The Block

The Block's Jess and Norm are coming under fire amid cheating claims

'Don't judge us!'

By: Luke Dennehy

Despite copping a stern warning from foreman Keith Schleiger, Norm and Jess insist they were not cheating on The Block.

Keith berated the Queensland duo for starting work on their toilet next to the bathroom ahead of time. This is a big no-no on The Block since working ahead could give the couple an advantage over the other teams.

But Norm – who is a builder – defended himself, insisting he started work on the toilet innocently, and didn't realise he had broken the rules.

"We weren't doing it to get ahead," the 40-year-old explains. "We were just doing it to get the wall lined on our bathroom, so we could get the room finished."

Norm says he and Jess wanted to start work on the toilet that adjoined the bathroom to make sure they had something to deliver at the end of week one.

Are Jess and Norm guilty?

Yet this week isn't any rosier for the pair. TV WEEK can reveal there are some personal items charged to their credit card for use on The Block – including a barbecue chicken – that the show's producers are questioning.

Away from The Block, the couple are worried how they'll be perceived as parents for leaving behind their young children – Fred, four, and nineteen-month-old Matilda – for three months to compete on the show.

"I understand some people might judge us and think, 'How could you leave your children for three months?'" Jess, 33, says. "But our children were with their grandparents and aunties.

"Of course it was hard. But at the end of the day, we are doing this for them."

The couple are feeling the heat.

Competing on the show is a dream come true for the pair.

"I want to show my kids that if you have a dream, you can accomplish it," Jess says. "The Block is something we really wanted to do – not only for us, but for them as well."

The radio host says people are too quick to judge and comment on how other people raise their children.

"Parenting is too bloody hard as it is, let alone the judgement that goes along with it," Jess says. "If everyone is safe and well, then you are doing alright."

The Block airs Monday to Wednesday, 7:30pm, and Sunday, 7pm, on the Nine Network.

For more exclusive interviews and plot teasers for The Block, pick up a copy of this week's issue of TV WEEK. On sale now!