A ‘Block’ Couple Went Rogue And Torched The Show, Now Shit Is Hitting The Fan

It’s not been a pleasant year on The Block by any stretch of the imagination. The sheer scale of the project at hand – renovating and essentially rebuilding the entire gargantuan Oslo Hotel in St Kilda – coupled with perceived lack of budget and overall support from the show’s production staff has put an incredible strain on the contestants in this year’s season. But one couple has absolutely blown the whole shebang up over the past 24 hours, levelling furious accusations of bullying and bad editing at the show and forcing producers into a mad scramble.

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Cairns couple Tess Luke have tossed a live grenade into the production as it winds its way towards conclusion, going rogue on producers by conducting what appears to be an unsanctioned and, frankly, explosive interview yesterday that repeatedly accuses the show of bullying, lying, and maliciously skewing the edit to make them appear lazy.

With the series this week airing a rather inflammatory sequence in which Tess walked off the site in tears, unwilling to subject herself to yet another berating from host Scott Cam over the couple’s so-called money issues, Tess & Luke unloaded in a wild interview with News.com.au, stating they’ve stopped watching the series over the way producers have been treating them, and openly wishing they never went on the show to begin with.

In the interview, Tess & Luke claim that the show is so “full of shit” that they can’t watch it anymore, and that they’re “sick of how they’re editing us as being these big lazy pricks who don’t get off their ass and do a single thing.”

“For some reason they’re just not showing us doing any of the work. We’re just getting painted as these lazy people and we’re bloody sick of it. We’re really disappointed. Even the other contestants have contacted us to say, ‘That didn’t happen, that was taken out of context’.”

“We’re really upset — we’re not coping with it any more. We’re really heartbroken. We thought this was going to be an amazing, positive experience in our life, but we wish we never went on this bloody thing. We got bullied the whole way through [filming] the show, and now we feel like they’re bullying us on the show as well.”

Tess & Luke also detailed how the show has, allegedly, repeatedly lied by claiming the couple spent large amounts of extra money on trades, and by being disingenuous with its depictions of extra help offered to them, including work conducted by site foreman Keith Schleiger.

“I looked at a producer and said, ‘I’m not coping today. My mental health isn’t right. I can’t go in there and be slammed by Scotty over something that isn’t true’. And it was all a lie. We didn’t spend $25,000 more than the other contestants. We’ve been working our absolute asses off.”

“Keith would come in, lay a board, then go away for the rest of the day ’cause he can’t do anything. Then he’d come back and lay the last board with us — he never actually helped us, it was just for show.”

In response, executive producers for the show held crisis meetings with Tess & Luke and gone into damage control through the media. Show creator Julian Cress appeared on The Hit Network late yesterday and stated “Nobody who is lazy will ever get on this show — it’s too hard. There’s no way in the world Tess and Luke are lazy people. (But) everybody who comes on the show will reach a point where they are feeling extremely low. It happens.”

This morning, Nine (who wholly owns this publication but refuses to respond to my emails calling for “pudding fountains” to be mandatory Block inclusions for all houses) issued a statement doubling down on that sentiment, asserting, “We recognise the mammoth challenges facing all contestants. We supported all of them throughout the build and we had a psychologist and support team available at all times. We’ll continue to support them as the program is broadcast and beyond.”

This entire drama comes just one day after a landmark, potentially industry-shifting legal ruling that a former House Rules contestant should be eligible to receive a Workers Comp payout from Channel Seven due to suffering psychological damage over an unwanted “villain edit.”

Whether Tess & Luke suddenly start receiving a much more favourable edit for the remainder of the current Block season remains to be seen.