Totes awks – the reality of reality TV

IT happened two days ago but I’m still not quite over it.

Gold Coast couple Michael and Carlene Duffy bombed out of Channel 9’s The Block Glasshouse auction with a measly $10,000 profit.

When compared to winners, Simon and Shannon who took home $435,000, it just seems unfair.


Not unfair as in it was rigged, just unfair because a couple I had invested my evenings into for the last three months didn’t get their happy ending – they didn’t walk away with a windfall of cash like I was hoping and anticipating.

According to, Michael and Carlene’s prize money and living allowance amounted to an hourly wage of $10.71 over the course of their ten-week stint on the show – $6 less than Australian minimum wage.

All while leaving their kids at home, lives on hold and bills piling up.

Simon and Shannon, on the other hand, earnt $200.44 an hour.

In recent years, Aussies have become enamoured with reality TV to the point that it completely dominates ratings and airtime. We just love being a fly on the wall and enjoying an hour of ‘unscripted’ TV where we can cringe and judge to our hearts content during an indulgent hour of escapism.

The fact is though, when all is said and done, we still want a happy ending. We want to be reminded that it is possible for average Joe’s like us to get a break somewhere along the line and live the dream.

We definitely didn’t get that happy-ever-after with The Bachelor recently but I thought it was almost a given on The Block – everyone is supposed to go home a winner.

But that didn’t happen. Instead we got the most uneven results in the eleven-year history of the show.

Where’s the fun in that kind of harsh reminder of reality?

When reality TV gives us a little bit too much reality and not quite enough Hollywood the balance is off and it leaves a bad taste in our mouths.

Michael and Carlene are still winners in my book though. They received the highest overall scores, they represented the Gold Coast in a way that was refreshingly positive and they showed a humble and appreciative attitude despite their obvious disappointment after the auction.

Congratulations, Duffy’s, and all the best for life after The Block. I’ll be watching with interest to see that you still get your happy ending.

The Meddler

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