Stress levels soaring sky high
IT ONLY took a few days for someone to buckle under the pressure on the new series of The Block.
The stakes, and renovation stress, are higher than ever in the new Sky High series, which sees five teams renovating an entire level of a run-down South Melbourne hotel.
"The multi-story building opens up a whole host of new challenges for us construction wise," host Scott Cam said.
"The whole building is concrete and brick work, so anytime you've got to move something it's a jackhammer or wet saw... and steel beams have to go in."
Sunday's premiere was full of surprises, from the teams checking in to the fake Biz Motel to the revelation of no eliminations and a 48-hour luxury hotel room and bathroom makeover.
There were tears, an anxiety attack and even a trip to hospital for Sydneysider Madi, all in the first two days.
Cam said he was happy to save the teams the heartbreak of an elimination round.
"They were excited when I'd told them they'd made it, and I was more relieved than them," he said.
"I hated that week. People are so excited to be there. There's this potential to make life-changing money and then you've got to tell them 'see you later'. I never liked doing it."
With 80 hotel rooms to demolish and 220 square metres on each floor to renovate, Cam said there's no time for "mucking around".
"We used to make it quite a big thing out of a double room week, but these apartments are so big we decided to do a double room every week," he said.
With the teams now assigned to their floors, first room delivery is due this Sunday.
Brisbane's Johnno and Trixie have the most coveted top-floor apartment, although living and renovating in the penthouse does mean countless trips up and down the stairs.
Cam said all five teams will have to adjust to sleepless nights to meet their weekly deadlines.
"Building a house on The Block is like birthing child," he said.
"You create this fantastic thing and you don't get to sleep for 10 weeks."
And Sunday's first double room reveal will include one very unusual décor choice.
"There is a controversial design concept that is going to blow your mind," Cam said. "We call it the crime scene."
But the result should be spectacular, with the producers aiming not only for luxury but also sustainability, with the building the first in Victoria to be rated as eight-star by Energy Australia.
"Without a doubt these are the most luxurious and high-end properties we've ever done (on The Block)," Cam said.
"Every decision has been a green decision."