‘Morale Was Low’: Scott Cam Says The Block 2023 Will See A Positive Shift From Last Year

Photo courtesy of Channel 9
The cast of The Block 2023
As we head into the 19th season of The Block, it's fair to say that we've had some very memorable seasons in the past — complete with many stunning room reveals, but also controversial moments.
Host Scott Cam says the 2023 season, which is based in Melbourne, will be different to last year's, and it's not just because there's a fresh cast. Speaking to 2DAY FM’s Hughesy, Ed & Erin show this week, the 60-year-old explained that the mood is different behind the scenes. Spirits are higher amongst the cast and crew now that the show is back in Melbourne, after going to rural Victoria last year.
"It was a tough year last year in Gisborne. We got in and got it done, but it was cold and wet," he told the radio show, explaining "it rained for 60 days out of 90".
"Constant drizzle … that breaks ya," he said.
When radio presenter Dave 'Hughesy' Hughes mentioned that some of the contestants have spoken about the emotional impact of being on The Block, Cam explained that the environment affected on-set morale in 2022.
"It was just tough conditions. Our crew carrying cameras 300 metres between houses, in mud, in the middle of nowhere… morale was low within the crew, including me," he said.
"But this year’s been fantastic — we’re back," he then said. "There’s a footpath to walk between [the houses]. Great contestants, great location, great weather — it’s reinvigorated everyone."
Photo courtesy of Channel 9
The Block host Scott Cam
With long filming hours, strict budgets and show rules to follow, it's no secret that filming a reality TV show like The Block is one rollercoaster of a ride. Sharon Johal, who starred on The Block: Tree Change in 2022, told Refinery29 Australia last year that filming the show was lot more emotional and mentally draining than some viewers may realise.
"There's a massive TV production element to the show, which I didn't actually foresee. I was just like, 'Well, you're going to be building a house and it's like a doco'," she said. "But it's not really that.
"You're on no sleep and you're put under all these different amounts of pressure in order to evoke certain reactions and emotions."
Despite having tradies on hand to help transform a 500-square metre homestead, Johal said managing these teams and navigating the filming schedule was the most challenging part, and at times she struggled to cope.
"Unfortunately, there are no breaks. You would be mic'd up from six in the morning until 11 at night," the TV star explained. "I'd have conversations with producers about it to say, 'Look, I'm at my limit now and I really can't go on. I need a break.'
"On top of that, you're on no sleep. You're not really looking after your body, nutrition-wise, and you're already cold — it's out in the elements and you're in the mud."
The new season of The Block this year will task five new teams with the challenge of transforming family homes in the Victorian capital that were designed and built in the 1950s.
For the first time, contestants will be provided with the full renovation schedule ahead of time. The stakes will also be higher than ever during the 48-hour House Decider Challenge, as the cast will see all finished designs of the houses on the first day, and then one team will get to pick the house of their choice first. They will also receive their entire budgets up front.
Cam's co-host Shelley Craft, who has been on the show since 2011, will return this season. Shaynna Blaze, Darren Palmer and Neale Whitaker return as judges this year, with real estate expert Marty Fox joining them as a new judge.
The five teams of two are: personal assistant Eliza and integration producer Liberty Paschke (VIC), firefighter Kyle and teaching aide Leslie Cottone (WA), first aid officer Leah and builder Ash Milton (QLD), project manager Kristy and safety officer Brett Beams (SA), and architect Steph and start-up worker Gian Ottavio (NSW).
The Block premieres on Sunday, August 6 at 7pm on Channel 9 and 9Now.
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!    

More from TV