The West

Office work tests Block teams
The Block Glasshouse contestants. Picture: Supplied

The Block is back and according to challenge master Shelley Craft, it's bigger, badder and more demanding than ever.

Twice the size of last year's Dux House, The Block Glasshouse will be a mammoth undertaking for five brave couples who will attempt to transform the 1980s office block into luxury apartments in just 10 weeks, a task Craft considers practically impossible.

"Every year I think it can't get any harder and they've certainly proven me wrong yet again," she told Access All Areas.

As the first two episodes have illustrated, contestants Michael and Carlene (QLD), Chris and Jenna (NSW), Maxine and Karstan (NSW), Shannon and Simon (NSW) and Darren and Deanne (Victoria), won't have an easy journey ahead of them, dealing with more stress and sleepless nights than most people can handle with their sanity intact.

Though it's still early days, Craft believes there are some clear frontrunners but says it's impossible to predict how things will pan out on auction day.

"Dee and Darren are really strong - they've obviously done a few of their own homes before so they're really set in their style and they know each others' jobs," the presenter said. "Mike and Carlene are also very strong. They're married and they have kids so their relationship has been through more than some of our younger couples who are just dating or are engaged or newly married. There's that experience that comes with time.

"A lot of the appeal of The Block is that it doesn't really matter what happens week to week as long as you have enough money to fund yourself. Come auction day it's back to square one, it's back to an even playing field and it really comes down to the buyers and what they want. And ultimately it's a whole new game altogether on auction day."

With plenty of twists, turns and tantrums along the way, Craft promises Nine's latest Block offering will be the most challenging in the show's history, guaranteeing compelling viewing for Blockheads around the country.

"There's plenty of fireworks - that's for sure - and a fair bit of skulduggery and underhanded play but it all gets discovered in the end," she said.

The West Australian

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