The Block: Tree Change Begins

The Block: Tree Change Begins

With 14 series in Melbourne, The Block has done pretty much everything, so it’s time for something different this year. Right by the Yarra River in the middle of Melbourne our host Scott Cam reveals The Block is going country this year, to the beautiful Macedon Ranges just an hour out of Melbourne. It will be the ultimate country retreat, The Block: Tree Change. 

Situated on 60 acres in the town of Gisborne South, there will be six houses this year as Scotty reveals he is building his own. Scotty will renovate the original 1986 homestead that was built by Joseph McGeorge. He had a three-month head start and what Scotty has done so far is incredible. The house won’t be judged, but it will inspire our contestants and be a meeting place throughout the season. 

The five 10-acre properties will have a 500 square metre house and garage, made up of old houses that have been sourced around Australia and a new part. They will be off the grid.

It’s time for Scotty to introduce our contestants for this year. 

First up it’s Tom and Sarah Jane from Melbourne. The married couple have an 11-month-old baby called Cleo. They are doing The Block for her and to have a better start in life. Tom is a plumber and Sarah Jane is a social worker. They live in the Melbourne suburb of Gladstone Park. They enjoy their weekends in the caravan up at Lake Eildon. 

Scotty then introduces Dylan and Jenny from the Gold Coast. The engaged couple have been together for five years. Jenny has a trick up her sleeve, she is an apprentice carpenter and works with Dylan, who is a builder. The pair meet Tom and Sarah Jane and there is excitement in the air. 

Next to arrive are Bondi influencers Joel and Elle. Joel played football for the Brisbane Lions and Greater Western Sydney, while Elle is a global fashion and beauty influencer. They live in a nice apartment in Bondi. They meet Sarah Jane and Tom, and Dylan and Jenny. You can already sense a bit of disinterest by Sarah Jane with Elle. She doesn’t like social influencers and thinks The Block should be for every day normal Australians. 

Our next arrive is actor and lawyer Sharon, and her husband Ankur. Sharon was a star on Neighbours for four and a half years, while Ankur is an accountant. They have no renovation experience whatsoever. Sarah Jane remarks that Sharon, dressed all in red, looks like she is going to the Cox Plate.

Our final couple that Scott reveals are best mates Omar and Osman from Western Sydney. Omar has a history as a professional rugby player while Oz, as he is known, works in building maintenance. They are both married with young families. Being Muslims, they will be doing Ramadan and fasting for the few weeks on The Block. They are proud to be The Block’s first Muslim contestants. 

Scotty, with his dog Frankie, comes to meet all our contestants and there is huge excitement in the air. He asks everyone, do you have what it takes?  He lets them know that with the help of hipages and with a budget of $5000, our contestants will be taking part in a House Decider challenge that will choose their house. They will be delivering a guest bedroom for the judges and have 64 hours to do so. 

He allocates Tom and Sarah Jane House No.1  Dylan and Jenny No.2, Joel and Elle No.3, Ankur and Sharon No.4 and Omar and Oz No.5 and the challenge is on. Everyone is so excited, and they all run to their respective houses and get on with the job.

All our contestants are shocked how much work there is to be done in the houses and they are all in a state of major disrepair. 

Perhaps a sign of what is to come, Tom and Sarah Jane argue a bit about what room to renovate. Ankur and Sharon feel House No.4 is their dream house and they are determined to win the challenge so they can choose that. Dylan and Jenny had their house. Joel and Elle think their house has major appeal. Omar and Oz think there is so much to do, and they don’t know where to begin.

Our contestants sleep rough, but all wake up early excited for the day ahead. Oz and Omar start the day with prayer.

Scotty visits Ankur and Sharon who plan to install a full timber wall of rustic, untreated timber. He advises them this would not be a good idea. 

A day later he visits again, and Sharon hasn’t listened. She still has the timber, but just half a wall. Scotty asks her, ‘did she listen,’ and there are the first tears on The Block as Sharon believes by not listening to Scotty that she has come across as arraogent and they will lose the challenge

Joel and Elle are very excited with 40 hours to go. They are the only couple who have decided to install floorboards, to hopefully give them the winning edge. 

Tom and Sarah Jane make a mistake, they paint their gyprocked walls before they are sanded. A rookie error. They also struggle to use the spray-painting machine and have another argument. Sarah Jane declares she is a hot mess on The Block.