The Poolgate debacle threatens to destroy a close friendship on The Block this week.
Jess and Norm have a massive falling out with Courtney and Hans over their plans to put in a pool.
"We've loved and supported and helped them," an emotional Jess, 33, tells TV WEEK.
"They're just from a different world to us, that's all. For us, our word is our word."
This week, Jess and Norm, in the penthouse, reveal their pool plans to Courtney and Hans, who are in the apartment beneath them. They need their permission to install extra support beams in their terrace.
"Initially, we were really excited for them: 'Yeah, cool!'" Courtney, 33, remembers. "And then we realised that maybe we should take some time and think about how it's going to impact us and our potential buyer. Our agent raised some concerns: the noise, insurance."
The couple talked to Hayden and Sara about Norm and Jess' plans, which Jess says they'd promised not to.
"The one thing that really hurt our feelings was that then they told everyone, and then that's when the body corporate meeting happened," she explains.
"If you don't want us to have a pool, just say so. Don't be snaky. Don't go behind our backs."
Courtney insists she didn't know she was supposed to keep the plans a secret.
"No-one actually told me about it," she says. "I think they told Hans. But we were really struggling with the decision. We wanted to give them the pool because they're our friends, but it's The Block. You don't just give friends everything all the time."
Courtney and Hans started to wonder if they were being too naive, a feeling that has been reinforced as they've watched The Block go to air.
"Watching the show back now, Jess is like, 'I've got a way to win The Block!' And you're like, 'So, obviously, a penthouse and a pool was going to be huge for them.'"
Jess says she and Norm had been helping out Hans and Courtney from the beginning.
"We gave them trades. We took them out for tea. Hans would borrow Norm's tools," she recalls.
"Hans and Courtney had been using us more than we'd been using them.But I suppose it's also a naivety, because at our house, we surround ourselves with people who just give each other a hand."
Courtney thinks it wasn't that one-sided.
"I think it was pretty even," she says.
"And I don't think that you can really count favours, and say, 'We've done so much, so you need to give us the pool.' That's a massive favour."
Courtney says there was "definitely" strain put on the friendship. Even though she defends the decision she and Hans made, she felt guilty over it.
"I cried every time I talked about it," she says. "I honestly felt like I was the worst person in the world."
She dealt with it by avoiding Jess and Norm.
"I'm a very sensitive person, so I felt like if I'd really hurt their feelings, I'd just stay out of their way so they weren't hating on me."
As for Jess, she says she and Norm decided they'd continue to help Courtney and Hans, despite the events.
"Just because they've done it to us, doesn't mean we have to do it to them," she says. "Why would you put yourself down to that level?"
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