The Block: Fans defend Omar and Oz against claims they ‘rigged’ auction


Omar Slaimankhel and Ozman ‘Oz’ Abu Malik’s record-breaking win on The Block last night has descended into a bitter war of words on social media.

Conspiracy theories have been running wild on Facebook and Twitter with some viewers baselessly accusing the western Sydney mates, who are both Muslim, of ‘rigging’ the auction by roping in their ‘millionaire friend’ to drive up the price.

Adrian Portelli – an online promotions guru with a net worth of $8million, who arrived at the auction in a flashy yellow Lamborghini and seemed to know Omar and Oz well – opened the bidding on House 5 at $4.5million, which was much higher than the $4.08million reserve price.

His aggressive bidding meant eventual buyer Danny Wallis ended up paying an eye-watering $5,666,666.66 for the four-bedroom, 10-acre property, making the boys instant millionaires with total winnings of $1,686,666.66 – the biggest victory in The Block’s 18-year history.

Following their win, some fans speculated the auction was ‘dodgy’ and that Portelli was ‘set up’ to force Wallis into spending more. But an equal number of viewers refuted this, saying the boys won fairly and calling out the criticism as ‘racist’.

Omar Slaimankhel and Ozman ‘Oz’ Abu Malik’s record-breaking win on The Block last night has descended into a bitter war of words on social media 

‘That’s our boy! That’s our boy!’ Omar and Oz cried out when Portelli made the initial offer.

He drove the bid up several times but was ultimately no match for Wallis, a frequent buyer on The Block, who won the house after a tense back and forth. 

Wallis is well known for his appearances on The Block, his flamboyant bidding style and huge expenditures.

The Melbourne-based IT entrepreneur bought three homes last year for a combined $12.25million, and he was back in 2023 with more outrageous bids. 

At one point, as they were locked in a fierce bidding war, Wallis turned to Portelli and asked bluntly: ‘I hope you have the money?’

Portelli fired back, ‘Do you want to see my bank account?’ before entering his final bid, which Wallis then exceeded. 

The Block 2022 listings

HOUSE 1 – Tom and Sarah-Jane 

Stunning architectural design meets luxurious country living. 

Address: 191 McGeorge Road, Gisborne VIC 3437

Listing: 5 Bed, 3 Bath.

Price guide: $4-$4.4 million

SOLD FOR:  $4,100,000.99

HOUSE 2 – Rachel and Ryan

Luxury lodge country living is at the heart of this magnificent state-of-the-art, vineyard estate.

Address: 197 McGeorge Road, Gisborne VIC 3437

Listing: 5 Bed, 3 Bath

Price guide: $4-$4.4 million

SOLD FOR: $4,250,000

HOUSE 3 – Sharon and Ankur

‘Gunyah’ – Luxurious country living with spectacular mountain views.

Address: 223 McGeorge Road, Gisborne VIC 3437

Listing: 5 Bed, 3 Bath

Price guide: $4-$4.4 million

NOT SOLD

HOUSE 4 – Dylan and Jenny

Acreage, views and luxury country living.

Address: 225 McGeorge Road, Gisborne VIC 3437

Listing: 5 Bed, 3 Bath Price guide: $4-$4.4 million

NOT SOLD

HOUSE 5 – Omar and Oz

Sustainable luxurious lifestyle.

Address: 241 McGeorge Road, Gisborne VIC 3437

Listing: 5 Bed, 3 Bath

Price guide: $4-$4.4 million 

SOLD FOR: $5,666,666

Conspiracy theories have been running wild on Facebook with some viewers baselessly accusing the western Sydney mates, both 30, of 'rigging' the auction by roping in their 'millionaire friend' Adrian Portelli (centre left, in the white T-shirt) to drive up the price

Conspiracy theories have been running wild on Facebook with some viewers baselessly accusing the western Sydney mates, both 30, of ‘rigging’ the auction by roping in their ‘millionaire friend’ Adrian Portelli (centre left, in the white T-shirt) to drive up the price 

Portelli's aggressive bidding meant eventual buyer and The Block royalty Danny Wallis (pictured) ended up paying an eye-watering $5,666,666.66 for the four-bedroom, 10-acre property - making the boys instant millionaires with total winnings of $1,686,666.66

Portelli’s aggressive bidding meant eventual buyer and The Block royalty Danny Wallis (pictured) ended up paying an eye-watering $5,666,666.66 for the four-bedroom, 10-acre property – making the boys instant millionaires with total winnings of $1,686,666.66 

Omar and Oz made the largest sum over reserve of all five Block houses, selling their property for $5,666,666 and taking home a record-breaking $1.6million in profit. 

Not everyone was happy for the pair, however, with some viewers sharing their ‘concerns’ about the validity of the auction on Twitter and Facebook.

‘There is something extremely dodgy about the bidding tonight,’ one fan tweeted.

Not everyone was happy for Omar and Oz, with several viewers sharing their concerns on Twitter and Facebook - but others called the criticism unfair and racially motivated

Not everyone was happy for Omar and Oz, with several viewers sharing their concerns on Twitter and Facebook – but others called the criticism unfair and racially motivated

‘The people that run the show should look into their protocols to ensure that everything is above board.’

‘Anybody else think there is something dodgy about a young bloke looking like someone who’s not “flush with funds” bidding millions of dollars on that first house? Hmmm… driving up the buyers maybe?’ another wrote.

‘Omar and Oz: “We’re sick of everyone calling us dodgy.” Also Omar and Oz: Get their mate in as a dummy bidder to drive the price up,’ one viewer tweeted.

'That's our boy! That's our boy!' Omar and Oz cried out when Portelli made the initial offer

‘That’s our boy! That’s our boy!’ Omar and Oz cried out when Portelli made the initial offer

As the two men were locked in a fierce bidding war, Wallis turned to Portelli and asked, 'I hope you have the money?'

As the two men were locked in a fierce bidding war, Wallis turned to Portelli and asked, ‘I hope you have the money?’

'Do you want to see my bank account?' Portelli fired back before entering his final bid, which Wallis then exceeded

‘Do you want to see my bank account?’ Portelli fired back before entering his final bid, which Wallis then exceeded

‘There was some absolute dodgy s**t went on in that first auction. No way that property goes $1.5million over and the others don’t even hit reserve,’ one fan said. 

‘On the positive side, I know the boys don’t like looking dodgy so thank God it’s not like their house sold for some ridiculous amount compared to everyone else’s that makes it look weird or anything!’ another joked.

Some claimed Portelli was ‘set up to push the rich guy up’, while others described him as a ‘dummy bidder’ who exploited Wallis’ ‘ego’.

‘Their house went straight over reserve, everyone else struggled to make reserve. I’m glad they won but there was something suss for sure,’ another added.

The Block finale sparked heated debate on Facebook, with some crying foul while others insisted Omar and Oz won the competition 'fair and square'

The Block finale sparked heated debate on Facebook, with some crying foul while others insisted Omar and Oz won the competition ‘fair and square’

Omar and Oz's stunning house is pictured

Omar and Oz’s stunning house is pictured 

Others disagreed, and insisted the criticism was simply racist.

Omar and Oz had frequently been called ‘dodgy’ during The Block, a label they said was racially charged because they are both Muslims from western Sydney.

‘The racism in these tweets is bloody disgraceful. Saying the boys cheated just because a bidder had a similar ethnic background? Newsflash, he didn’t even buy the property! Danny was willing to spend $5.5m. End of story,’ one fan tweeted. 

‘Every person who continues to call House 5’s result dodgy is contributing to the racism shown toward Omar and Oz,’ another wrote. 

‘There were three people bidding. It’s not that hard to believe that one person could only want House 5. Is it because he looks like them that you assume he’s a plant?’

'It put a massive smile on our faces,' Oz told Daily Mail Australia after their win

‘It put a massive smile on our faces,’ Oz told Daily Mail Australia after their win 

‘Everyone saying the first auction was dodgy doesn’t understand how serious that would be – PLUS Danny happily bid against. It was an ego war plain and simple,’ someone else wrote. 

Another reasoned: ‘Question guys…”the Lambo guy”, a.k.a. Adrian Portelli, is single with no kids, so why would he want any other house there? Omar and Oz made a luxury bachelor pad and the others made family homes with no interest to him.’

One of Omar and Oz’s most high-profile defenders was radio host Kyle Sandilands, who said on Monday the boys won the competition fair and square.

He spoke up for the team after one of his producers said their win seemed ‘dodgy’. 

One of Omar and Oz's most high-profile defenders was radio host Kyle Sandilands (pictured), who said on Monday the boys won the competition fair and square

One of Omar and Oz’s most high-profile defenders was radio host Kyle Sandilands (pictured), who said on Monday the boys won the competition fair and square

Sandilands praised their clever strategy of inviting along an aggressive bidder to compete with Wallis, adding: ‘Everyone does that.’

He agreed they were just ‘hustlers’ – not ‘dodgy dealers’ – and pointed out they ‘didn’t take shortcuts’ during the construction process.

‘They built a beautiful home and they wanted to get top dollar for it,’ he said.

Omar and Oz later addressed the criticism head-on, telling The Kyle and Jackie O Show their strategy of inviting a rich mate to bid on their home was just ‘networking’.

They also pointed out there were ‘many buyers’ who went through their home on the day who ‘absolutely loved it’ – not just Wallis and Portelli.

The boys’ victory comes weeks after they were nicknamed ‘dodgy dealers’ for scoring a baby grand piano at a massive discount, which resulted in the other teams calling for a financial audit.

The boys' victory comes after they were nicknamed 'dodgy dealers' for scoring a baby grand piano at a massive discount, which resulted in the other teams calling for a financial audit

The boys’ victory comes after they were nicknamed ‘dodgy dealers’ for scoring a baby grand piano at a massive discount, which resulted in the other teams calling for a financial audit

Omar explained on the show how the word ‘dodgy’ can trigger a different reaction from viewers when used to describe a person of colour instead of a white Australian.

He said: ‘It’s very easy to go to House 2… and say he’s dodgy and it probably won’t trigger anyone watching it from home, but if you say it to a Lebo or an Afghan or someone of complete different colour and culture, it’s very different.’

At one stage during the competition, the mates told foreman Dan Reilly they were concerned they were being made to look like ‘two wogs [doing] dodgy s**t on TV’.

They said it was ‘hurtful’ because they wanted to change Australians’ perception of their community after they experienced racism growing up.

Portelli has also spoken about the auction day controversy, taking to Instagram late Sunday night to deny claims he conspired with Omar and Oz to drive up the price

Portelli has also spoken about the auction day controversy, taking to Instagram late Sunday night to deny claims he conspired with Omar and Oz to drive up the price

Portelli has also spoken about the auction day controversy, taking to Instagram late Sunday night to deny claims he conspired with Omar and Oz to drive up the price.

‘For everyone questioning the legitimacy of the auction, I was a genuine buyer with every intention to purchase that property,’ the businessman said.

‘Nobody is to blame for what happened. It’s an auction. Believe it or not, but if you’ve got two people that genuinely want the property, a bidding war will commence.’

‘I’m happy to show my bank account for anyone that suggests these were dummy bids,’ he concluded. 

A Caesarstone waterfall benchtop and splash back, wine fridge, and serving bar are all spectacular features in Omar and Oz's kitchen (pictured)

A Caesarstone waterfall benchtop and splash back, wine fridge, and serving bar are all spectacular features in Omar and Oz’s kitchen (pictured)

Wallis, who has purchased eight Block properties over the years and spent a total of almost $30 million, didn’t want to let their home go, increasing his bid until he won during Sunday’s nail-biting finale.

‘It put a massive smile on our faces,’ Oz, 30, told Daily Mail Australia after their win. 

However, Omar and Oz’s co-star Jenny Heath claimed the pair wouldn’t have won if their friend didn’t bid on the day. 

Coming in second at auction were Rachel & Ryan Carr, who negotiated to sell their home for $4,250,000 - making a profit of $169,000. Both pictured

Coming in second at auction were Rachel & Ryan Carr, who negotiated to sell their home for $4,250,000 – making a profit of $169,000. Both pictured 

Rachel and Ryan's master bedroom has country charm with a Rinnai gas fireplace

Rachel and Ryan’s master bedroom has country charm with a Rinnai gas fireplace

‘They’ve been hanging out with that guy the past couple of weeks. We know the game they were playing,’ she said.

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Channel Nine for comment. 

Omar and Oz created a five-bedroom, three-bedroom property with one of the biggest draw cards being its resort-style amenities include a solar heated pool.

Fan favourites Tom and Sarah-Jane came in third but didn't bring in big bucks. Both pictured

Fan favourites Tom and Sarah-Jane came in third but didn’t bring in big bucks. Both pictured 

Tom and Sarah-Jane's kitchen is pictured, with its muted tones

Tom and Sarah-Jane’s kitchen is pictured, with its muted tones 

The property also featured and a full-sized multifunctional court for tennis, basketball, or soccer.

A Caesar stone waterfall benchtop and splash back, wine fridge, and serving bar are all spectacular features in the kitchen.

Their dining and living space also showcases towering ceilings with exposed timber beams and concrete flooring. 

There was also heartache, with two couples, Ankur and Sharon (pictured), and Dylan and Jenny, failing to sell their homes at auction

There was also heartache, with two couples, Ankur and Sharon (pictured), and Dylan and Jenny, failing to sell their homes at auction

Pictured is Ankur and Sharon's luxurious bedroom at their home

Pictured is Ankur and Sharon’s luxurious bedroom at their home 

‘We’re absolutely stoked that we took out the win this year – we had a plan and stuck to it,’ said Oz. 

‘It is a competition, but seeing each team come in after us and not getting the results that they wanted really hurt.’ 

‘It took a while to sink in, but it felt amazing to get a win after the hard work we put in. But it’s very hard seeing others obviously not doing so well,’ added Omar.

Both couples continued to negotiate with their highest bidders after filming, but as of 9pm Sunday, November 6, Ankur and Sharon, and Dylan and Jenny (pictured), are still open to offers to buy their homes

Both couples continued to negotiate with their highest bidders after filming, but as of 9pm Sunday, November 6, Ankur and Sharon, and Dylan and Jenny (pictured), are still open to offers to buy their homes

Pictured is the kitchen in Dylan and Jenny's home

Pictured is the kitchen in Dylan and Jenny’s home

Coming in second at auction were Rachel and Ryan Carr, who negotiated to sell their home for $4,250,000 – making a profit of $169,000. 

Fan favourites Tom and Sarah-Jane came in third but didn’t bring in big bucks. 

They chose to go second in the auction order, but their home only sold for $4,100,000.99, which was just $20,000.99 above their $4.08 million reserve price. 

'We're absolutely stoked that we took out the win this year – we had a plan and stuck to it,' said Oz

‘We’re absolutely stoked that we took out the win this year – we had a plan and stuck to it,’ said Oz

There was also heartache, with two couples, Ankur and Sharon, and Dylan and Jenny, failing to sell their homes at auction.

Both properties were passed in when they failed to attract a bidder over their $4.08 million reserve price, both attracting a highest bid of $4,075,000.

Both couples continued to negotiate with their highest bidders after filming, but as of 9pm Sunday, November 6, Ankur and Sharon, and Dylan and Jenny, are still open to offers to buy their homes. 

The Sydney-based best friends made the largest sum over reserve of all five Block houses, selling their property for $5,666,666 and taking home a record breaking $1.6million in profit

The Sydney-based best friends made the largest sum over reserve of all five Block houses, selling their property for $5,666,666 and taking home a record breaking $1.6million in profit

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk