Block­heads take the lead

Norm and Jess count­ing down to Gatwick auc­tion

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS - SEANNA CRONIN

THEY may have started off as green as they come, but Jess Eva and Norm Ho­gan are now The Block’s favourites in ev­ery re­spect.

Not only are our re­al­ity TV ren­o­va­tors the fron­trun­ners in the up­com­ing grand fi­nal, when all five luxury apart­ments at The Gatwick will go un­der the ham­mer, they’re also the favourites for many view­ers and even one of the show’s judges.

Af­ter they “Brad­bury’d” their way into a pent­house apart­ment at the start of the sea­son, the Maroochydore par­ents have made the most of the op­por­tu­nity to pro­duce a stun­ning luxury prop­erty in one of Mel­bourne’s most de­sir­able sub­urbs.

In one of the show’s key pre­dic­tors, their apart­ment was deemed the best of the lot by the buy­ers’ jury, three agents who reg­u­larly bid on Block prop­er­ties for their clients. They’ve also scored a Do­main mag­a­zine cover fea­ture, based on points awarded through­out the show by Do­main’s na­tional manag­ing ed­i­tor Alice Stolz.

“We’re just so proud that we did it, and on be­half of the Sun- ny Coast, ” Jess told the Daily. “We’ve had so much sup­port from Queens­land. We’ve got so much grat­i­tude.”

If Dar­ren Palmer had a spare cou­ple of mil­lion, then it’s the apart­ment he would buy.

The Queens­land-born de­sign guru, one of the show’s three judges, is back­ing our Block­heads for the win.

“We’ve never seen a new struc­ture (on The Block) that was the full apart­ment. The ceil­ings are soar­ing and there’s so much glass. They’re re­ally spec­tac­u­lar prop­er­ties and they have city views,” he said.

“The sit­u­a­tion in terms of light means Jess and Norm’s apart­ment is go­ing to be eas­ier to heat and cool (than the other pent­house) and it’s just a very pleas­ant out­look from that apart­ment.

“The one chal­lenge they’ve got is we’ve seen their ma­chine-gun ap­proach of do­ing ‘what rich peo­ple want’, which is very en­dear­ing, but there are a few dif­fer­ent styles in their apart­ment.

“The bed­rooms are in some­thing called em­pire lines, the kitchen is a shaker style and then the lounge room is a mid-cen­tury style, so you’ve got three dif­fer­ent things that ac­tu­ally do mesh to­gether, strangely.

“The thing they’ve done re­ally well is there is this colour through­out the apart­ment which ties those aes­thetic styles to­gether.”

On­line book­maker Lad­brokes tips a tight race be­tween the Maroochydore par­ents and their pent­house neigh­bours, net­ballers Bianca and Carla.

But as Block fans know, the auctions can be un­pre­dictable and Norm and Jess aren’t count­ing their chicks be­fore they’ve hatched.

“We’re not let­ting our minds go there that we’re go­ing to win any­thing,” Jess said.

“We’re still bud­get­ing; we’re just act­ing as if noth­ing has changed. If you un­der­es­ti­mate then you’ll be all right. Some peo­ple look re­ally sad when they make $10,000 on The Block, but we’ll be bloody ex­cited if we win $10,000.”

The Block grand fi­nal is ex­pected to air in the com­ing weeks on Nine.

This plas­tic bath­tub was a hit with The Block judges.

Judges loved the neu­tral pal­ette in their sec­ond guest bed­room.

The mas­ter bath­room fea­tures plenty of mar­ble fin­ishes.

PENT­HOUSE BAT­TLE: Coast cou­ple Norm Ho­gan and Jess Eva and their pent­houses go to auc­tion in the fi­nal episode of The Block

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