It’s a big year for The Block, but probably not in the way that any of the producers hoped. The show has already seen off a barrage of criticism, firstly over the sheer size of the renovations they’re saddling the contestants with (a building almost twice the size of last year’s Gatwick Hotel, but with budgets scarcely larger than any previous season), as well as the over-saturation of product placement throughout. But last night’s episode brought on a whole-new wave of criticism thanks to the deeply awkward stitch-up of a contestant that was at best a real dick move, and at worst has drawn cries of bullying and humiliation from fans.
Host Scott Cam is at the centre of this latest controversy, that saw contestant El’ise pulled off-site to be warned about high levels of spending early in the competition, only to have fellow contestant Mel brought in mid-meeting to be handed $5,000 for being a good spend person.
With El’ise just sitting there. Watching the whole thing go down.
The segment went down like a lead balloon with fans, with the obvious and frankly baffling stitch-up torn a new one on Twitter by punters who accused Cam of bullying El’ise and deliberately orchestrating a scenario in which she’d be utterly humiliated on national TV.
#theblock cool, bully your contestants instead of helping them. No one respects that type of behaviour. Mental health is such an important issue and provoking animosity for TV ratings is nothing short of pathetic— Luke Vella (@vella_luke) August 20, 2019
El’ise isn’t crying cause of her budget, she’s crying because of the way that “friendly chat” ended. I’d be crying too. It’s humiliating. You don’t kick a person while they are down #theblock— Missie (@missiexox) August 20, 2019
Shit of Scott to fuck over Elise like that on #theblock. She needed a reality check not a humiliating ordeal— Kellie Charles (@KellieCharles13) August 20, 2019
While the producers of #TheBlock feel chuffed abt creating outrage by getting Scotty to bully a contestant, Ch9 execs are furious abt the missed product placement op for antidepressants.— Funny Not Funny (@FunnyNotFunny13) August 20, 2019
She might be over spending, and it needs dealing with, but deliberately humiliating E'lise like that was atrocious. #TheBlock— SueC (@Ozbird) August 20, 2019
Watching the block and seeing what they did giving the other girl $5,000 cash when she was struggling with her budget that isn’t on, you don’t do that in front of another team at leadt in private i feel sorry for her #theblock ????— Jen (@jen_stratton) August 20, 2019
Either that was a really nasty move to do that in front of El’ise or that was very poorly set up for the cameras. #TheBlock— Jake ????✨ (@jakemoogle) August 20, 2019
Elise was completely right to be upset by that assholery. #TheBlock— Kathryn (@pinktweetkat) August 20, 2019
And in a red hot bit of We Did Nothing Wrong, the show’s producers were allegedly hiding and removing negative comments regarding the incident on their Facebook shortly after it aired, which is always a great sign that everything is fine and nobody regrets anything.
#TheBlock is hiding negative comments re Elise and Suncorp on their page, which makes the situation worse when dozens of people point out the disappearing comments.— Mark (@MarkBlogsAU) August 20, 2019
It remains to be seen just how in the blue hell contestants managed to finish the entire 460-odd square-metre luxury renovation on a budget capable of maybe decking out a mid-sized fridge box. But all will be revealed when The Block continues to air tonight at 7pm only on Channel Nine and 9Now.
If any of my bosses’ bosses’ bosses are reading this article, please remember that last sentence only.