The Block couple Tess and Luke have given an explosive interview to news.com.au accusing producers of “bullying” and saying they wish they never appeared on the show.
The interview is surprising in its candour given the couple are still on the show. It also comes before the yet to be filmed auction finale. Awkwardly, they also come on the day of Nine’s Upfront presentation in Melbourne. It isn’t clear if their comments constitute a breach of contract.
The couple were once more close to breaking point during Tuesday’s episode, with Tess walking off site after host Scott Cam tried to confront her about their budget issues.
“We didn’t watch last night. We’re getting sick of how they’re editing us as being these big lazy pr***s who don’t get off their arse and do a single thing. For some reason they’re just not showing us doing any of the work. We’re just getting painted as these lazy people and we’re bloody sick of it,” Luke said.
“We’re really disappointed. Even the other contestants have contacted us to say, ‘That didn’t happen, that was taken out of context’.”
“We’re pretty upset with how we’ve been painted — it’s all a lie,” said Tess, who also slammed the show for continuing to film her after she’d walked off-site in last night’s episode.
Tess said she had been out shopping when she was called back to site for Cam’s walkaround.
“I looked at a producer and said, ‘I’m not coping today. My mental health isn’t right. I can’t go in there and be slammed by Scotty over something that isn’t true’. So Luke took the beating and I hid because I wasn’t OK. Luke took it like a champ. And it was all a lie — we didn’t spend $25,000 more than the other contestants. We’ve been working our absolute arses off,” she said.
“So I walked off, because I couldn’t handle it. I did say, ‘You guys need to stop filming me because I’m not coping right now for mental health reasons’ — and they didn’t stop filming.”
Luke revealed that the couple had called a meeting with executive producer Julian Cress just yesterday to complain about how they were being portrayed — specifically, the lack of footage of them working hard on their renovations.
“He said, ‘It’s on film, it’ll be there’. We said, ‘Well, it’s not there. You’re not showing Australia that we’re actually having a crack’,” Luke said.
“We’re really upset — we’re not coping with it any more. We’re really heartbroken,” Tess said.
“We thought this was going to be an amazing, positive experience in our life, but we wish we never went on this bloody thing. We got bullied the whole way through (filming) the show, and now we feel like they’re bullying us on the show as well,” Luke said.
“We just want this over and done with. It’s really sad that we feel like we have to explain ourselves to people who have no idea who we really are. They’re judging us based on a show that is completely full of shit,” Tess said.
“During the show, producers would talk to Luke, then talk to me, trying to pit us against each other. It was pretty horrible,” she said.
Tess also claimed acts of kindness — like foreman Keith pitching in to work on their house during last night’s episode — were all for show.
A Nine spokseperson said: “Tess and Luke have done an outstanding job creating a magnificent four-bedroom home. After a shaky start and budget struggles, they’ve won two room reveals so far and their renovating style has impressed the judges and viewers alike.”
“We recognise the mammoth challenges facing all contestants. We supported all of them throughout the build and we had a psychologist and support team available at all times. We’ll continue to support them as the program is broadcast and beyond.”
Executive Producer, Julian Cress said that Tess and Luke “have been warmly embraced by the audience and rank as one of the most popular couples we have had on The Block. Through their sheer hard work and determination to finish they also won the admiration and respect of the entire production crew and they have our full support and will continue to.”