While not necessarily a surprise ending Brad & Lara’s chances of success were buoyed by the fact they won the fan-voted “Good Sports” competition which delivered them a new Suzuki before the auctions even started. Over 40,000 people attended the open houses to get their chance to have a sticky beak in the four Dorcas St South Melbourne townhouses, with plenty of Block bling up for grabs including T-shirts and Chump hats (reportedly snapped up by fans as they waited for their viewing, some for hours).
The first hour and a half of the finale was dedicated to recaps of each team and their time on The Block and the audience response from the open houses. The couples were also given the chance to decide between themselves the auction order, but after an hour couldn’t decide and so drew numbers from a hat… leaving the order: Brad & Lara; Dan & Dani; Dale & Sophie; Mike & Andrew. The reveal of the reserves was treated as though the briefcases delivered to host Scott Cam may have contained the winning lotto numbers for the next 5 years, however the most controversy on social media circles was confined to the feeling the reserves were set very low in comparison to last year’s finale where only one house sold at auction. Each team’s reserve was additionally reduced by the amount they won in the final one-week-house-renovation challenge (Dale & Sophie $10,000; Dan & Dani $8,000; Brad & Lara $6,000; Mike & Andrew $4,000).
The tension built suitably as each team’s auctioneer addressed and cajoled the mass of registered bidders, and in the end the fan favourites also walked away with the biggest prize…
In auction order (Couple | Net Reserve | Selling Price | Margin):
Brad & Lara – $1,114,000 | $1,620,000 | $506,000.
Dan & Dani – $992,000 | $1,440,000 | $448,000.
Dale & Sophie – $975,000 | $1,330,000 | $355,000.
Mike & Andrew – $966,000 | $1,400,001.01 | $434,001.01.
The bidding was only marred by a representative of an Energy company bidding ludicrous amounts including cents(!) at various stages in all four auctions, though he was successful in purchasing the brother’s house. The bidding on Brad & Lara’s house was the most frenetic, though it did slow once but took off again and raced to the record sale price for the series.
It was a fitting end to a reliable series for Channel 9 with all four houses selling and all the drama remaining on-screen. Though it’s ratings may have been overshadowed by The Voice Australia, The Block more than delivered with almost every episode delivering above one million viewers multiple nights a week over the past 10 weeks (which has been a critical part of the lift the network has been experiencing since the start of the year). The move in 2011 to run The Block in a five to six night a week stripped reality format has paid off for Channel 9, one they’re sure to capitalise on with news there will be two series made in 2013.
The announcement at the end of the finale that the first season of The Block next year will be one cast with “All-Stars” was one welcomed by fans of the series. Those interested can log onto the website and vote for their favourite team of past competitors from across all five series of The Block with a view to having them compete next year. Get your all-star Block puns ready (Blockstars?).