The Block Judges

The Block: How do room reveals affect the final auction results?

Information verified correct on October 26th, 2016

Room reveals and judging create many moments of high drama on The Block, but does winning a renovation round actually make a difference to the final auction price? We've analysed every series to find out.

The ultimate goal in The Block is to achieve the highest price at auction. Having weekly judging of individual rooms ensures there's fresh competition every week, but does that subjective judgement by a handful of individuals ultimately match what happens at the auctions? Do those renovations add value to the property, or is it all just to add drama?

The room judging is done by experts in their respective industries: real estate guru John McGrath, belle magazine editor Neale Whitaker, interior designer Darren Palmer and buyer advocate Nicole Jacobs. Can this varying selection of people give a genuine idea of how much value a particular room will add to the bottom line on auction day?

We’ve looked at the outcomes of the weekly judging across all 10 series and compared this to who took out the final win at auction to see what ﹘ if anything ﹘ the judging means. We also wanted to examine if there was any truth to the long-held belief that the kitchen and bathroom are the key renovation rooms if you want to add value to your property. The results may surprise you.

With the style of judging and the properties judged changing from season to season, we decided to look at each individual season, and then look for ongoing trends across the seasons.

ALSO READ: Does auction order impact the final sales result of The Block properties?

ALSO READ: The Block 2015 Blocktagon: How dow does colour impact the mood of the room?

ALSO READ: Shaynna Blaze's top 13 interior tips.

Interesting Note

Can you see the difference between the images below of the Manly and Vaucluse properties after renovations ended and before auction?

Left: when the couples left The Block Right: auction dayPre-auction and auction day (Season 2)

The nine dots that make up the Channel 9 logo have been magically added to the front of the building.

Season 3 - Left: before the couple left Right: post auctionFour days pre-auction and post-auction (Season 3)

This symbol can be seen on a few of The Block properties that Channel 9 has used over the years of The Block. The interesting thing here is that it has been added after the renovations are done but before the properties are sold.

Left: Season 5 Right: Season 1Season 5                                   Season 1

Back to top

Season 1 (2003)

Channel 9 launched The Block as a replacement for its previous renovation shows Location, Location and Jamie Durie’s Backyard Blitz.

Jamie Durie took on the hosting role for The Block and handed the contestants the keys to a two-bedroom unit in a block of four in the beachside Sydney suburb of Bondi. The reserve was set at the start of the season after John McGrath valued each property, before the couples had done any renovating and after professional builders had ripped all the guts out in preparation for the couples to begin work.

Interesting Note
Host Jamie Durie took $5,000 off the value suggested by John McGrath and set the reserves at $595,000 before the couples had even seen what they were up against.
The Block (2003)Final WinnersAuction OrderRooms Won
Adam and FionaWon4th2/5
Kylie and Paul2nd3rd1.5/5
Gav and Waz3rd2nd0.5/5
Amity and Phil4th1st1/5

John McGrath would visit The Block each week after couples revealed a room and judge the rooms based on the value they added to the property for likely Bondi area purchasers. In this first season Adam and Fiona, who won the most challenges, also won on auction day.

This duo won with were the second bedroom, which they styled into a study, and the main bathroom which they increased the size slightly to allow for a separate shower and bath. Renovation and property experts often say that the bathroom is one of the key rooms to enhance to add value to your property and having the bath and shower separated could sway some buyers.

The other room that is often touted as a huge value-add when reselling is the kitchen, a challenge won by Phil and Amity. They did however wow the judges with this room as they made some changes to their floor plan and previous room reveals in order to have an open plan kitchen, living and dining. Unfortunately for the couple, this was the only room they won and it didn't help their cause -- they came last with the lowest profit on auction day.

Second-placed couple Kylie and Paul won with their second bedroom which, like Adam and Fiona, they chose to convert to a study. They did impress with their automated audio visual system in their lounge room but were beaten by Phil and Amity’s floor plan overhaul that week.

Paul and Kylie also tied with Gav and Waz, who presented their lounge room, with their bathroom. This tie was Gav and Waz's only win across the season. The boys did have some interesting features including an automated blind to separate their sitting room/second bedroom and lounge room. However judge John McGrath commented that the boys always went for the wow factor, but that it may be too much wow for the buyers of Bondi.

Back to top

Season 2 (2004)

The Block crossed the Harbour Bridge renovating a block of four two-bedroom units in Manly. The two top floor units had extra area with an attic and the two lower floor units had a small backyard.

Interesting Note
This season had some extra drama when Sydney couple Dani and Monique chose to leave the show after two weeks when a story from Dani’s past hit the news. The couple didn’t want to add stress to themselves, their families or the other contestants by remaining in the spotlight. Andrew and Jamie, a young Sydney couple, replaced them. (That was a smart move for Andrew, who has since qualified as a doctor and become a prominent TV personality.)
The Block (2004)Final WinnersAuction OrderRooms Won
Jason and Kirsten2nd2nd2/5
Richard and StevenTied 3rd4th1.5/5
Matt and JaneTied 3rd1st1.5/5
Dani and Monique/Andrew and JamieWon3rd1/5

Real estate expert John McGrath returned to judge the new season. The judging process changed, with McGrath bringing along a couple from the first season to give their opinion of the rooms. This season saw the beginning of an interesting trend: the couple that won the most room challenges did not take out the final prize on auction day.

The couple that eventually won, Andrew and Jamie, ended the season with only one room win for their bathroom and laundry. While their late entry might have been seen as a disadvantage to winning challenges, it didn't affect the final outcome.

Jason and Kirsten topped the challenger leaderboard, with wins including their bedroom and their lounge and dining area that opened out onto the courtyard. While they didn't win, they did place second, suggesting the renovations may have still been an important factor.

The other two competing couples only broke even on auction day with no profit above their reserves. This raises the question: how much of your own style should you put into a renovation?

Consider Richard and Steven who won for their kitchen and living area and tied with Matt and Jane for their second bedroom or study. Their design choices in their kitchen may not be everyone's cup of tea, and this may have affected auction day results.

The boys also made some interesting choices when designing their hallway that included blue lights suitable for a club and their attic, which they converted into a spare bedroom with en suite with a strong red theme. (Strong is putting it mildly. Dracula would feel right at home here.)

Matt and Jane's winning rooms were their bathroom with laundry and they tied with the boys with their kitchen. They chose a very dark colour scheme throughout the apartment that may not have appealed to Manly buyers.

Back to top

Season 3 (2010)

After an extended break the show was revived in 2010 with Scott Cam, a fully qualified carpenter who has appeared on other Channel 9 DIY shows, replacing Jamie Durie as the host. This season was filmed in Vaucluse in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, with four new couples renovating a block of four three-bedroom apartments.

With the new faces there was also a new approach to how each couple progressed through the renovation. Rather than the couple getting to choose which room they will do each week, all the couples would work on and present the same room. That levels the playing field, as you're comparing kitchens with kitchens.

The Block (2010)Final WinnersAuction OrderRooms Won
Neisha and JohnWon1st2/7
Mark and Duncan3rd2nd1/7
Erin and Jake2nd4th3/7
Brenton and ChezDidn't sell3rd1/7

The winners for this season were Neisha and John, who won the second-highest number of challenges for the season, proving victorious with their spare room and their living room. But was it their front courtyard perhaps that helped them win on auction day?

Erin and Jake, came in second on auction day and had won the most room challenges throughout the season. They were able to win over judges John McGrath and belle magazine editor Neale Whitaker with their guest bedroom, main bathroom and kitchen.

Best friends Mark and Duncan, known affectionately as the “Two Fat Tradies”, are both carpenters by trade and were actually the oldest contestants to take on The Block. Despite their combined 40 years building experience they were only able to win the judges over with their en suite.

There was the first ever big life moment celebrated on The Block when mid-season Brenton proposed to Chez using their completed lounge and some decorating from the boys to set the mood. Despite this happy moment they were only able to wow the judges with their master bedroom and also had the honour of being the first couple in the history of The Block to have their apartment passed in or not sell at auction.

In an interesting turn of events compared to the previous seasons where the auction winners were one of or the last apartments to be auctioned off, this season saw the winners being the first on the auction block. There may have been some fear of missing out at play as the last apartment to go up for auction, Erin and Jake, did come in second overall on auction day.

Back to top

Season 4 (2011)

Season four of The Block saw some major changes starting with the location. The Block moved to Richmond in Melbourne. They opted to renovate four side-by-side properties rather than the usual block of four units. Beginning the season newly appointed “Challenge master” Shelley Craft challenged eight couples with tasks for elimination purposes to finish with four couples. Throughout the season Shelley also hosted other challenges with offerings of extra money, items or services to assist the renovations.

The Block (2011)Total PointsFinal WinnersRooms WonAfter Auction Sale
Tania and Rod118.5Didn't sell2/7$1,000,000
Jenna and Josh120.5Didn't Sell3.5/7$855,000
Polly and Waz113Won0.5/7Sold at auction($860,000)
Katrina and Amie115Didn't sell1/7$922,000

This was also the first year that judging was based on a by a points system with judges John McGrath and Neale Whitaker, editor-in-chief of design magazine belle, awarding them based on design and execution. Despite the larger focus on design John McGrath remained involved and still used his real estate brain when judging.

Did this change in approach change the relationship between weekly room results and the final auction price? Possibly. It's quite telling that on auction day only one of the properties were able to reach reserve and therefore sell.

Winners indeed, Polly and Waz only scraped in with a tied first place with Jenna and Josh when the master bedroom and en suite was revealed. They were also the couple with the lowest overall points at the end of the series, so why were they the only one to sell on auction day? The change in approach seems the most likely explanation.

And what about Jenna and Josh, who won the most rooms challenges, scoring victories with their guest bedroom, second bedroom and their kitchen/dining room? They also tied with their master bedroom and en suite, so they won over the judges, but not the buyers. They also ended up having the lowest eventual sale price, which led viewers to question: were the design ideas Jenna and Josh presented too unique?

All the properties sold eventually, and if ranked by that final sale price the winners would have actually been Rod and Tania. They placed second on the room victories leaderboard, with wins for their bathroom/laundry and their terrace, but that didn't help.

The final couple were sisters Katrina and Amie from country NSW, who left their husbands and kids at home whilst they worked on The Block. (Being able to leave Thurgoona for six months can't have lacked some appeal.) They only wowed the judges with their living room and hallway, and came last as often as Polly and Waz.

While the judging approach may have shifted attitudes to design, it didn't lead to the most extreme examples. There was nothing in this season to match Steven and Richard's red bathroom from Season 2.

ALSO READ: The Block 2015 Blocktagon: Renovating to sell, not renovating to live.

WATCH: The Block's Charlotte and Josh's renovation tips.

Back to top

Season 5 (2012)

With this season The Block stayed in Melbourne, finding four terrace houses in South Melbourne, with Scott Cam still the host and Shelley Craft returning to act as “Challenge master”. Again there were eight couples who fought it out in challenges for their place on The Block. The final four couples were eventually chosen and given the keys to their property.

The Block (2012)Total PointsFinal WinnerRooms Won
Brad and Lara203Won2/10
Dani and Dan1992nd3/10
Sophie and Dale2124th3/10
Mike and Andrew1923rd2/10

The judging panel was shuffled again this year. John McGrath and Neale Whitaker, now editor of Vogue Living, returned, while interior designer Shaynna Blaze from Selling Houses Australia was added to the mix. Interior designer Darren Palmer stepped in on some weeks when John McGrath was unable to join the regular judges.

Again in this season the couple that won the most points didn't end up winning the auction. Sophie and Dale wowed the judges with their guest bedroom and powder room, their room saver (where they redid a previously renovated room) and their exterior. But did injecting so much of their own personal design preferences rather than sticking to neutral choices affect them on auction day?

The eventual winners on auction day, Brad and Lara, came in second place on the points table, winning for their main bathroom and rooftop terrace and utility. Does this mean that a bathroom renovation really is a key factor to consider when you want to add value to your property? Or is all just dependent on what the buyers are looking for and how much they are willing to spend?

The team with the lowest overall judges score, Mike and Andrew, won the same number of room challenges as Brad and Lara but still didn’t quite reach the top on auction day.

The boys were able to win over the judges with their master bedroom and en suite and their kitchen, but failed to impress with other rooms. They did their rooftop terrace twice by using the room saver but finished last on the scoreboard both times they presented it. Impressing the judges with the second rooftop terrace attempt, but not finishing the utility redo cost them with the judges.

The final couple, Dan and Dani, started the season well by winning with their front room and ultimately won the same number of room challenges as the top point scorers Sophie and Dale. They came in second on auction day and were the second property to go under the hammer.

It was noted by the judges that Dan and Dani removed all the period features in the property so they could put a modern stamp on the house. But with a terrace house in Melbourne do the prospective buyers really want to lose all the historical styling that makes terrace houses so unique?

Back to top

Season 6 - The Block All Stars (2013)

The Block headed back to Sydney this year with the couples each receiving keys to federation semi-houses in Bondi. This season saw the return of some couples from previous seasons to have another try at Block auction day glory. The returning couples were Phil and Amity from season one, Mark and Duncan from season three, Jenna and Josh from season four and Dan and Dani from season five. That raises an obvious question: had those couples learned anything from their previous attempts?

The judging was done this year by Neale Whitaker, Shaynna Blaze and interior designer Darren Palmer, now a permanent replacement for John McGrath. So how did this design-oriented panel go when it came to judging the properties, and did those judgements correlate with the final auction results?

The Block All Stars (2013)Total PointsFinal WinnersRooms Won
Josh and Jenna146.52nd3/7
Mark and Duncan (Dale, from season five, replaced Mark after health concerns forced him to leave)130.54th1.5/7
Phil and Amity142Won1.5/7
Dan and Dani1343rd1/7

The trend of total points for rooms not providing a consistent guide to auction results continued. Season winners Phil and Amity were keen to prove that they could do better than their last-place result in season one. This time around they won for their hallway and formal lounge area and tied for their backyard and entertaining area. They kept their designs more neutral to cater for the Bondi market and also were mindful of potential buyers being young families.

Interesting Note
In season one Phil and Amity were the first couple on the auction block and ended up with the lowest profit made on auction day. This year they were the last couple on the auction block and won the season with the highest profit made.

Phil and Amity’s styling obviously impressed the judges as they were second placed for points behind Josh and Jenna. The young couple had married since their previous turn on The Block, after Josh popped the question on auction night. The newlyweds wanted to prove they had learned from their experience last time when their property failed to reach reserve at auction.

They began the season with a win for their first bedroom and then impressed again with their bathroom as well as their kitchen and laundry. This gave them the most room wins for the season as well as the highest points, but this didn’t translate to the highest price on auction day.

Mark and Duncan ended the season with the lowest score overall and only won for their second bedroom and tied with Phil and Amity for their outdoor spaces. Mark had a health scare mid-season that forced him to leave The Block and he was replaced by Dale from season five.

Returning from last season Dan and Dani struggled with the heritage restrictions in place for the Tasman Street properties, as they completely modernised their terrace in the last season. They did score a win for their living room but ended up placing last the most times overall for room reveals although ended up in third-place overall.

Interesting Note
Before the main "open for inspections" for the general public, The Block invited the local residents of Tasman Street, Bondi to have a look at what had been happening in their street for the last few weeks.
Back to top

Season 7 – Sky High (2013)

This season went back to Melbourne and the challenge went ‘Sky High’ with the couples each being given a floor of a former hotel to turn into a South Melbourne apartment. A bigger building meant more competitors, with five couples competing for The Block this year.

The Block Sky High (2013)Total PointsFinal WinnersRooms Won
Matt and Kim262.55th2/10
Alisa and Lysandra288.5Won3.5/10
Trixie and Johnno2802nd1/10
Bec and George280.54th1.5/10
Madi and Jarrod2763rd2/10

The judging panel remained the same, with Darren Palmer, Shaynna Blaze and Neale Whitaker returning. Block veteran John McGrath took Neale's place during foyer/laundry week. The couples were also given a chance to judge each other’s living and dining rooms, with these scores tallied and added to the judge’s scores for the final results.

For only the second time in Block history, and the first time since the judging became more design-focused, the couple with the highest points and most room wins also took out the auction. Twins Alisa and Lysandra wowed the judges with their master bedroom and en suite and their foyer and laundry, and tied with Bec and George for their his-and-hers en suite.

That said, their auction win was also helped by winning $20,000 off their reserve price with the bottom floor apartment challenge, giving them the lowest reserve of all the couples.

Placing fourth on auction day, Bec and George started the season strong winning for the guest bedroom in the first week and backing that up with a tie for first in week two. However they had to take a break as Bec’s mother lost her battle with breast cancer. They did return, but weren’t able to notch up any more wins.

With what was described by judge Neale Whitaker as the ugliest room in The Block, Matt and Kim had a rocky start. They turned it around but dubbed themselves always the bridesmaid, as they were often second. With their living and dining, which included scores from their co-contestants, they won and then followed that up with their winning indoor terrace.

This season’s youngest couple Madi and Jarrod struggled to get a win but this didn’t deter them and they finally scored a gong for their last guest bedroom and en suite They did win big with the ground floor apartment, which all the couples worked on to get money off their reserves, and got $30,000 off their reserve price.

The final couple, Trixie and Johnno, won the coveted penthouse apartment however this may have been a poisoned chalice. With the prestige attached to a penthouse the couple were not able to wow the judges with their rooms most weeks, with the exception of their kitchen. Trixie and Johnno were able to sell their property for the highest amount on auction day but also had the highest reserve which left the Twins with the final prize.

Back to top

Season 8 – Fans vs. Faves (2014)

Staying in Melbourne The Block moved just around the corner to an old theatre that the four couples had to convert into three-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouses with rooftop terraces. As well as designing each room, the couples were also able to control the internal structure and therefore decide on room sizes and shapes.

This year’s contestants were a mix of returning contestants, dubbed "Faves", which included previous season winners Alisa and Lysandra, along with Brad and Dale who had competed with their respective partners in season five and had become good mates.

The other two couples, dubbed "Fans", were selected through a pair of 24-hour challenges. In the end Steve and Chantelle and Kyal and Kara won their spots on The Block. Did the other couples have an advantage knowing what was in store when it came to renovating under the pressure of The Block or could the newbies beat them?

The Block Fans Vs. Faves (2014)Total PointsFinal WinnersRooms Won
Brad and Dale2284th2/8
Alisa and Lysandra2192nd2/8
Steve and Chantelle213Won1/8
Kyal and Kara2253rd3/8

After winning the previous season and gaining a lot of praise from the judges in the process the stakes were high for twin sisters Alisa and Lysandra. They had more of a challenge this year having to build the internal structure as well as design each room, but the twins began the season with a win for their guest bedroom.

Alisa and Lysandra had their first room loss with their upstairs bathroom, but this seemed to act as a catalyst and they won for their kitchen the following week. Despite again having the lowest reserve price on auction day, they were only able to achieve the second-highest profit.

There was a large discord between the judges and the buyers when it came overall winners Chantelle and Steve’s property. They only wowed the judges with their living and dining area and finishing the season bottom of the points tally with the most room losses of the season. On auction day however they took it all despite holding the second highest reserve price.

The other newbie couple, Kyal and Kara, went into auction day having notched up the most room wins throughout the season, but unfortunately this didn't translate into a win. While the couple wowed the judges with their second guest bedroom, upstairs bathroom and rooftop terrace they also managed to match most of their wins with losses. They also went into auction day with what could be seen as a bigger challenge holding the highest reserve price.

Brad and Dale first appeared on The Block in season five, renovating with their respective significant others, and Brad and his partner Lara ended up winning the season. Dale returned for the All Stars to help Duncan out when Mark had an unfortunate health scare that forced him to leave the show mid-season.

This season the boys ended the season at the top of the points board, but only had two room wins under their belt. They won the judges over with their downstairs bathroom and their master bedroom with en suite. Unfortunately it seems the buyers and the judges disagreed with the boys making the lowest profit over their reserve (the second-lowest of the day).

With so much misalignment between the judging and the final results on auction day, it seems clear that judging doesn't reflect the needs of property buyers.

Was this the season that auction order was a big player in the final results? The first up for auction, Brad and Dale, was also the last at the end of auction day while the winners, Steve and Chantelle, was the last under the hammer. Read our analysis of how the auction order affected the overall outcome.

Back to top

Season 9 – The Block Glasshouse (2014)

This season brought in five new couples to make over the biggest Block site so far, located on High Street in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran. As well as scores by the returning judges, each couple was able to score rooms for their rivals.

The Block Glasshouse (2014)Total PointsFinal WinnersRooms Won
Carlene and Michael297Tied 4th2.5/9
Chris and Jenna255.52nd1/9
Dee and Darren264Tied 4th2/9
Max and Karstan2753rd1/9
Simon and Shannon287.5Won2.5/9

This season saw the return of some degree of correlation between the final auction day results and the judges scoring throughout the season. This years winners, Simon and Shannon, tied for most challenges won and were second on the points scoreboard.

The boys scored room wins for their guest bedroom and en suite bathroom and tied with final scoreboard leaders, Carlene and Michael, for their kitchen. Carlene and Michael also notched up room wins for staircase and laundry as well as their living and dining area, which had them equal the boys in room wins.

Unfortunately this is where Carlene and Michael’s luck ended as they finished last on auction day, tying with Dee and Darren for profit made. This was probably a bigger disappointment to Dee and Darren as they were able to slice $30,000 off their reserve price in the extra apartment challenges.

Despite this disappointment at the end of auction day Dee and Darren may have felt rather confident, as they were able to secure room wins for their second guest bedroom and terraces. The final two couples for this season were only able to secure a room win each, Chris and Jenna won for their main bathroom but still ended up at the bottom of the point’s table.

Max and Karstan were another couple that chose to celebrate a milestone whilst on The Block with the first wedding on the show. They had other contestants as guests and also had host Scott Cam conduct the ceremony. Maybe they chose to do this to add some joy to the disappointment they felt at only being able to win for their master bedroom, although the disappointment didn’t end before auction day for them.

Interesting Note
There were some shocking auction results especially after the previous season had netted a minimum of $500,000 in profits. The winning property only netted $335,000 followed by $310,000 then a massive drop to $40,000 and the final two properties netting only $10,000 each above the reserve. These results begged the question: had The Block lost its bite when it comes to real estate?
Back to top

Season 10 – The Block Triple Threat (2015)

The first 2015 season of The Block continued the Melbourne trend with renovations being done to four north-facing townhouses contained in a single block of units on Darling Street in South Yarra.

Two groups of elimination challenges occurred with Dee and Darren from Glasshouse beating two other previous couples to win their spot. The other three spots six newbie couples battled it out for their chance to join The Block.

Interesting Note
Dan from season five and six of The Block became a qualified builder since his stint on the show; he was a carpenter when he competed. He returned to The Block this season to act as apprentice foreman or ‘foreboy’ to the show's foreman Keith Schleiger, who was getting quite exhausted from the intensity of The Block.
The Block Triple Threat (2015)Total PointsFinal WinnersRooms Won
Dee and Darren248.5Won3/10
Ayden and Jess2404th3/10
Tim and Anastasia221.53rd1/10
Josh and Charlotte250.52nd2/10

Although not reflected in their overall scores or even their weekly room scores, this year there was additional judging done by a panel of three buyer's agents. The panel consisted of Frank Valentic of Advantage Property, Greville Pabst of WBP Property Group and Nicole Jacobs of Jacobs Buying Group. It’s interesting to see how their scores correlate with not only the regular judges, who are designers, but also the auction results.

This was the second year in a row for season winners Dee and Darren; did this mean they may have had a psychological advantage over the other competitors?

They finished the season with the most room wins, wowing for their main bathroom, with both sets of judges, their laundry, powder room and wine cellar and their terrace (a room that they also won the previous season.) There was some controversy as they also won for their master bedroom but only after Josh and Charlotte were disqualified for using the incorrect beds.

Speaking of Josh and Charlotte we were lucky enough to speak to them about their time on The Block and they gave some great renovating insights. Fans of the couple may say they were robbed of the master bedroom win although the points still counted and got them to the top of that scoreboard. The buyers advocates also thought their master was the best as well as their second bedroom.

Josh and Charlotte also racked up wins with their living and dining area as well as their en suite, despite the buyers advocates preferring Dee and Darren’s en suite. It looks that Josh and Charlotte and Dee and Darren were the main contenders this season as they also ended up in the one and two spot on auction day, with Josh and Charlotte as number two.

That said, the other couples did present something to impress the judges with Ayden and Jess equalling Dee and Darren in room wins. Winning for their guest bedroom, kitchen and stair and study, which also impressed the buyer’s advocates. Unfortunately these wins in the rooms didn’t translate on auction day as Ayden and Jess, despite having the lowest reserve, finished with the smallest amount of profit above their reserve.

At the bottom of the points tally was Tim and Anastasia who were only able to win with their second bedroom. They were able to wow the buyer's advocates with their laundry, powder room and wine cellar as well as their living and dining area. Their kitchen, one of the rooms thought to be key when selling, also wowed the advocates, but they finished last points but first in room losses.

Interesting Note
This was the highest-priced season of The Block with the properties going for between $2 million and $2.3 million. Looking at the properties, where they are located and the market in Melbourne it’s not too surprising.
Back to top

Season 11 – The Blocktagon (2015)

This season of The Block was set to be the biggest yet as well as the most challenging with the couples renovating an octagonal shaped building and each couple taking on an entire floor. After taking out the 24-hour challenge and choosing the penthouse, Shay and Dean came out strong. The pair won the first two weeks of room reveals with their master ensuite and guest bedroom and ensuite.

The Blocktagon (2015)Total PointsFinal WinnersRooms Won
Shay and Dean280Won3/9
Caro and Kingi2963rd3/9
Ebony and Luke257.52nd1/9
Whitney and Andy263.54th1/9
Suzi and Vonni2565th1/9

Shay and Dean’s winning streak eventually ended, and the pair fell to last place for their uncompleted living room. They got back on track by winning the terrace week and re-do room, where they presented their completed living room. With an overall room tally of 3/9 for their apartment, they then went on to win both common apartment rooms which gave them $15,000 off their reserve and a brand new car in the garage to add to the $10,000 that would go to the buyer of their apartment.

The only other couple to win 3/9 room reveals was Caro and Kingi, who right from the start showed that they had a very unique vision with their controversial graffiti bathtub. The wins took some time to come as the couple played bridesmaids or runner up to Shay and Dean in the first two weeks then Suzi and Vonni in the third week. Unlike their competitors, they had no need for the cash injection from room wins, as Caro ran a very tight ship with their budget. The two eventually won for their third bedroom and ensuite, their laundry, powder room and study and also for their high-tech kitchen.

Second-chance siblings Ebony and Luke, who were knocked out during the elimination challenges for Triple Threat, had something to prove coming into the Blocktagon. Unfortunately they didn’t seem to get in the groove of things until the laundry, powder room and study reveal week where they came a close second behind Caro and Kingi. To start the season, the siblings racked up two consecutive last place spots. Thankfully the siblings made a major decision early on to remove the walls between their living, dining and kitchen areas in order to make one large open living space, which delivered them their first and only win. The lack of room reveal wins didn’t stop them from giving Shay and Dean’s penthouse a run for its money on auction day, with only $15,000 between the two teams’ profits and just $100,000 between the apartments sale prices.

Renovation rookies Whitney and Andrew (Andy) had a rough go from the start, struggling with balancing the time needed to complete each room as well as their budget. They fought on and got some project management guidance from Foreman Keith and budget assistance from Scott Cam to finally rack up a win with their foyer and dining. The win delivered the pair a much-needed cash injection.

Gold Coast glamour girls Suzi and Vonni definitely injected their apartment with their own unique style, with a lot of glamour touches and even a chandelier in one of the ensuites. They were also the only team to get a perfect score of 30/30 from the judges for their “gentlemen’s club” master bedroom and walk-in robe. This, unfortunately, was the only win and full round of positive feedback, with the judges not so keen on the wine fridge and bar the girls put in their living room or the inset chandelier in their powder room. The girls ended up getting put in last place by the judges for 4/9 of their rooms, which didn’t help the big spenders.

The season did appear to show a correlation between room wins and a win at the final auction; however, it should be taken into consideration that the final winners, Shay and Dean, had the penthouse to work with, which would have had the best views of Melbourne. The couple also got an extra $10,000 cash and car to offer with the property, and $15,000 off their reserve on auction day. This figure ended up being the difference in profits between the couple and second place siblings Ebony and Luke. And despite their popular styling and budget management, Caro and Kingi may just have fared better on auction day if their apartment wasn’t on the lowest floor.

Back to top

Does the judging week to week really matter? Looking at each season there is no consistent trend of whether the judging impacts the auction results. Clearly the key role of the judging is to provide the "drama" needed for reality television.

That said, some seasons seem to demonstrate that old real estate adages about which rooms sell properties may no longer ring true. It also seems that The Block relies too heavily on the design aspect and forgets that not all buyers want to live in a book or magazine.

What do you think: do the judges opinions really matter when it comes to buyers choices?

ALSO READ: How much more do we pay for The Block properties long after the series is over?

WATCH: The Block's Charlotte and Josh give their tips for auction day.

Jodie Humphries

Helping everyday Australians understand everything they need to for making a property purchase. Resident Blockspert of

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question