Speaking to Shaynna Blaze it’s hard to believe she’s not superwoman. Not only is she a judge on The Block (the upcoming Triple Threat will be her sixth series), she’s the resident designer on Selling Houses Australia, has written two books (the second to be released in March), has designed a furniture line and only last month wowed us singing at Carols by Candlelight! So how does she do it all?
“It’s all about being healthy,” says Shaynna. “You’ve got to eat well, you’ve got to exercise and most importantly you’ve got to keep a healthy mind. I’ve got a beautiful family and amazing friends that keep me grounded and treat me the same way as they did 20 years ago. I think having healthy relationships around you is really important.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”App6LptB48HXptlnyV0OwLskzFkV1B2j”]With a myriad of commitments on her plate, being part of The Block is certainly a career highlight. “It’s so different to everything else that I do in the physical space. Plus there’s always a couple from each series that really grow and change, rise to the challenge and listen to things that need to be changed. Seeing that happen is probably the most rewarding part.”
It’s for that reason Shaynna names past winners Chantelle and Steve (of Fans v Faves) and Phil and Amity (of All Stars) as her favourite past contestants. “Chantelle and Steve were great in the fact of how much they grew. They got slammed every week and we never knew how they reacted until we saw it on TV, but seeing how they just dusted themselves off and picked themselves up, that was amazing. Amity and Phil were brilliant because they just stayed true to their style from day one, they improved and changed but they really had their plan and stuck to it.”
What may be surprising to some, is unlike us viewers, Shaynna and her co-judges Neale Whitaker and Darren Palmer (who she lovingly refers to as her brothers) aren’t getting to know the contestants in the same way we are at home. Rather, they may briefly see them as they’re entering the apartments for judging, or have a few words with them when judging a challenge, but apart from that, there’s nothing more until the show’s over. “When I first started working on The Block I used to think I’d really like to meet them and get to know them,” explains Shaynna. “But now I love that anonymity because it actually makes it completely un-biased, as a lot of people don’t think it is! We don’t have favourites, or rather we end up having favourites because we like what they’re doing not because of their personality.”
But with all that said, Shaynna still cops a lot of flak for her judging comments, from contestants (cough, Dee!) and viewers alike. “I always knew from day one as a judge that was going to be the case, not everyone’s going to like what you have to say, that’s just reality. But I see it as a knee jerk reaction, viewers just want their voice to be heard and contestants are tired and exhausted, they’ve put their heart and soul into it and everyone thinks their room is the best! With Dee, I was giving her nines all the time and she wasn’t quite happy with that. I think the perspective of it being a competition gets lost on the contestants when they’re so immersed and I can take a backseat on that, but I think when it’s constant you go, hang on guys, you should really look at what your saying!”
With The Block’s next series Triple Threat due to start on 27 January, Shaynna, alongside Neale and Darren, have already judged some of the rooms, so what can we expect? “One of this series’ differences is that the characters are really strong, there’s a lot of strong opinions and people sticking to their guns. This series is also very much about the area of South Yarra. All four apartments are completely different, but South Yarra has a certain market that you’re renovating towards; very high-end, polished and classic, which I think will make for some very interesting and amazing apartments!”
Find all The Block latest here.