Five typical Australian homes, each with their own unique high-points and each with their own challenges, all in the heart of one of Melbourne’s most sought-after suburbs, welcome to The Block 2021!
After 16 seasons of The Block, the biggest question facing Scott Cam and his team for 2021 was: what’s next?
Scotty and Shelley are back on The Block this year.
From apartments to houses, high-rises to terraces, Scotty and The Blockheads have tackled every real estate situation imaginable, so what could possibly top what had come before?
Fortunately, the creators of the hit series still have some surprises in store and for 2021, that’s to take on something they’ve long dreamed of – a suburban cul de sac – then to add the challenge of bringing back some Block favourites to take on newcomers, digging basements for each of the five homes and the biggest twist of all, no plans to work from!
"There's been a concept for the show floating around for a number of years which we've discussed with (Nine executives) Michael Healy and Adrian Swift," series co-creator and executive producer Julian Cress told 9Enterainment when the 17th season was confirmed in 2020.
"It’s an idea of how to make the show that we've always dreamed of, but have never been able to find a property that's suitable, that fits the build, doing it the way that we wanted to do it.
"We're really excited, because we have found a property that actually meets that brief that we've set ourselves, it's something that we've never done before and we're very excited about it."
That property is Bronte Court in the prestigious Melbourne Bayside suburb of Hampton, a location brought to producers’ attention by long-time Block friend, real estate buyer’s advocate Nicole Jacobs who has helped buyers in the sale of 13 Block properties.
The key to the cul de sac came from long-time Block friend, real estate buyer’s advocate Nicole Jacobs.
A resident of Bronte Court, Nicole was looking to move and agreed to introduce producers to her neighbours. It took a lot of discussion, but before Scotty could yell: “Tools down!” on last year’s Block, the new project was under way.
“I explained (to neighbours) that we need five (houses), if we don’t have five it won’t happen,” Jacobs told real estate website Domain.com.au in November 2020.
“Two of them were leased. One was probably the first resident of Bronte Court, he had just moved to an aged-care facility. Life is all about timing.”
Not all of Jacob’s neighbours wanted to move, but four agreed – and The Block will be a win for the whole street regardless, she said.
“At the end of the day their house is going to be worth a lot more,” she said.
“If a normal developer had gone into that court you would be getting units… If they are just renovating an existing property you are going to get families back in there.”
And while exact details of the homes and how they are to be renovated has been kept under wraps, early reports show this will be a Block like no other.
This home in the cul de sac once belonging to Nicole Jacobs is set to be renovated on the show.
Domain.com.au reports three of the homes are brick, two weatherboard, with one – Jacob’s home - designed by acclaimed Australian architect Neil Clerehan.
Four are on one side of Bronte Court, with the fifth opposite.
It will be, promised Cress, a fresh and new twist to the familiar Block journey.
"We always try to evolve the show and not rest on our laurels, we're always looking for ways to reinvent it and deliver something new and fresh for the audience," he said.
"This is definitely fresh and new and incredibly exciting for all of us."
THE BLOCK 2021 CONTESTANTS
And what do we know about the fresh crop of Blockheads for 2021?
“The Fans have everything to gain and the Faves have reputations to uphold," Scott Cam said.
Well, some will be familiar, others you might recognise from elsewhere and some are fresh faces because in a Block twist, it’s Fans Versus Faves!
The 2021 Channel Nine Block logo.
Faves back for another round of Block battle are Perth’s Ronnie (45) and Georgia (37) from the 2017 Elsternwick series, and Sydney couple Mitch (58) and Mark (59) from the 2019 Oslo series, both couples who know their way around a renovation challenge and are out to show they’ve got what it takes to win.
Going up against them on the Fans teams are identical twins Josh and Luke (27), who made their television debut on Love Island Australia in 2019, country music kids Kirsty (32) and Jesse (31), from Wangi Wangi in regional NSW and Melbourne parents Tanya (39) and Vito (44).
“Putting Block Fans up against experienced all-star Faves could have gone in any direction,” Cress said.
“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.
“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.”
Host Scott Cam agrees, saying this year, with no plans and basement levels to complete on every house, it’s game on like never before.
“Expect the unexpected,” Cam said.
“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.”
Josh and Luke – Identical twins from Sydney, NSW
Australia first got to know Josh and Luke when they made their television debut on Love Island Australia in 2019. But will their charisma be enough to get them through the rough and tumble of The Block? That remains to be seen.
When it comes to renovation experience, it’s fair to say Josh and Luke are the most inexperienced Blockheads in the program’s history.
While massive fans of the show, neither have renovated before. But they see this as an advantage because other contestants may dismiss them and not realise they are fierce competitors.
“We might be the juniors and not have much renovating experience, but we are going to give it our best shot,” Luke says.
Josh - Studying mental health
Josh has worked in sales and the corporate world before he headed to the Love Island villa in Fiji in 2019. He ended up finding love and winning the show alongside Anna McEvoy and moved to Melbourne to be with her.
After giving the relationship a really good shot, the pair amicably split last year during Covid-19 lockdown.
Josh quarantined in Darwin at the Howard Springs facility and moved back to Sydney to live with his parents where he realised his purpose.
Mental Health now is his passion and he is studying and looking to inspire others.
“I suffered a lot with social anxiety growing up and to have come through it, it would be great to pass that message on to other people,” he says.
Luke - Synthetic grass installer
In starting up his own synthetic grass installing business, The Block has come at a perfect time for Luke.
He is looking to settle down after becoming engaged to his fiancé Oliva and hopes The Block will set them up for the future.
Luke plans on spending most of his time on the tools on The Block because of his trade background, however he isn’t afraid to lend his eye for style and offer an opinion to Josh when it comes to shopping.
“I do backyards, so hopefully we will win backyard week… if we don’t it will be really disappointing!” he says. “As for the other rooms, wish us luck!”
The twins say they wouldn’t do The Block with anyone else by their side.
They know they will bicker at times, but they always get over it and support each other as families do.
“We can be really angry at each other and then five minutes later we are sweet with each other. Blood is thicker than water and we will show people that,” Luke says.
They know they will bicker at times, but they always get over it and support each other as families do - we can't wait to watch these two tackle The Block!
Kirsty (34) and Jesse (33) – Married from Wangi Wangi, NSW
Together since they were sixteen and married for seven years, Kirsty and Jesse are a rock-solid couple. Whatever they do they give 100 per cent and going on The Block will be no different. Coming from humble beginnings, they see this as a huge opportunity to get ahead in life.
Kirsty and Jesse bought their first house together when they were just 18, fulfilling a dream Jesse, who landed an apprenticeship as a fitter and machinist had held since his first paycheck.
“I think I blew my first pay but after that I saved half my money until I was 18 so we could buy a house, for $165,000,” he says.
They did up that house and sold it, making $60,000 and catching the renovation bug. Since then they have bought and flipped six houses.
Kirsty – Country singer
Kirsty is an established country music singer, performing all over Australia and the world to a loyal fanbase.
She has been to Nashville with Jesse trying to break into the US market and had planned to go back there before Covid-19 hit.
“I’ve been singing all my life, that’s my passion, my music career,” she says.
“I come from a musical family and it just comes naturally to me.”
Kirsty has had success in the country music world in Australia with her album Burn Baby Burn which topped the ARIA country charts in 2016.
She is a proud indigenous woman and is continuing to explore her family’s history.
“It’s something I am learning about every day,” she says.
Jesse - Videographer
All his life Jesse has worked hard, and on The Block it will be no different.
He got his first job at a pizza shop when he was 13 where he was paid $5 an hour.
He realises the value of real estate, and the opportunity that The Block presents for himself and Kirsty.
“We both come from nothing,” he says. “We have very humble beginnings, so real estate means a lot to us, It is a way of making a difference in our lives.”
After training as a fitter and machinist, Jesse has worked as a videographer in the music industry in the last few years, including making a number of clips for his wife.
Applying for The Block since 2012, Kirsty and Jesse are going to relish every opportunity and moment the experience brings.
They cried when they got the call to pack their bags and come to Bronte Court to start work, but don’t expect any more tears – this duo plan on having their game faces ready.
They rarely fight and work very well together.
But will the stress of The Block and the big build test even the strongest of relationships?
Ronnie (45) and Georgia (37) – Parents from Perth, WA
With their first appearance on The Block in 2017 in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick, Ronnie and Georgia became fan favourites. Hugely competitive and outspoken, there’s never a dull moment for these two. They have unfinished business after finishing third in 2017. They took home $161,000 from Elsternwick but they want to come away with the ultimate prize this year.
Hugely competitive and outspoken, there’s never a dull moment for these two!
Ronnie and Georgia renovate and flip houses for a living, so the pressure on this Perth couple to perform is huge.
They know that that this means their build on The Block has to be pretty much perfect.
“I want to do a really good job, and returning as all-stars brings even more expectation and pressure,” Georgia said. “We are our own worst critics.”
They hope their experience on the show in 2017 will also work in their favour.
“We will be a little bit smarter and a little bit wiser this season,” Georgia says.
Ronnie, Professional Renovator:
Ronnie is no stranger to hard work and vigilant regimes. He gets up every morning at 4.30am to go to the gym before a long working day. He feels he has all the skills to win the contest, having renovated homes since his early twenties and previously worked as a real estate agent.
Despite being an avid gym goer Ronnie is worried about being ‘Block fit’ going into a second season of the show.
“I need to keep myself in top shape,” he says. “The Block is a workout like nothing else. You have to be mentally and physically ready for this brutal and relentless challenge. Not afraid to stir the pot, Ronnie will live and breathe every second of his time on the show just like he did in 2017.
Georgia, Professional Renovator:
Feisty and with an eye for style, Georgia is a force to be reckoned with.
She again plans to take on the role of shopping and styling in Hampton, and The Block in Elsternwick showed her that anything is possible under the most trying circumstances.
“You don’t understand what you are capable of until you do something like this,” Georgia says.
Back home in Perth Georgia juggles working on the business and raising the couple’s two children, Leo, 9, and Charlotte, 6.
She admits it will be tough to be away for the kids as they know what to expect.
“There were lots of tears when we left,” she says.
“I promised them a pool at the end of this, to get them over the line.”
She is also a brand ambassador, television presenter and accomplished home stylist.
The explosive dynamic between Ronnie and Georgia that we saw on The Block in 2017 will be there again as they get things off their chest, move on, and do the job. They bounce off each other well, they know what they are doing, and they are coming into Fans v Faves as confident as ever.
With their previous experience, Ronnie and Georgia believe they have the upper hand and know what is ahead. But nothing is ever certain on The Block, and with so many twists and turns expected in Hampton, it won’t be easy sailing this year for this pair.
Mitch (58) and Mark (59) – Granddads from Sydney, NSW
Australia first met Mitch and Mark on The Block in 2019 at The Oslo where they came fifth but still took away an impressive $384,000 in prizemoney. Together for sixteen years, they are back to win.
Now they return to The Block to show more of what they can do and snatch the crown as winners.
Mitch and Mark know their stuff when it comes to flipping houses and renovating. They are up to house No.20, and before The Block was about to start renovating their own home on Sydney’s northern beaches.
“There is nothing like finishing a project after planning it for so long and seeing it come to life, we love it,” Mark says.
They plan to use their experience in renovating and being on the show before to maximum advantage, but this might mean occasionally letting their guard down.
“Last time we got so caught up with the build, we didn’t allow ourselves as to have as much fun as we could have,” Mitch says.
Mitch - entrepreneur:
Mitch has three grown up children and the couple have five grandchildren who are the delights of their lives.
Mitch recently resigned from his long-time job as a manager of business and innovation to be part of The Block again. He had committed to a new five-year contract, but when the TV producers came calling, he knew it was the right decision to leave.
“I thought about it and said do I really want to be doing this for the next five years? I’d rather be back on The Block,” he says.
With a steely determination and not afraid to give an opinion, added to his flair for design, Mitch should not be underestimated.
Mark - entrepreneur:
Mark spent the first 36 years of his life living in Adelaide, before moving to Sydney.
A psychologist, he left his job working in personal injury and insurance after appearing on The Block in 2019, to focus on the Mitch and Mark brand.
“I think to come out of The Oslo and achieve what we did, it made us realise we can do anything,” he says.
Mark has a very close relationship with his builders on The Oslo, Jason and Stevie Charles.
The Charles brothers will be back on The Block with Mitch and Mark again.
“When we rang Jason and asked him to come back, he said he couldn’t have anyone else do it with us, which was lovely,” Mark says.
Always on site while Mitch shops, Mark is organised, not afraid to get on the tools and another fierce competitor.
The unstoppable grandparents recently got to help Cam and Jules (MAFS) on the makeover of their new home.
As in 2019, Mitch and Mark will be prepared to do anything and everything it takes to win. They are excellent renovators who always consult each other. Headstrong and with clear ideas, Mitch and Mark rubbed some contestants up the wrong way in 2019. Will it be the same at Bronte Court?
Whatever happens, Mitch and Mark will bring their A game once again on The Block, which might have the others shaking in their work boots.
Tanya (39) and Vito (44) – Parents from Melbourne, VIC
Together for two decades and married for 18 years, with children Eva (12) and Josiah (8), Tanya and Vito are as close a couple as you can get. Tanya and Vito have big personalities and are not afraid to either show or hide their emotions – they plan on making a big impact on the program, that is certain.
“The Block is something we have watched for years so it’s just amazing to be on it,” Tanya tells Insider Style.
Tanya and Vito, who have always lived in Melbourne’s north-west suburbs have built three houses of their own during their marriage.
The last home – where they live with their two children Eva, 12, and Josiah, 8 – in the Melbourne suburb of Airport West, is their pride and joy.
Their style is loud and bright and colourful and they believe their experience of building three homes will help them immensely on The Block.
“We understand trades,” Vito says.
And both have been fans of The Block for a long time.
“The Block is something we have watched for years so it’s just amazing to be on it,” Tanya says. “We can’t believe this is happening to us.”
Tanya – Makeup artist:
With her signature bright purple hair Tanya is well known in Melbourne and Australia as a makeup artist.
With over 11,000 followers on Instagram she has developed a strong fan following over the years for her work and has many celebrity clients.
She knows what the TV industry is about, but being on The Block is a completely different beast.
“I am so used to doing hair and makeup and making talent feel good,” she says.
“Being on the other side of the camera, it took me a while to get used to that.”
Tanya is personable and always makes an entrance when she walks in the room.
She is a determined and her persistence will hold her in good stead in this pressure cooker environment.
Vito – Window furnisher:
Over the years Vito has had a number of jobs and is a qualified barber.
He is set to be the resident snipper on The Block, something he is hoping will win him a few friends and favours.
He is so close with his wife Tanya and does nothing without her input.
“I need her with me,” he says. “I trust Tanya with all my life. That’s the way it’s going to be on The Block, I am only going to trust Tanya.”
Italian in background, family is incredibly important to Vito. He wants to set an example to his kids on The Block.
“We want to set the best example for our kids, mum and dad doing their best when dealing with the highs and lows. We always make sure that we work together as a team. When we do, we can do anything,” he says.
Best friends as well as partners, Vito leans on Tanya, and Tanya leans on Vito. And that is going to be the theme for the close Melbourne couple this year on The Block.
Relying on each other for help and advice, they’ll listen to others, but make up their own minds about what’s best for them.
There is always drama and conflict on The Block. Tanya and Vito plan on using their immensely close bond to stick together and get through it all.
THE BLOCK 2021 LOCATION – HAMPTON AT A GLANCE
- Hampton is 14 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD.
-The median price for a three-bedroom house is $1.64 million.
-The median price for a four-bedroom house is $2.17 million.
-75% of homes in Hampton are occupier owned, with 25% rented
-Close to prestigious Hampton street, filled with restaurants and cafes
The Block: Fans v Faves will premiere on August 8 at 7pm Nine and 9Now...
Meet the 2021 Block contestants in detail HERE