Topics:  shelley craft, the block

This year's Block is a shocker

Shelley Craft is The Block's challenge master.
Shelley Craft is The Block's challenge master.

THE Block teams are in for a big shock tonight when they get to see their houses for the first time.

The four couples - two from New South Wales and two from Victoria - will move into the South Melbourne properties they'll be renovating for the next 10 weeks and they're in for a hard slog.

"When they rock up to the houses the first day it's a frightening prospect," said Shelley Craft.

"I think all of them would have re-thought their elimination room and thought 'perhaps this isn't for me' but I'm pleased to say they all survive."

The gold rush-era homes in the trendy suburb of Albert Park may be classed as heritage but they're certainly not habitable.

"When you see the face of the homes and when these guys first move in you think 'How could any of this be classified as heritage'," Craft said.

As The Block's challenge master, Craft puts the couples through their paces in a series of weekly renovation-based challenges.

"I'm there to rock the boat," she said.

"Every time they come to see me they go 'Oh no, we just want to get back to work. Leave us alone'.

"The idea of the challenge is to get them to try some new things and try new skills, and it shows them what living in Melbourne is all about."

There are a few changes to the challenges this year, including some new rewards.

"There's the addition of some golden tickets and points that can get them out of trouble along the way," Craft said.

This year's teams will be hoping for a better result than last year, when three out of the four renovated homes were passed in at auction.

"Last year obviously made for great television but it was devastating for the contestants," Craft said.

"But again it's a reality show. That's what the property market in Melbourne was doing last year but I think the producers are keeping an eye on that."


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