It's not just the contestants who get viewers of The Block talking. Those game enough to bid on the houses and apartments that Australia has watched being renovated are also fascinating to the fans.
Battle of the titans
Last year's bidding war between regular buyer Danny Wallis and flashy Adrian Portelli, who was dubbed "Lambo Guy" after arriving at the auction in a yellow Lamborghini, led to a record profit on the show.
Adrian started the bidding on Omar and Oz's house with an offer $500,000 above the reserve price. This led fans to question whether Adrian was a plant to increase bids, even asking whether he could afford the property. But multi-millionaire Adrian, the owner of LMCT+, a promotions and giveaway platform, responded quickly to the accusations.
"I wanted to buy the house," he said on The Kyle and Jackie O Show. "I was going to give it away through the business. It was going to be a giveaway house."
In 2017 radio host and TV personality Dave Hughes decided to get in on The Block action, bidding for Josh and Elise's five-bedroom home in Elsternwick. He paid a whopping $3.067 million, which was $447,000 over the reserve, giving the couple the win for the season.
The comedian, who went against his wife's wishes to buy the property, instantly regretted his purchase. "I went to get a bank loan the other day and they haven't valued it the same as I paid for it, which is fine, but annoying because there were five bidders," he told Stellar Magazine four months later.
While he didn't reveal how much it had been valued at, he did say: "Enough less that it made me annoyed. For f**k's sake!"
He has also struggled to find tenants over the years for the property but it looks like Dave finally has some good news. When his radio co-host Erin Molan was talking on-air about what the house would be worth now, Dave admitted that he recently received an offer on the place of around $5 million.
It's usually the contestants that cause the problems but in 2020, it was the winning buyer that created the controversy. At the nail-biting auction, Jimmy and Tam's house made a record-breaking $966,000 profit, taking their overall winnings to $1.06million.
However, they allegedly never got a payment from cybersecurity specialist Emese Fajk, whose winning bid was $4,256,000. Emese, who has since left Australia for Europe, claims she was naive when it came to purchasing the property.
"My fault in all this was that I did not know the purchase process and therefore was unable to spot mistakes or know what information was missing," she said in a video she made while in Portugal.
"I'm a 29-year-old girl building my own life and I will not continue to suffer in silence and let this hang above my head as some sort of dark cloud," she added.
Emese has since joined Ukrainian troops defending Ukraine against the Russian invasion but has been accused of being behind the disappearance of a US$2.5 million (AU$3.67 million) shipment of medical supplies and syphoning off donations intended for the war effort.
The Block's Auction Grand Finale will air Sunday, November 5 at 7pm on Nine and 9Now.
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