When the champagne was uncorked at the end of last night’s The Block Glasshouse Grand Finale, only two of the five hardworking couples were toasting to healthy compensation for a gruelling 12 week slog. The other three couples would be forgiven for wanting to drown their sorrows instead.
Brothers, Simon and Shannon, from Apartment 4, were crowned winners after their apartment sold for $335,000 over reserve, just beating out Apartment 2 renovators, Chris & Jenna, who still walked away with a tidy $310,000 for their troubles. It was after Apartment 3 duo, Karstan & Maxine only pocketed $40,000 that things began to unravel, leaving the last two couples from units 1 and 5, Michael and Carlene and Darren and Deanne, in a state of shock to only take home $10,000 each.
But, as was mentioned in a story published last month on Essential Kids (Behind The Scenes at The Block) there is never a guarantee that by giving up your life for three months and signing on for the biggest Block renovation in its nine seasons history that you will be rewarded with a staggering sum of money for your efforts.
Assistant Production Manager for The Block, Fiona Lowe, was quite upfront and circumspect when asked about managing the expectations of the newly inducted “Block-heads” but with the stunning finale to Season 9 on Sunday night each of the five couples were left astounded by the low returns on three of the properties.
“I think we need to manage those expectations because if we don’t the disappointment and resentment would be massive,” Lowe said last month, her words ringing eerily true in the wake of three of the worst results in The Block history.
“I certainly think some [couples] come in and think, We will just tough it out for 12 weeks of work and we’ll make $400-500,000 but there is absolutely no guarantee. We all remember Richmond…”
But after scrolling through social media last night, you’d be forgiven for thinking people had indeed forgotten Richmond and the Auction misfortune that befell the 2011 contestants of The Block. Even then there was a massive outcry that the contestants had been hard done by, reserves were ridiculously high, and future contestants should be wary of signing up.
There will be questions raised this week along similar lines but Lowe explained that the area of Melbourne in which Season 9 was set was always going to impact significantly the outcomes achieved for each of the apartments.
“Prahran is a very different area to Albert Park (where Fans versus Faves was filmed). The properties we were selling there were relatively unique whereas the properties we are selling in Prahran are beautiful, big and very groovy but there are similar properties.
“In Albert Park everyone who bought one of those was already living in Albert Park. They knew exactly what the apartments were worth so they were prepared to pay the big dollars.
“It’s quite a different demographic that will be buying these apartments.”
But the harsh reality of a real estate-based reality TV show is that they are at the mercy of the market and no matter what the reserve states, something is only worth as much as you are willing to pay for it.
No matter how much blood, sweat and tears goes into the finished product.
10 WORST RESULTS IN BLOCK HISTORY
- Matt & Jane (Season 2): $0
- Steven & Richard (Season 2): $0
- Amie & Katrina (Season 4): $0 *
- Darren & Deanne (Season 9 Glasshouse): $10,000
- Michael & Carlene (Season 9 Glasshouse): $10,000
- Polly & Waz (Season 4 Winners): $15,000
- Mark & Duncan (Season 6 All-Stars): $25,000
- Karstan & Max (Season 9 Glasshouse): $40,000
- Mark & Duncan (Season 3): $47,000
- Josh & Jenna (Season 4): $50,000*
*denotes passed in at auction and sold later