The Block: Steph and Gian on their 'controversial' plan to win

"You need to have the A-team working with you."

The Block's Steph and Gian Ottavio have broken their silence after their tactics to win the show were labelled as 'controversial' by some fans.

The pair, who sold their Charming Street house for $5 million, earning themselves a record-breaking $1.65m in profit and $100,000 in prize money, shared their strategy for winning, revealing they engaged an auctioneer as soon as they found out they were going to be on the show.

The Block's Steph and Gian with Adrian Portelli
The Block's Steph and Gian have broken their silence after their tactics to win the show were labelled 'controversial'. Photo: Nine

Speaking with Daily Mail, the couple said they "disagree" that they did anything wrong, with Steph saying, "From very early on you are allowed to engage with your agent. Auctioneers usually come with agencies but we went and got our own one."

"I don’t understand why that would be controversial," she added.


Gian agreed, saying the producers had no issues with their choice to engage their auctioneer separately, so didn't understand why some viewers thought it was controversial.

"Wouldn’t that mean looking at property photos before going on the show is controversial because you are getting a head start on design? I disagree," he said. "At the end of the day The Block is a competition for who will sell their house for the most money at auction and how do you win? You need to have the A-team working with you."

Steph and Gian during their auction on The Block
Steph and Gian were worried they wouldn't make money during the auction, but were shocked when they won. Photo: Nine

The couple had previously shared that it was a "no-brainer" to engage the same agency that helped Omar and Oz win the show last year.

Another tactic they used was instead of going home to Sydney after they finished filming, Steph and Gian stayed in Melbourne for three months, using it as a chance to network and meet buyers face-to-face.


Adrian Portelli shocked audiences when he bid $5m for the property, with the investor later buying Eliza and Liberty and Kyle and Leslie's properties, spending a total of $12.4m.

During an appearance on the Today Show on Monday morning, Steph and Gian said they will be selling their home in Sydney and will be using the prize money to continue their renovation journey, as well as launching a homewares business called Japandi Estate.

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