The stage is set for a showdown of epic proportions when Australia’s most successful renovation reality program, The Block, premieres for an unbelievable 17th season next month.
Returning this season with a twist, The Block Fans v Faves brings three unsuspecting, yet hopeful, couples face to face with two sets of very experienced returning all-stars in a setting never attempted before – a traditional Australian cul-de-sac, in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Hampton.
In another big Block shakeup, for the first time there will be no house plans for contestants to work off – we’re tearing them up. This year, Blockheads must not only renovate the mammoth project, they’ll also have to design the layout and inclusions of their houses themselves from scratch.
The Faves returning this year are Perth’s Ronnie (45) and Georgia (38) from the 2017 Elsternwick series, and Sydney couple Mitch (58) and Mark (59) from the 2019 Oslo series – both renovation powerhouses who don’t plan on letting any newbies show them up.
If you weren’t already seeing double, irresistibly charismatic identical twins from Sydney Josh and Luke (27), who made their television debut on Love Island Australia in 2019, will join two other newbie couples – Melbourne parents Tanya (39) and Vito (45), and country music kids Kirsty (33) and Jesse (32), hailing from Wangi Wangi just south of Newcastle.
Scott Cam, who returns to host his 15th series of The Block, said: “Expect the unexpected. This build was extremely tough to plan and work out where things would go for many of our contestants because of this new twist. The plans have been thrown out the window and it leads to plenty of stuff-ups!
“The Fans have everything to gain and the Faves have reputations to uphold. This will be a dramatic showdown like we have never seen before.”
In a season packed with firsts, this one will literally dig deeper than ever, with each property having an underground excavation for contestants to create a basement in their homes.
Joining Scott Cam again this season will be his Block co-host, Shelley Craft, site foremen Keith and Dan, and Australia’s three favourite renovation judges, Neale Whitaker, Shaynna Blaze and Darren Palmer.
The new series is one that executive producer and Block co-creator Julian Cress is very excited about.
“Putting Block Fans up against experienced all-star Faves could have gone in any direction. On the very first day of filming this series, these Blockheads started to argue with each other in a way we had never seen before,” Cress said.
“The competitive spirit of both the Fans and the Faves in this high-pressure build with no plans takes things to a new level week after week and I can’t wait for audiences to see that.”
While there are no building plans prepared for these houses, The Block’s resident architect Julian Brenchley will be on hand to assist the couples as they design their own homes.
“It was a real challenge for me this year. Some got it, some didn’t, and that will become pretty obvious early on,” he said.
For the uninitiated, at stake is $100,000 for the winner of The Block, plus whatever profits their home can make on the critical auction day. All that’s standing in the way is five dilapidated houses and three fierce judges who will score the room reveals as they’re delivered each week.
Sunday, August 8, at 7.00pm on Channel 9 and 9Now.