They’re the Aussie battlers The Block viewers have fallen in love with. But not all is as it seems with Norm, 40, and Jess, 33.
In a scandal that is set to rock the competition, the laid-back Queensland couple were accused of misusing their credit card for the purpose of personal benefit.
At the beginning of each season of the renovation show, each couple is given a credit card by host Scott Cam and a budget to last them the entire build.
But New Idea can reveal that during filming, radio host Jess and carpenter Norm used the card to buy personal items, sending shock waves across The Gatwick.
The contestants are under strict instruction to only use their credit cards for renovation purchases on the show.
It is believed Scott Cam first caught wind that the couple were inappropriately using funds when they failed to submit any invoices for bathroom week.
As a result, producers were forced to call in accountants to go through the couple’s expenditure.
It’s here they found transaction statements for items such as petrol, barbecue chicken and fish hooks.
Chatting to New Idea about the accusations, Jess and Norm admit they knew they were in strife and were ‘sweating bullets’ as soon as Scotty, 55, confronted them.
‘Straight away I had that sick stabbing feeling you get when something bad has happened,’ Jess says.
The mother-of-one was also quick to blame her husband for the incident.
‘I had wondered whether Norm had put it on The Block credit card,’ Jess admits.
But Norm is adamant they have a reasonable explanation for breaking the rules, and did not purposefully use money from the show, claiming there is no way he’d jeopardise his spot in the competition.
‘We didn’t come here to chase fame,’ Norm explains.
‘Jess and I work pretty much six days a week and we just don’t spend enough time with the kids. If we could win a few dollars and wipe off a few debts so we don’t have to work as hard and spend more time with the kids, that would make it all worth it.’
Meanwhile, this isn’t the only cheating scandal this season. NSW contestants Sara and Hayden also found themselves under fire for breaching the rules, which stipulates contestants cannot seek help from an outside designer.
Meanwhile, Sara is believed to have spent hours on FaceTime, talking to her wallpaper designer – which some are saying is an unfair advantage the other contestants don’t have in the competition.
For the full story, and more Block exclusives, see this weeks issue of New Idea - on sale now!