The Most Controversial Moments On The Block Over The Years

Images from Channel 9 and iStock. Designed by Alicia Vrajlal
While there are plenty of property-focused shows to watch these days — Selling Sunset, Luxe Listings Sydney and Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, just to name a few — the beauty of The Block is that we get to see the complete renovation process before the houses hit the market.
The 2023 season of the popular Channel 9 show is returning to Melbourne for filming, where five teams will tasked with transforming 1950s family homes into contemporary houses ready for auction.
As we all know, reality TV doesn't come without its fair share of drama. While there's a strict set of rules that teams must follow during the show, there have been some moments that have certainly raised eyebrows. From feuds with builders to budget blowouts, here's a roundup of some of the most controversial moments on The Block over the years.

Dee Calls Shaynna A 'Bogan' (2014)

Photo courtesy of Channel 9
Things got heated this season when contestant Deanne Jolly didn't like the criticism she and her partner Darren received for one of their rooms. After hearing the feedback, Deanne unleashed some harsh words towards judge Shaynna Blaze.
"She’s a bogan from Wantirna who’s got no fucking idea and I will out style you any day," she said.

Omar And Oz Break The 50% Discount Rule (2022)

Photo courtesy of Channel 9
They may have been the winners of The Block: Tree Change in 2022, but Omar and Osman (Oz) landed in hot water early in the season.
The duo was served a penalty for breaking one of The Block's key rules. The best friends from western Sydney impressed the judges with their living room renovations. However, despite the luxe decor and finishings they used to transform the space, they got in trouble due to a money issue.
When judge Shaynna Blaze noticed a baby grand piano which usually retails at $36,000, she questioned how the team managed to afford this, because they hadn't won any prize money or allowances that would've enabled them to make the hefty purchase.
"Do you remember last week I was saying in the kitchen, I was a bit worried about where they’re getting the money from? And now we’ve got a baby grand… they’re not winning every week," she told judges Neale Whitaker and Darren Palmer.
When it came to announcing the scores, judge Scott Cam grilled Omar and Oz, saying, "I'm with her boys, how are you affording this piano? I know what they retail for."
Omar revealed that the pair nabbed the piano for just $7,500 — which ultimately exposed them to breaking a big rule on The Block.
Cam reminded all of the contestants that they are only permitted to land a discount of no more than 50% on any trade goods. This meant that Omar and Oz were penalised with a three-point deduction from their total score.

Elle And Joel Leave After Two Days (2022)

Photo courtesy of Channel 9
The Block has seen some shocking walkouts, but this one takes the cake. In the 2022 season, entrepreneur and influencer Elle Ferguson and her AFL star fiancé Joel Patfull walked out of the competition after just two days.
The pair departed the set early after Patfull's mum, Trish, fractured her neck during a fall at her Adelaide home. She reportedly broke her coccyx and fractured her wrist.
Host Scott Cam claimed that the couple provided "no explanation" prior to leaving.
"They never spoke to us, they just left in the middle of the night,” Cam told . "I still don’t know why they left. They never mentioned their sick mother in the 48 hours before they left, or after they left. The executive producer spoke to them (after they left) and they didn’t mention their sick mother then either."
He said Channel 9 had also flown the pair to Adelaide for a week-long stay in a hotel before filming began so they could see Patfull's mother, "and they came back and said everything’s fine".
Cam, who has been hosting the renovations reality show since 2010, said production has been halted in the past for similar reasons, and that arrangements could've been made to accommodate for Ferguson and Patfull had they communicated earlier.
"As we’ve done in the past, we shut the whole show down for a sick family," he said. "If they’d mentioned their sick mother, of course we would have allowed them to go home. I certainly wouldn’t be holding someone back from seeing their sick mother, that’s outrageous."

Shannon and Simon's Sneaky Phone Move (2014)

Photo courtesy of Channel 9
Shannon and Simon Voss were up to some sneaky antics during their time on The Block: Glasshouse. Keen to hear every word of what the judges thought of their renovations, Simon decided to plant a mobile phone underneath the bed in the master bedroom.
Shannon wasn't actually aware of the prank until five minutes before Scott Cam confronted them at the scores reveal. Apparently, the judges also left a video on Simon's phone when they discovered it was there.

Anastasia And Tim Walk Out (2015)

Photo courtesy of Channel 9
Anastasia and Tim turned heads when they decided to leave the show just days out from the auction, with Anastasia saying the TV show had "fucked me over". The drama all began when another contestant Daz, raised some concerns that the pair weren't paying their tradies adequately.
"The word on the street by a few people and a particular plaster company is that there’s a certain couple that haven’t paid their plasterer," said Daz, who called the couple's builder to see if they'd paid their bills.
After Anastasia and Tim denied they had budget issues, host Scott Cam stepped in to set the record straight.
"I happen to know you have only got $1,500 in your account," said Cam. "It appears you’re spending money you don’t have."
"How about I pay the bill," Cam said, "but at the end of this competition if you don’t have the money to pay me back it will be taken out of your reserve."
While Tim agreed to this, Anastasia wasn't having a bar of it and decided to quit the show. However, the pair returned to set just less than 24 hours later.

Sarah-Jane Misuses Credit Card (2022)

Photo courtesy of Channel 9
During The Block: Tree Change in 2022, each of the five teams were provided with a credit card that could be used to buy building supplies, furniture and other house-related items.
Woman's Day magazine reported at the time that Sarah-Jane Calleja used $50 provided by the show to purchase "cigarettes". It was said that she promised to pay the amount back to the network.
Channel 9 declined to comment at the time when contacted by Refinery29 Australia.

Scott Cam Cuts Off Sharon & Ankur (2022)

Photo courtesy of Channel 9
Sharon Johal and husband Ankur Dogra were cut off from extra money after over-spending $53,000 and landing themselves in debt.
"You guys have an encyclopaedia of unpaid bills," host Scott Cam said to the couple on the show. "You're spending money as if you think Channel 9 is going to give you some more money."
When Ankur tried to shift the blame to the tradies, Cam asked, "What do you mean you know? How can you keep spending? I don't understand where you think you're going to pay for it, we've got three weeks to go."
Ultimately, Cam decided to cut off their accounts and cancel their credit cards, and it means that all their renovation decisions need to go through him and Jo from finance for approval.
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!    

More from TV