The Block NZ's Lisa and Ribz fire back at the 'harsh and nasty' judges

''I'm not going to bother listening to anything these guys say, because there's nothing for us to work off. They're just nasty, so I just give it back,'' declares feisty Lisa.

By Marilynn McLachlan
She may not be Lady Gaga, but bolshie The Block NZ contestant Lisa Ridout was unapologetically "Born This Way".
"If you ask my mother, she reckons I came out demanding attention and running the show," the feisty mum-of-three laughs.
With her pink hair and bold opinions, Lisa, 37, is doing just that – particularly when it comes to the The Block judges Jason Bonham and Lizzie Whaley.
Watch: Meet the teams: Lisa and Ribz. Article continues below.
"Viewers don't actually see the whole story," she explains. "The judges are really harsh and quite nasty to us, but when they give their feedback to other contestants, they give them lots of advice."
"That's why I get so p*ed off and why I'm not going to bother listening to anything these guys say, because there's nothing for us to work off. They're just nasty, so I just give it back."
And she does it in spades, even announcing that she wouldn't listen to "that little bald man", in reference to Jason and scrunching up the suggested wallpaper for the kid's room design challenge.
"I suppose there's a bit that's been edited to make me look a certain way," says Lisa.
"A lot of people on social media are going on at me. Everything I've said I have said, but it is the situation I've been put in and stuff like that makes me look like I'm a complete and utter b** – which isn't far from the truth!"
But there's more to Lisa than her audacious attitude and self-deprecating humour hints at. At 17, she became a mum to daughter Devon, now 19, and had son Boston, 16, soon after. The experience of young motherhood has had an incredible influence on her life.
The vivacious couple share their cosy home with their kids, including Boston (left) and Kingston.
"Putting my childhood and fun years to the side so I could be a parent was, I suppose, my biggest hurdle," shares Lisa.
"But in saying that, it has also been one of the best things in my life because it has taught me a lot. I wouldn't be the person I am today if I didn't have my babies at a young age."
It was after her first marriage broke up that she met Chris "Ribz" Gordon, 34, who is her partner-in-crime on the Three DIY show.
The couple share a nine-year-old son, Kingston, and a dog, Thomas. And it's unsurprising to learn that it was Lisa who popped the question to Ribz six years ago.
Ribz and Lisa at their wedding in 2018.
"I took my divorce papers and I bought him a ring on Christmas Day," she laughs.
"I proposed to him with no ring in the box, but the receipt from the divorce papers and a little message saying, 'Will you marry me now?'"
But they put off the wedding, finally marrying in December last year after deciding, "bugger it, let's do it". The ceremony was held at their local dog park in Wellington's Island Bay, followed by a party at the local bowling club with 200 friends and family.
Though quieter than his robust wife, Ribz also has a wicked sense of humour. Asked where his nickname comes from, he responds, "It's a bit rude to tell you!"
It's not obscene, however. It turns out he has quite the appetite, eating a platter of ribs at a party when he was around 13 years old, and the name stuck.
And while he's "Ribz" on The Block, when Woman's Day chats to the couple, Lisa affectionately refers to him as Chrissy and it's clear they share great banter.
Describing their Wellington home, they both break into peals of laughter.
"It's very homely," says Lisa. "We have these hideous La-Z-Boy couches that Chrissy chose. They're so ugly – Jason Bonham would die if he were to come to our house. He'd say, 'This is disgusting,' and I would agree with him there!"
"They're comfortable, though," Ribz retorts, smiling. Despite the difference between their own home and their Kingsland reno for The Block, the pair are confident in their direction. Taking inspiration from the bustling Auckland suburb, they believe their "sleek" design has what it takes.
Lisa and Ribz's own home has a very eclectic style which they agree Block judge Jason would hate.
"Doing a kid's bedroom and being told to use hideous wallpaper was not a part of our design," tells Lisa.
"Listening to the judges is actually not good for you because you're going to end up with a house that's so mismatching. That's what happened last year – everyone had rooms that were so disjointed that nothing came together. We have a clear idea of what we want to do and we'll stick to that."
The confident couple are already planning how they'll spend any money they earn if they win. Lisa would love a breast reduction, but it's low on the priority list – first up is a family trip to Disneyland.
"The kids would like to go – isn't that every child's dream?" exclaims Lisa. "It would be really cool."

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