Renovating over a period of 10-12 weeks, couples compete in renovation challenges per room with the ultimate winner selling their apartment at the highest margin over reserve price. Plus, a bonus $100,000 to add to their jackpot.
The Block first ran for two consecutive seasons in 2003 and 2004, and was originally hosted by Australian gardening guru Jamie Durie. After a six year rest the third season commenced in Sydney with the winners, John and Nisha Pitt, making a $205,000 profit and taking home $305,000 in prize money. With Scott Cam in the host seat The Block continued to prosper with Season 4 seeing major changes to the format. Moving to Melbourne saw the couples renovating the outside of their homes, as well as the inside, and Shelley Crafts’ challenges gave contestants the chance to win extra cash and prizes.
2013 packed a punch with past contestants returning on viewer’s votes for the All-Stars season and the headquarters moving back to its original location in Bondi. Turning The Block up yet another notch saw each couple in Season 7 renovating a full level of an apartment. Twin sisters Alisa and Lysandra took the year out, making a $295,000 profit and claiming the $100,000 in winner’s prize money.
This season of The Block is set to be the toughest yet with fans pit against favourites. They will be converting a vacant shell, once an old theatre in Melbourne’s Albert Park, into four three-bedroom, three-bathroom, loft-style apartments. For the first time ever, contestants will be able to plan their apartments from scratch including the shape and size of every room.
Since the beginning of production The Block has given away a whopping $5,705,001 in prize money. It has gone on to become a ratings smash, consistently topping the ratings with an average national audience of a staggering 4.3 million people and was Nine’s most-watched program of 2013.