On a show riddled with opportunities to sabotage and strategise, there was always one team that succumbed to temptation – but Cat Glass and Jeremy Hill were never that duo.
As fan favourites on The Block NZ: Villa Wars, the Taranaki twosome not only proved their DIY nous by transforming house three into a super-stylish, state-of-the-art Auckland abode, but they also showed that winning the room reveals – and the nation’s hearts – was possible without bitching and backstabbing.
This was the real challenge of the hit TV3 reality series, they insist. “We only ever worried about ourselves,” explains ad-agency owner Jeremy, 29. “The Block was filled with ways to use others to better your position or win more money, but we always wanted our work to speak for itself. We’re happy we didn’t succumb to the pressure.”
He and his partner Cat, 28, prided themselves on being different to the likes of cunning Christchurch-based duo Brooke Thompson and Mitch Davies, who awarded their fellow teammates big, fat zeroes at Dinner Wars, then deducted one crucial point from Cat and Jeremy to win at Bathroom Week. “We had our chances to be strategic, but we didn’t want to go back on our game plan or the deals we’d made with other team members,” explains preschool teacher Cat. “That’s just not our style and would have been something we regretted in the end.”
Solid & strong
If you ask the humble, hard-working yellow team for the secret to their ever-sunny demeanour throughout the high-pressure, high-stakes competition, they’ll tell you it was their rock-steady, five-year relationship that got them through.
“We’d never really been put in a pressure-cooker situation together,” says Jeremy, “so we went into the show a bit nervous about how we would handle it, but we finished up stronger than ever.
“Surviving The Block has really solidified our relationship. It’s taught me that Cat and I can always rely on each other. Standing in our villa makes me so proud because this house was something we achieved together. It’s been a really extreme experience and something that we can look back on with no regrets.”
However, their Block journey wasn’t always smooth sailing for the New Plymouth lovebirds, who endured countless sleepless nights, the pressures of a tight budget and trouble with tradies, but having each other’s support always pulled them through.
“There’s no way I could have done this without Jerms,” says Cat. “You need that person with you who has seen you at your best and at your worst, and loves you regardless. If I hadn’t felt like I could just break down and be a nervous wreck or a cry baby, it would have been a horrible experience. Jeremy’s been my number-one support – he always had faith in us.”
Cat and Jeremy insist they will walk away from The Block far richer for the experience. “We already felt like winners when host Mark Richardson knocked on our door all those months ago and told us we were on the show,” says Cat, “so any money we took home was always going to be the cherry on the cake.”
“It’s been a life-changing experience,” adds Jeremy. “Completing such a massive task has made me want to achieve a lot more. When we first heard we were on the show, I wasn’t sure how we were going to do it, but we are proud of what we created. Cat and I feel more motivated than ever to keep challenging ourselves to do new and interesting things.”
And Cat is adamant that with extra pep in their step, the pair – who are excited about returning to New Plymouth to see their beloved kitten – won’t slip back into their sleepy former lifestyle.
“We live a pretty low-key little life, but if The Block has taught us anything, we know we can squeeze a lot more into our day,” she insists. “Jeremy’s excited about new work projects and I’d love to pursue my new passion for interior styling.”