The Block, one of last year’s most popular reality TV shows*, returns soon to Channel 9 and 9Now, swapping the city for the countryside and on a scale never attempted before anywhere in the world.
Coming of age for its 18th season, The Block: Tree Change heads to Gisborne South in Victoria’s beautiful Macedon Ranges, where five city slicker couples will each build a 500-square metre house, tennis courts, wineries, and even a lake on 10 acres of prime Aussie heartland.
The mammoth construction effort ahead proves too much for some, with one couple dropping their tools and leaving the show three days into filming, which will rock The Block to its foundations.
In his 16th series of hosting The Block, Scott Cam will for the first time build his own house to inspire the couples and to create a space for them to come together.
“When I arrived on site for the first time, I thought to myself we had done a lot of big Blocks in the past but nothing like this – it’s massive,” Scott said.
“We are building our own little town, and at times that’s daunting. But we have a terrific bunch of contestants who give it a red-hot crack.”
Scott’s co-host, Shelley Craft, is also reunited with him. She brings her experience as a qualified real estate agent to The Block and has a strong extra role as a mentor on the show this year.
“With these rolling paddocks and so much space out in the country, this season of The Block is certainly something that Aussies will fall in love with,” Shelley said.
Executive producer and Block co-creator Julian Cress had the idea for the Tree Change series after he and his family did exactly that, moving from Melbourne to Gisborne South during the COVID lockdowns.
He hopes Tree Change will inspire The Block’s legion of fans to “think regional”, as well as showcasing an incredible part of Australia.
“It is such a beautiful part of the world, and I think the Macedon Ranges is one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets,” Julian said.
“Plus, as we are coming off a really hard couple of years, heading to the country is almost celebrating our lifestyle and what is so great about Australia.”
The houses in Tree Change will have a seven-star energy rating and be built to design specifications that have sustainability and resilience in mind.
Judges Shaynna Blaze, Neale Whitaker and Darren Palmer are back in 2022, and like every season of The Block, they will have everyone talking on Sunday nights with their room judging.
And that formidable foremen duo – Keith Schleiger and Dan Reilly – are on-site again to keep our contestants on their toes throughout the build.
At stake is $100,000 for the winner of The Block, plus whatever profit our couples’ homes can make on auction day. All that’s standing in the way is 10 acres, a helluva lot of mud, and three fierce judges who’ll score each room as they’re built each week.