Block newbies win big
The Block's Steve O'Donnell and Chantelle Ford in their winning room. Picture: Supplied

It was a tricky start for newbie team Steve O'Donnell and Chantelle Ford on The Block this year, with their lack of renovation experience, split rumours and social media trolls all stirring up trouble for the couple from early on.

But the Melbourne pair powered through the controversy to be the last team to secure a room win on the current Fans V Faves series last night for their combined living and dining space, a feeling they said was a "major relief".

Having watched the show religiously in past seasons, O'Donnell told AAA they were prepared to face challenges on the Nine show but transforming the former Dux Theatre in their home State into four New York style lofts was on another level.

"This has been the biggest task to date for any contestant, so when you are put up against three very experienced teams it's not easy," the chimneysweep said.

"We expected it to be tough but it did present stuff we could not have imagined in our wildest dreams."

The fact the duo had never renovated before was not the only thing that they had to struggle with on the show.

Shortly after the series began to air, rumours started swirling that they had parted ways because of the pressure of the competition and a Facebook post in which O'Donnell accused producers of making him look "mentally deficient" through the editing process, was made public by a former friend.

Though they have since cleared up both issues - they are still very much together - Ford said their focus on getting their apartment completed meant they never considered the drama that could follow when they became household names.

"Our energy went into (the renovations) and we didn't really save much for what was to come post-Block," the milliner said.

"It was, like every other aspect of The Block, another learning curve but we are just grateful to have been a part of it."

Ford added the show had given them the chance to finally begin renovations on their own home and said they were both eyeing a potential career move into the design industry in the future.

The West Australian

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