The winners of The Block, Steph and Gian Ottavio, have responded to controversy surrounding their decision to engage their agent early in the competition, dismissing claims of gaining an unfair advantage. The couple clarified that they had followed the rules by openly communicating with their agent, Tom Panos, and highlighted that it was simply a result of quick-thinking on their part.
According to Steph, engaging with an agent is permitted from the early stages of the show. While auctioneers usually come with agencies, they took the initiative to find their own. She questioned the controversy, stating, "I don't understand why that would be controversial."
Gian chimed in, asserting that if their actions breached fair play, then other forms of preparation, such as reviewing property photos before the show, should also be labeled as controversial. He emphasized that The Block is a competition based on selling houses for the highest prices at auction, and to succeed, it is crucial to have a strong team working alongside.
Steph further pointed out that if the producers had concerns about their playing style, they could have imposed restrictions. However, since no such limitations were in place, they maintained that their actions were within the bounds of fair play.
The couple also revealed their strategy to win The Block, which involved contacting their auctioneer immediately after being selected for the show. They emphasized that securing the same agency responsible for last year's winners, Omar Slaimankhel and Ozman 'Oz' Abu Malik, was an obvious choice.
Steph and Gian ultimately secured a record-breaking win on Charming St, selling their house for $1.65 million over reserve and obtaining an additional $100,000 for their victory. Their success on The Block highlights the importance of careful planning and utilizing the resources available, while adhering to the show's guidelines and regulations.