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Fraternising with the enemy


In a shock move, this year producers have allowed the judges to actually meet all our contestants. But is it such a great idea? And will things be as friendly once the competition really ramps up?

It’s usually not until the very end that our three judges - Shaynna Blaze, Darren Palmer and Neale Whitaker - come face to face with the contestants. But this year, in a departure from what normally happens, they’ve been given a chance to meet them - and, more importantly, to pick their brains - early on.
 

The Block Judges at Styling Challenge

It’s usually not until the very end that our three judges - Shaynna Blaze, Darren Palmer and Neale Whitaker - come face to face with the contestants. But this year, in a departure from what normally happens, they’ve been given a chance to meet them - and, more importantly, to pick their brains - early on.
So will it change the way they see the judges? Perhaps they won’t be quite so keen to slate their judgements once they’ve seen their human face (And Dee, yes, we’re looking at YOU!)? Shaynna seems to think so.
“We have had a couple of other series where we’ve had a bit of interaction, but this series we met them right at the beginning,” she says.
“It was good - they got to see why we are picking up on certain things, and saying, ‘Why are you doing that?’ I think it’s good.”

The Block Contestants at the Judges House Styling Challenge The contestants have been given a chance to meet the judges - and, more importantly, to pick their brains - early on.

The contestants agree.
“I definitely think that getting that advice from them, and being able to talk to them, will really help us in our path to, hopefully, success,” says Sara, who copped the lion’s share of criticism after last Sunday’s bathroom reveal.
Shaynna says that hopefully, by ‘humanizing’ them, the contestants won’t be quite so keen to have a go.
“I think the contestants are used to thinking we are a bit of a cardboard cutout because they can’t see us,” she explains. “But when we had that interaction, they were just thirsty to know what we are looking for.
“It’s a sense of humanising the process, which I think they get a lot of out of.”
 

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