Each year Scott Cam watches a new crop of wide-eyed, enthusiastic Blockheads step through the doors of their dilapidated homes for the first time - and get the shock of their lives. Like lambs to the slaughter, they arrive thinking they can hack the pace, and each year they’re all shocked at just how tough that first week - and every week after - really is.
“People always think it can’t be that hard - but it is,” Scott explains. “Every year I ask them if they thought there would be ‘smoke and mirrors’ and they all say, ‘Yes I did. I had no idea how hard this was going to be."
Young guns Josh and Elyse are the first to admit the show is much more difficult than they ever imagined.
“Before coming on the show, I thought it would be more like two weeks edited into one. It’s actually legit real!” Josh admits.
First time renovator, Hannah, agrees: “You watch it on TV and there is so much going on,” she says. “They are under so much pressure. But until you are living and breathing it, and you are away from your family, you can’t possibly comprehend it.”
Even experienced renovators Ronnie and Georgia, who have flipped a record ten houses together, admit they grossly underestimated the situation.
“The Block? It’s hard,” Georgia laughs. “Before you have a baby everyone tells you how hard it is, and you’re like, ‘Whatever.’ And then you get in there, you say, ‘I get it now.’
“People can tell you that this will be the hardest thing you ever do, but until you are in there, living it, I don’t think you’d know.”
Georgia admits that for a few years she couldn’t bring herself to watch the show, as she’d get too frustrated that people were doing it - and she was at home missing out. But now she’s here, she gets the intense pressure they were under. And she’s willing to forgive their mistakes.
Ronnie, too, says he has had a reality check. He admits he was particularly surprised by how tough Keith and Dan really are when it comes to enforcing building codes, and making sure everything is done to the highest standard.
“I used to think, watching it at home, ‘These guys are just a bunch of actors.’ But they are the real deal,” Ronnie says. “If they see something wrong, they will tell you to rip it up and start again - 100 per cent.”
Scotty’s advice to this year’s contestants is the same as he gives each year: prepare yourself for a whole lot of hard work. And don’t expect anyone behind the scenes to give you a hand.
“Be warned: you need to have some intense internal fortitude [to do this show],” he says. “And you have to be strong, give it a crack and get stuck into it.”
Don’t forget to check out Scott's website too for DIY tips, stories and deals on Bisley workwear.