Reality TV

The Block villain, Tanya Guccione reveals all the show’s secrets

The Block exposed by former contestant!
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Almost 20 years ago, The Block started as a family-focused renovation show.

Fast forward to 2023, and it’s clear drama and scandal have taken priority over hammers and nails.

In a revealing interview, former contestant Tanya Guccione tells Woman’s Day she’s had to spend “thousands” on therapy since her appearance and reveals that the charm of the beloved series is nothing more than a cover-up for behind-the-scenes antics.

“I have the invoices to prove [my therapy costs],” says the 41-year-old, who ended up receiving death threats from angry fans.

She claims it was hard to tell fact from fiction while appearing on the Nine ratings hit in 2021.

“I still don’t know what was real and what wasn’t,” says Tanya, who was slammed for taking a sneaky snap of the production schedule to gain an advantage in the competition.

“I took the photo. But did [the show] deliberately put the schedule up on the wall I had to pass to go to the toilet?” she asks wryly.

After snapping the controversial picture, Tanya says she quickly felt bad about her actions and, upset, went to someone behind the scenes on the show to ask for help.

Tanya fears that coming forward will “lead to more trolling”.

(Credit: Channel Nine)

“This particular [person] just said, ‘You’re speaking to the wrong person’ and walked away,” she says.

Now, Tanya’s calling out the series for failing in their “duty of care” to look out for the competitors on the show.

“There was no support. No counselling,” she says. “[My husband] Vito was down on the floor crying, saying he couldn’t do it any more, and nothing…”

Tanya claims Nine offered no help either when disgruntled viewers took things even further and started sending threats to the couple when the show started airing.

“We received letters sent to Vito’s work,” she shares.

“The show has a responsibility to take care of their talent, that are making them hundreds of thousands of dollars. And I’m not talking about a pay cheque! But real care… care that matters.”

Tanya says she just wishes “there was more support” for embattled Blockheads like Leah.

(Credit: Channel Nine)

Current Blockhead Leah, 31, has received similar backlash this year, and Tanya tells Woman’s Day she reached out to the stressed star to offer her advice on how to cope with the fallout.

“I told her not to make the same mistake I did and own your behaviour,” says Tanya.

“I also told her to communicate [with her co-stars] without cameras and without microphones. If there is a rift going on, get on the phone and chat with each other.”

Tanya says she and fellow Blockhead Georgia Caceres – who had a dramatic on-screen fallout on the 2021 season – managed to clear the air behind the scenes while their battle played out in front of the cameras.

“I remember when the show was airing, Georgia and I were in a good place. Once you’re out of The Block bubble and you’re home, and you’re in a safe environment, it’s so much easier to communicate, and Georgia and I spoke for like an hour and a half.”

“We laughed, we cried, we connected as mums, and by the time the auction came around, we were in such a good place.”

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The catfighting in this controversial season has reached a new level, and Tanya thinks the bullying that has gone to air has been a “step back” for women and she hopes the series returns to its heart next year – renovations!

“It’s doing women a disservice – surely we’ve moved on from that?!” she says.

Tanya certainly has. The busy mum of two teens has thrown herself back into her art and makeup business and has also created her own line of kaftans – all part of her Tanya Guccione Collection.

And while husband Vito, 46, has been so burned by his reality TV experience, he’s sworn off it for life, Tanya’s up for appearing on screen again – as long as it’s not The Block!

“I think my journey on The Block is over,” says Tanya, who admits she’s been approached to play the villain on a number of other reality shows since the show but turned them all down.

“That’s not who I am. I don’t want that moment in time to define me.”

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