Steph and Gian: The Greek-Italian Australians on The Block 2023

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By Sophia Katsinas.

They’re the young couple who have already ruffled some feathers as contestants on Channel 9’s popular reality renovating series, The Block, which aired its 19th season just over two weeks’ ago, but Stephanie (Steph) Ottavio (née Kapetanellis) insists her and husband Gianpietro’s (Gian) focus remains on “building a beautiful house.”

In an interview with The Greek Herald, Steph, who is caught up in a brewing tension with two other contestants on the show, responded to claims from fans that she is a victim of bullying.

One couple called for a body corporate meeting with the rest of the contestants to discuss concerns over Steph’s dad helping onsite without being inducted. Image/Nine.

“I’ve grown up in an environment where what other people have to say about you is really none of your business. So long as you are a kind person and you are proud of the person you are and your actions, you can’t really control anything else around you,” Steph said with assurance.

“It’s hard to see what the show is showing, especially juxtaposed with what’s going on at the moment with the Matilda’s, for example, and the focus on women lifting each other up, but unfortunately it actually is really relevant because that’s a representation of our society.”

The couple, who met at 13 years old, fell into heat with some of the other contestants after Steph’s dad, Nick, the Founder and Director of Capital Windows and Doors, visited The Block site and began working on site without being inducted – a breach of The Block’s protocol that states all workers on site must be inducted and paid.

“My dad was down in Melbourne for an annual event that he always attends and he genuinely had no intention of helping, but he came and saw the situation and saw that we weren’t in a great place with our builders. I think Dad’s fatherly instincts kicked in and he was like I need to help, and being a qualified glazier and a qualified builder, he felt he was capable of doing so,” Steph explained.

“In that stressful environment I completely overlooked the fact that he should have been inducted earlier in the week… As soon as it came to our attention that he wasn’t… we 100% apologised.”

“From a Greek father perspective, he did what every father in general would do. He came to help his daughter… He’s the father at the end of the day and I’m not going to tell him what to do.”

Steph and her dad Nick share a special moment after Nick walked his daughter down the aisle at Steph and Gian’s wedding last year. Image supplied.

Steph and Gian credit the richness in their lives to their parents and the supportive network they have around them.

“He comes from an Italian family, I come from a Greek family, but at the end of the day family is what binds us and we give our parents a lot of credit. The reason that we are able and confident enough to be the people that we are… is because of the confidence and stability of the foundations that they’ve provided us,” Steph said.

Steph and Gian celebrate making it onto The Block 2023 with friends and family. Image supplied.
Steph and Gian filming for The Block at their home. Image supplied.

Steph attests her and Gian’s strength to their grandparents, who serve as pillars in their lives. All four of Gian’s grandparents migrated to Australia from Italy and all four of Steph’s grandparents migrated from Greece.

“They gave us the ability to be comfortable and to be in the position we are today. They also have instilled family in us. I think it’s hard to say that my Greek heritage is not attached to that family aspect because that is something that is carried down from generation to generation, this coming together through food. I believe that gatherings and being around each other is something that comes from our heritage,” Steph said.

Steph and Gian with their grandparents at their wedding. Image supplied.

The 27-year-old newlyweds were married last year in a lavish ceremony at the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, surrounded by adoring friends and family.

After purchasing a house in the southern-Sydney suburb of Bexley in 2021, they began renovating their home, which they now live in with their puppy Lumi, and fell in love with the renovation process. Additionally, after 7-years of study, Steph was registered as an architect in New South Wales last year and decided to start her own business, SjO ARCHITECTS, after working in architectural roles for over 5 years.

Steph and Gian pay tribute to Steph’s late grandfather by styling his blazer in their wardrobe during a room reveal, as The Block judges Marty Fox and Shayna Blaze inspect the room. Image/Nine.
Steph graduating with a Masters in Architecture. Image supplied.

Steph is in fact The Block’s first ever architect and has been dubbed “Architect Steph” on the show.

After celebrating their first win on Sunday, things seem to be looking up for the young couple.

“I believe that the house that we end up building is something that we walk away from so proud and I can’t wait for everyone to see it,” said Steph.

“We are really proud of what we’ve done in our lives so far and now we’re wondering where we’re going to go from this. That’s really exciting. We don’t know where that is right now, but I know it will come.”

Steph and Gian celebrate their first win on The Block this season after winning Studio Bedroom Week. Image/Nine.

The Block airs Sunday to Wednesday on Channel 9. You can follow Steph and Gian’s Block journey on Instagram @stephandgian.

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