Well, it’s safe to say NONE of us saw that coming! Yep, Norm and Jess have taken out the coveted Domain prize, scoring themselves $5000 cash this week, and that all-important Domain front cover. This last bit is huge - after all, the last three cover stars have gone on to win The Block, netting their builders a huge $100,000 in additional prize money in the process. We chatted to Alice Stoltz about how she feels about how everything's played out...
Alice Stoltz, National Managing Editor Domain
Were you surprised by Jess and Norm’s win? Go on - be honest…
Basically, yes! I was surprised it ended up being them, although, in saying that, week one they really did impress me…
Well, then in week two or three, my relationship with them probably got more challenging - I really gave them a tough love talk, and in my own head, psychologically, I thought they weren’t going to get there.
Why was that?
Because they were just not measuring up to where they needed to be to get to that end place. But then they responded well to that, and they did pull up their socks. And then, bit by bit, they just clawed back.
Were you expecting that?
I don’t think I realised it was happening at the time. It wasn’t until we got to the end - and I say this quite honestly - I was like, ‘They have actually done it!’
Let’s face it - I think they surprised us all!
They were definitely not who I thought [they would be] And that’s the case for many [Block contestants]. I thought that even on paper, Sara and Hayden would be stronger than they ended up being. It’s going to be be interesting at Auction - this year, the winner of the Domain prize may not be the winner of The Block.
What makes you say that?
I think there is going to be a vast difference in the reserve category of what the penthouse goes for, versus apartment number one. So it could be that Kerrie and Spence who get the most over reserve - but who knows how it will all play out? It will depend on the market conditions when it comes time to selling….
And who the interested buyers are. Regardless of the outcome, though, you’ve got to admit they’ve all done well...
I just feel so in awe of these contestants, who have the vision, the grit, the stamina and the skills to pull off what they have done, week after week. It’s pretty easy for me to go in there every week and cast judgement on them, but they are the ones that are really having to deal with very challenging architectural constraints, building issues, design issues, and a lot of them don’t even know the Melbourne market either. They’ve done an amazing job.
Check out the couples Domain listings here:
Take a look back at Jess and Norm's completed rooms HERE
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