You know him from Brother Vs. Brother and Design Star — now go behind the scenes of the all-new competition series Flipping the Block with producer Loren Ruch. Each week, he’ll share his favorite behind-the-scenes moments and what you didn’t see on TV. Plus, he’ll answer your questions about the show! Just in time for Sunday’s premiere, here’s his take on the exciting new show.
What’s the story behind this new HGTV show? What’s this show’s relationship to the Australian hit, “The Block”?
The premise of the show Flipping the Block is that four teams of talented competitors get the opportunity to flip four identical condos…all while living in them! These places were absolute DUMPS, so that made the challenge even more difficult. Basically, they turned a rundown complex into a modern day Melrose Place. This is the US-version of the highly popular Australian show called The Block.
How did you narrow down the pool of applicants to the final group of 8? What qualities were you looking for in pairings?
We had almost 1000 people (500 teams) apply to be on the show. We wanted a variety of applicants from different regions, backgrounds, skill sets, and relationships. We have a team with twin brothers, a team with sisters, a newly dating couple, and newlyweds — so there’s a little bit of everything. As for skill sets, we made sure that all of the teams had some level of tool skills, real estate knowledge, or design capabilities so that there would not be an obvious winner, and it could be anyone’s game.
How much did the contestants know before going into this experience? When did they learn about the true premise of the show?
They didn’t know ANYTHING about living in the properties. All they knew was that they were going to appear on an all-new HGTV renovation show! That made the first moment when they saw the Block that much more shocking and exciting!
How did HGTV find the properties being renovated for this project? What were you looking for in the property itself?
We had a real estate expert scour the LA market looking for the perfect property. When she found this four-plex in Glendale we knew it was our perfect pick because all four units were identical, and the places were run down enough that there was room for real transformation.
How did you choose Scott McGillivray and Nicole Curtis as the show’s judges?
This was a no-brainer to me. Scott is the absolute king of everything ‘real estate’ and Nicole is one of our biggest stars with an incredible knowledge of historical preservation -and– house flipping. Combined, they were the perfect choices to real advise and ultimately judge each week’s challenge.
Have a question for Loren? Ask in the comments below.