Block contestants’ hotel shock
THEY always knew they were in for a fixer-upper - but nothing could have prepared them for this.
There were intense scenes in the 2018 season premiere of The Block as the five pairs of contestants tasked with turning St Kilda's infamous Gatwick Hotel into a luxury apartment building discovered the full extent of the task ahead of them.
This will the biggest construction project the Block has ever attempted, and excitement turned to horror the second the 10 contestants stepped inside the 58-room hotel, which was built in 1937.
Soggy, soiled mattresses, piles of broken furniture, even a dead rodent - you could almost smell it all through the screen.
And in a brief flash forward to future episodes during the premiere, we saw just about every contestant on the show having fiery clashes with their partners, the construction workers and the show's crew.
"They hammered us. There's a gun range, and we're the targets," moans contestant Sara, who clearly has a flair for both dramatics and mixed metaphors.
In another preview of a confrontation we'll see more of later in the season, flight attendant Sara, 31, and her husband, 45-year-old construction manager Hayden, are shown demanding the cameras stop filming them and threatening to walk off the show.
The words "I want to go to my sister's wedding" are uttered by Sara as she storms off, apparently unaware that she is now essentially the property of the Nine Network until the final tools down.
That colourful couple are competing against Sunshine Coast couple Norm, a builder, and Jess, a breakfast radio announcer. This year's oldest couple are Kerrie, 48 and Spence, 46, who run a Barossa Valley bed and breakfast. Best mates and former pro netballers, Bianca and Carla, both 35, are the only single sex pairing this year, and rounding out the five teams are Hans, 37, and Courtney, 33, an engaged Perth couple who both work in aviation.
In the coming months, The Block will show the unlivable rooming house - a magnet for criminal activity, drug use and even murder that was dubbed 'Hotel Hell' before it was shut down - transformed into eight luxury apartments.
Initially up for sale at the $12-15 million mark, the Nine Network reportedly paid $10 million for the notorious property.
- The Block continues Mondays-Wednesdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 7pm on Nine.