came in first place.

The Block Season 6

Season six was a special all-star edition of the series with couples from past seasons returning to compete in the show. Viewers were allowed to vote for the couples they wanted to see on the show and this was taken into consideration when the couples were chosen. The couples selected were Phil and Amity, Mark and Duncan, Josh and Jenna, and Dan and Dani. Phil and Amity took out the top prize. The combined profits of the season were $815,000.

The Block Season 7

On season 7 of the show contestants were given a whole floor to renovate in a five storey building. Twin sisters Alisa and Lysandra won the season with a profit of $295,000. The combined profits of the auction were $1,283,000.

The Block Season 8

The eighth season of the show featured a number of returning couples from previous seasons and a few new additions. In the end Steve and Chantelle Ford won the competition with a profit of $636,000 and the $100,000 prize money.

The Block Season 9

Shannon and Simon Voss won the season with a profit of $335,000 plus the winners’ prize money in a season that focused on a building that was previously an office block.

The Block Season 10

Previous contestants Darren & Deanne won the season with $835,000 and the additional prize money, every contestant won over $665,000 making the season the highest earning with combined auction profits of $3,065,000.

The Block Season 11

The show went back to basics with episodes being cut down in length for the eleventh season and passionate DIY couples instead of tradies. Shay and Dean Payne won the season with a $655,00 profit.

The Block Season 12

Couple William Bethune and Karlie Cicero won the season with $715,000 and the additional prize money.

The Block Season 13

Elyse Knowles and Josh Barker won the season with $447,000 plus the prize money.

The Block Season 14

Hayden Vale and Sara Tumino won the season with $545,000 plus the prize money.

The Block Season 15

In July 2019 the 15th season of the show was announced, the show started airing in August 2019.

The Block Season 16

The 16th season of the block is set to air in January 2020.

Controversy surrounding The Block

There have been a number of scandals that have cropped up of the course of the shows history, including assertions that the shows judge Scott Cam is homophobic. In previous years the deposit on one of the properties was frozen after one of the buyers was accused of criminal activities. There has also been controversy of design choices of certain couples, comments on the show and the choices of the judges among many other things. Host Scott Cam is frequently at the centre of controversy surrounding the show, having made a number of poorly received comments over the years.

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