Hunter duo ready to do their ‘Block’ on reality TV show


While world domination may be at the top of their to-do list, winning The Block 2021 would be a dream come true for Kirsty Lee Akers and Jesse Anderson.

The Block contestants Kirsty and Jesse
Kirsty Lee Akers and Jesse Anderson are excited to be on The Block. Photo: Peter Stoop

When they make their television debut on Sunday it’ll be a goal almost 10 years in the making – the Wangi Wangi locals have been applying for the show since 2012.

“It’s just been a dream of ours for so long because we know what an amazing opportunity it is,” Kirsty said.

“So many people would kill to go on a show like The Block, so many thousands of people apply every year and we’ve just always had this ambition to get on because we know it is going to change our life.

“It already has changed our life.”

When they found out they were on the show, tears started to flow.

“It’s the most amazing thing that has ever happened to us,” Jesse said.

“The things that’ll come from it, it’s pretty exciting.

“It still hasn’t fully sunk in – especially seeing yourself on the telly, it’s very surreal.”

While the rest of Australia is yet to get to know them, the Hunter region, particularly people from their hometown have loved the couple since they were young.

“It’s amazing to be representing the Hunter, this has been our home our whole life,” Kirsty said.

“We did live in Nashville for a few years there, but this will always be home for us.

“Growing up in a small town like Kurri Kurri you do have that small town pride.

“Our hometown has always been very supportive of us, not just our hometown but the whole Hunter in general.

“Especially for me being a singer-songwriter in this area.

“I always notice when I do shows here it’s always the biggest and most supportive crowds.

“They always support their own.”

“Hopefully we make them proud,” Jesse added.

The husband-and-wife duo are one of five couples who will compete on the show in a setting never attempted before – a traditional Australian cul-de-sac, in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Hampton.

However, for this season they have created a twist – there will be no house plans for contestants to work off.
The “Blockheads” must design the layout and inclusions of their houses from scratch.

Having renovated six homes together already, they are no strangers to a challenge.

It all started when they bought their first home at 18.

“All of our friends were off at university and we were at home painting and paying a mortgage off,” Kirsty said.

“That gave us the renovation bug.”

When it comes to their style, the pair describe their work as Hamptons coastal, which Kirsty says was perfect for this season.

“I’ve always said if we had to renovate a really modern apartment I don’t know how we would go because that is not our style at all so we were very lucky,” the country music singer said.

They added the most challenging part of The Block was the lack of sleep.

“We were always the first ones up and the last ones to bed,” Jesse said.

“Just averaging three hours of sleep a night is really hard to function.

“We could have had a lot of sleep if we wanted to but being the competitive people we are and wanting to make the most of the opportunity there was lots of all-nighters to get the job done.”

When asked if it ever got easier, Kirsty said it was always a challenge.

“I felt like it got harder because we were more and more tired and you try to see the light at the end of the tunnel but it’s really hard when you’re tired and your body is aching,” she said.

“It’s so much harder than what it looks on TV, we used to watch the show and go it couldn’t be that bad, they’ve got all these trades there what are these people whinging about.

“I would say I am not going to be one of those people who goes on the show and cries but there may have been a tear or two.” 

The duo believes this year’s season is the best one yet.

“To everyone reading this, make sure you tune in,” Kirsty said.

“It’s going to be a season you don’t want to miss.”

The Block will premiere on Channel 9 this Sunday 8 August at 7pm.

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