Channel Nine’s successful renovation reality TV series The Block filmed its new season amid the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
And while production was temporarily halted and safety procedures were implemented, it’s now been revealed the judging process was also altered.
On Sunday, judge Neale Whitaker revealed there is one major change to how the judges interacted with the blockheads after viewing the apartments.
Who knew? The Block’s Neale Whitaker, 56, (pictured) has revealed that it’s not until he sits down to watch the show on television that he meets each of the contestants
Speaking to TV Tonight, the design guru said he never got to meet the contestants on this year’s sixteenth season.
The 56-year-old said: ‘I know their names, what they look like, where they come from and how old they are. But we’ve never actually met [the contestants] face to face.’
Neale told the publication his co-stars Darren Palmer and Shaynna Blaze were required to critique most of the rooms, as he was busy with other commitments.
‘We would occasionally meet the couples by judging challenges, but I didn’t judge any challenges this year,’ he continued.
The former magazine editor-turned-interior designer added that before COVID the judges would meet each of the stars at a wrap party or media event, but weren’t able to this year due to coronavirus restrictions.
Speaking to TV Tonight, Neal explained: ‘I know [the contestants] names, what they look like, where they come from and how old they are. But we’ve never actually met them face to face’. Pictured: Contestants Harry and Tash Pavlou
The Channel Nine show was forced to suspend filming in March due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week it was revealed that production was thrown into chaos after a contestant displayed symptoms of the deadly respiratory illness.
An on-set insider told New Idea magazine that the show’s producers were forced to confine one of the contestants to their room after they reported having ‘a sore throat and general signs of unwellness’.
Busy: Neal also told the publication his co-stars Darren Palmer (left) and Shaynna Blaze (center) were required to critique the rooms, as he was busy with other commitments
A spokesperson from Channel Nine confirmed the incident to Daily Mail Australia on Monday, explaining a contestant had been unwell in March.
‘During filming a contestant woke with a mild sore throat. As a precaution they isolated in their room and monitored their symptoms,’ they said.
Filming of The Block resumed in early May.
Precautions: Filming of The Block was halted for five weeks in March and resumed in early May. Pictured: Host Scott Cam