Cute couple Polly Porter and Waz Jones won The Block 2011 on Sunday night after a shocking result in which the Melbourne home they renovated was the only one sold at auction. After making a $15,000 profit on their reserve price, they were also rewarded with the $100,000 prize — a sweet end to what has been a rollercoaster of a ride for the past few months. We caught up with Polly and Waz yesterday afternoon for a quick chat on their thoughts on the auction, that Celebrity Apprentice rumour, and what they’re planning next.
Congratulations on winning The Block! What did you do to celebrate?
Waz: Nothing really outrageously official yet. We had to keep very tight-lipped from Saturday night until the show aired on Sunday night, and then we watched the final episode with all the contestants, our crew and our families! We knew we had a 5 a.m. start so we didn’t cause too much trouble.
What was going through your minds during the auction?
Polly: While Josh and Jenna were up there, I felt pretty sick for them. It was really disappointing that they couldn’t get one bid. And then when we came up, we had a lot of faith in Russell Cambridge, our auctioneer — he could get blood out of a stone. Once we hit reserve, we figured that some of the bids would start rolling ’cause someone was gonna walk away with a house. We were really excited when we found out we’d won a grand, and it kept getting higher and a bit higher! We didn’t think 15 grand would win us The Block. It was a pretty emotional time, that’s for sure.
Keep reading for more from Polly and Waz . . .
What are your thoughts on the reserve prices? Do you think they were too high?
Waz: No, I don’t think so at all. In the weeks leading up to the auction there seemed to be quite a lot of controversy that they were too low and that they’d all been underquoted. So that squashed that one very quickly. All of the real estate agents had actually predicted the reserves, and let’s say The Block wasn’t involved, they all predicted those reserve figures anyway as what they thought they should sell for.
Are you looking forward to doing more renovations in the future?
Polly: We will certainly do it in the future — Waz loves building and he can’t wait to get his nail bag back on! It’s definitely not the last time we’ll renovate.
And did working on The Block put any strain on your relationship or did you come out of it stronger?
Waz: We came out of it a lot stronger, actually. We had to walk through the whole experience side-by-side. Because we were rookies, we couldn’t really let the other one get too out of sorts because we really needed each other to get through it. And so that’s the way we approached it, and it works for us!
Did you learn anything surprising about each other during the process?
Waz: Look, I’ve gotta say, Polly actually found a little bit of patience.
Polly: It’s very rare, let me assure you!
Waz: Our main difference is that Polly’s not as patient as I am. After that first day it was a bit of a shock. I think she realised that we really had to be OK with not knowing much early on, because otherwise we’d get stressed out. Someone in a similar situation might walk out.
How did you all unwind when you weren’t filming?
Polly: Our only real hours off were on Sundays, on reveal day, so we’d hand our room in at 9 o’clock on Sunday morning and have maybe two or three hours until they announced [the winner]. We would usually all head to a cafe, have something to eat, and then some of the girls would go and have manicures or pedicures, and everyone else would go for a massage! It was like our way to sleep.
Did you ever feel limited by what stores you could use to furnish your houses?
Polly: No, because this year we were only limited to Reece Plumbing and Beacon Lighting, as well as Mitre 10, so there was no furniture partner, aside from Freedom Kitchens. Being in Melbourne, we got to go absolutely crazy with all the fantastic stores, so we would find a mix of boutique stores and big stores.
Do you have plans for your prize money?
Waz: We’re going to go for a holiday, definitely. I actually just wanna walk out on to the street, walk into the first shop I see and spend money on something! We quit our jobs and uprooted our lives to come down to Melbourne, things have been pretty tight because we haven’t had a pay cheque for four months. It’ll be nice just to ease the pressure a bit and be able to be a little bit playful.
And how are you guys liking your new celebrity status?
Waz: We’re having a great time. Everyone’s been so supportive to us, and everyone’s always happy to stop and say hello. It’s handy for us to be able to stop and say hi back because we don’t have jobs at the moment! [Laughs] So we’ve got plenty of time to fill during the day. We’ve been having so much fun and we can’t thank all of those people enough.
Polly: And for me, I do a lot of scrapbooking — friends, family and nights out — so with The Block Magazine and photos online and in newspapers, it kind of does the scrapbooking for me! So I just need to print off all these articles and it summarises our last year!
Polly, can you confirm rumours that you’re joining Celebrity Apprentice?
Polly: I can’t! I didn’t know about it. I read it in the paper yesterday as well. [Laughs]
What’s next for you now the rollercoaster of The Block is over?
Polly: We’re going to enjoy the ride; we’re doing a bit of work with Mitre 10, a few DIY workshops. We’ve got a few corporate events to do and some media and TV things, too.