All-stars hit The Block
FOUR teams are returning to go through it all again on the new all-stars series of The Block.
There will be triumphs, heartaches, headaches and a lot of back-breaking work as the duos renovate four heritage-listed Bondi homes.
"They all know what they're in for but maybe they do see it through rose-coloured glasses," presenter and challenge master Shelley Craft told The Guide during a set visit.
That's particularly true for Phil and Amity, who renovated a two-bedroom Bondi unit 10 years ago in the original series hosted by Jamie Durie.
The couple, who now live in South Australia, are up against the experience of the lovable "two fat tradies" Mark and Duncan from series three and competitive young guns Josh and Jenna from series four and Dan and Dani from the most recent series.
"It's a completely different beast from when they did it," Craft said.
"They worked pretty much full time, they didn't have any kids and it was a two-bedroom unit.
"But they have managed and excelled I think."
The friendly couple seems to be happy with their underdog status in the renovation competition.
"We came in as the underdogs but we exceeded our own expectations," Phil said.
Amity added: "We have done no renovating since our first series 10 years ago, and we weren't exactly known for our renovating prowess (back then)."
But the other all-stars will be just as hard against it with the twist of heritage-listed properties, which require as much of a restoration as a renovation.
"Everybody has to contend with exactly the same rules," Craft said.
"Some have embraced it and others have been really challenged by it."
Keeping original features like cornices, skirting and tiles will be a particular challenge for the modern decorating style of Dan and Danni.
"We took great pleasure in telling them about the heritage (status)," chuckled host Scott Cam.
To make matters worse, the four teams have just six weeks to get their houses ready for auction.
"The heritage listing stumped us for a bit," Dan told The Guide.
"We've both said we'll never do a heritage-listed house again.
"Physically it's not as hard (as the last series) but mentally it's tougher."
It seems alliances have already been formed between the younger, Gen-Y teams of Josh and Jenna and Dan and Dani and the older teams of Phil and Amity and Mark and Duncan.
Phil and Amity hope their maturity and their "slow and steady" approach wins the renovating race.
"It's like old school and new school," Phil said.
Amity added: "When you're a little bit older you know the things you're good at and the things that you're not and you pay people to do the things you're not good at."