The Block finale: Inside the strict auction day after last year's scam fiasco


Inside The Block’s VERY strict auction day: Producers were forced to tighten security and carefully vetted each bidder after last year’s scam fiasco


While there was plenty of drama on screen during Sunday’s season finale of The Block, it turns out there was even more behind the scenes.

According to Woman’s Day on Monday, producers went to extreme lengths to make sure everything went smoothly on auction day at Bronte Court.

For the first time in the show’s history, the auction was a closed set with security tightened to keep out anyone who wasn’t a serious bidder.

What you didn't see: While there was plenty of drama on screen during Sunday's season finale of The Block, it turns out there was even more behind the scenes. Pictured: Mark McKie

What you didn’t see: While there was plenty of drama on screen during Sunday’s season finale of The Block, it turns out there was even more behind the scenes. Pictured: Mark McKie

While the Covid pandemic was one reason for the closed set, the decision was also a result of last year’s disaster when a winning bidder failed to pay for a home.

‘International conwoman’ Emese Fajk bought Jimmy and Tam Wilkins’ winning home for a whopping $4,256,000 at auction in 2020 but failed to pay up.

‘It took us by surprise. We weren’t ready for it. But look, we’ll try and put some things in place for the next auction to make sure that doesn’t happen again,’ The Block host Scott Cam told A Current Affair at the time.

Drama: According to Woman's Day, producers went to extreme lengths to make sure things went smoothly on auction day at Bronte Court. Pictured: Ronnie and Georgia Caceres

Drama: According to Woman’s Day, producers went to extreme lengths to make sure things went smoothly on auction day at Bronte Court. Pictured: Ronnie and Georgia Caceres

In order to prevent a similar situation this year, the producers employed an intense vetting process.

All potential buyers were subjected to reference checks and an increased amount of paperwork to ward off any potential scammers.

Many of this year’s contestants were concerned they would be ‘walking away with nothing’ after last year’s bidding scandal.

Bidding wars: For the first time in the show's history, the auction was a closed set with security tightened to keep out anyone who wasn't a serious bidder

Bidding wars: For the first time in the show’s history, the auction was a closed set with security tightened to keep out anyone who wasn’t a serious bidder

A production source said there was a lot of anxiety regarding the bidding on auction day, with many of the contestants ‘nervous wrecks’.  

Meanwhile, after a dramatic season that saw the show’s biggest cheating scandal unfold, there was understandably tension in the air while shooting the finale.

Tanya and Vito Guccione were at the centre of the scandal after obtaining a photo of the show’s production schedule early in the season, which gave them an unfair advantage over the other teams.

Avoiding a repeat performance: While the pandemic was one reason for the closed set, the decision was also a result of last year's disaster when a winning bidder failed to pay for a home. Tanya and Vito Guccione are pictured with host Scott Cam

Avoiding a repeat performance: While the pandemic was one reason for the closed set, the decision was also a result of last year’s disaster when a winning bidder failed to pay for a home. Tanya and Vito Guccione are pictured with host Scott Cam 

They shared the photo with twins Luke and Josh Packham, but Tanya maintained her innocence throughout the season before eventually coming clean on Sunday.

She’d claimed for weeks the photo had been taken by a ‘tradie’ who happened to walk past the production board, and it was then sent on to her.

As a result of their dishonesty, Tanya and Vito ‘were treated like fraudsters and were virtually iced out,’ according to an on-set source.

Fears: Many of this year's contestants were concerned they would be 'walking away with nothing' after last year's bidding scandal. Pictured: Jesse Anderson and Kirsty Lee Akers

Fears: Many of this year’s contestants were concerned they would be ‘walking away with nothing’ after last year’s bidding scandal. Pictured: Jesse Anderson and Kirsty Lee Akers

‘No one really had time for twins Luke and Josh either,’ they added

The hostility between teams was so intense that security was ramped up for the reserve announcements.

‘The mood among all the Blockheads was quite hostile, and they didn’t want another slinging match like the one we’ve seen in the body corporates,’ added the source.  

Ouch: As a result of their dishonesty, Tanya and Vito 'were treated like fraudsters and were virtually iced out,' according to an on-set source. Pictured with Mitch and Mark on auction day

Ouch: As a result of their dishonesty, Tanya and Vito ‘were treated like fraudsters and were virtually iced out,’ according to an on-set source. Pictured with Mitch and Mark on auction day

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