Meet Will and Karlie: the new kids on The Block
REALITY TV contestants often say they've had a "whirlwind" experience.
But there's no more apt description of Will and Karlie's introduction to The Block.
The high school sweethearts (pictured), who met at Rochedale State High School in southern Brisbane, sent in their audition video on the final day of applications.
"In the terms and conditions they told us we'd be contacted by a certain date and when we didn't hear anything we felt really disappointed," Will said.
"Then two weeks after that they phoned us on a Saturday and asked us to come in for an interview on the Sunday. Then Scotty told us we were on The Block on the Monday."
The 25-year-olds gave their employers three days' notice and were in Melbourne by the end of the week. They had only just bought their first home, which they've yet to live in.
"We literally moved everything out of our rental property, put it in a room (at our house), shut the door and moved down.
"Hopefully we can do well off the block and then bankroll our little renovation project."
The novice renovators, who had only limited painting experience before stepping on to The Block, face the most competitive season of the reality show yet according to executive producer Julian Cress.
Luckily the plucky young couple, who plan to tie the knot next year, brings some valuable skills to the work site. Will is an electrician while Karlie is a construction estimator.
"I'm good with numbers and figures and budgets," Karlie says.
"But I'm used to the commercial side of things more than residential. The timeline of events on The Block is very different to a normal job.
"It's done in bits and pieces, and trades are waiting on other trades. It's been really difficult to forecast how much we're going to spend on each room."
Will added: "It goes from hell to heaven and then back to hell."
Along with four other teams, including the show's first lesbian couple and oldest ever couple, they will spend 10 weeks restoring a former soap factory in Port Melbourne back to its former art deco glory.
"We're very industrial with our style so we've tried to bring in that industrial feel but also put in those art deco touches," she says. "We call it 'indeco' (industrial art deco)."
Viewers will see the couple form an especially close bond with fellow 20-somethings Ben and Andy, best mates and school teachers from Geelong.
"They'll be friends for life I reckon," Will says. "They're hilarious and so much fun to be around. They make us look boring (laughs). They're just nice blokes."
Season 12 of The Block premieres tomorrow at 7pm on Channel 9.