Aussie renovation reality show The Block is compulsive viewing - particularly if like most Australians, you like a bit of house reno. And this year they are mixing things up a little to give the competition a boost.
Little do three new blockhead couples who are ready to risk it all and renovate a house on national TV know, they will be facing some familiar faces in the battle to win.
And while the fan favourites who are returning may have an advantage in that they've been there and done it all before, there's still everything to play for.
"The Fans have everything to gain and the Faves have reputations to uphold," host Scottie Cam says. "This will be a dramatic showdown like we have never seen before."
This season, the five couples will be renovating five houses in a traditional Melbourne cul-de-sac. No, it's not Ramsay Street but Bronte Court in the bayside suburb of Hampton. Not only that, they will have some heavy-duty construction as they will all be excavating to create basements in their homes.
So just who is coming back to show that they have what it takes to go through the sleepless nights and dust of construction for another shot at becoming top blockhead?
Ronnie and Georgia from Perth (2017)
We first met Ronnie, 45 and Georgia, 37, when, for the first time in Block history, couples built their homes from the ground up in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick. They made $161,000 from the sale of their house however it was only enough to get them into third place so these professional renovators feel they still have a lot to prove.
"I want to do a really good job, and returning as all-stars brings even more expectation and pressure," Georgia says. "We will be a little bit smarter and a little bit wiser this season."
Her husband is more worried about his fitness this time around. "I need to keep myself in top shape. The Block is a workout like nothing else," Ronnie says. "You have to be mentally and physically ready for this brutal and relentless challenge. You have to be fighting fit to do something like The Block."
The couple were quite outspoken last time and their competitive nature also saw a few feathers fly so we'll have to see if time and experience has mellowed the pair.
But ultimately they are doing this for their family - Leo, nine and Charlotte, six and Ronnie's son from a previous relationship Giordano, 20. "There were lots of tears saying goodbye to the kids again," Georgia says. "I promised them a pool at the end of this to get them over the line, so we’re counting on that win."
Mitch and Mark from Sydney (2019)
Flamboyant and fabulous, it was easy to see why Mitch, 58, and Mark, 59, were so popular with viewers when they renovated their apartment at the Oslo Hotel, a rundown backpackers accommodation. They may have come last in the competition but they still won pretty big taking home $384,000 in prize money from the auction.
"Last time we got so caught up with the build and doing well that we didn’t allow ourselves the time to have as much fun as we could have," Mitch says, explaining one of the reasons why the couple have decided to return for another go at the top prize on The Block.
And they haven't forgotten about their fantastic builders from the last time they were renovating - brothers Jason and Stevie Charles. "When we rang Jason and asked him to come back, he said he wouldn’t do it with anyone else, which was lovely," Mark says.
Between this show and the last one, the couple, who have been together for 16 years, have joined the Northern Beaches set of Sydney, posting many pictures on Instagram of their adventures up and around Palm Beach as well as catching up with their five grandchildren when lockdown allows.
With Mark doing the hard yards and Mitch at the shops last time around, let's see if a couple of years gap has changed their renovating style or whether they'll be sticking to what they know best.
The Block: Fans v Faves is coming to Channel 9 soon.
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