The Block’s El­yse Knowles & Josh Barker chat to OK! about dream homes and ty­ing the knot


OK! (Australia) - - Contents -

We tried not to kill each other!

No­body would ar­gue that The Block’s two young guns, model El­yse Knowles, 25, and her boyfriend of four-and-a-half years, car­pen­ter Josh Barker, 28, are ab­so­lutely smash­ing it on the hit reno show. The cou­ple have been touted as the favourites to take out the win at the auc­tion on Oc­to­ber 28, but that’s not the only sale the pair will be tack­ling in the com­ing weeks – their re­cently ren­o­vated home in Mel­bourne’s Coburg will also go un­der the ham­mer. Stress­ful times!

OK! vis­ited the duo and their adorable Weimaraner pooch, Isla, at their home to talk all things reno and ro­mance…

Two auctions in one month – you’re game! El­yse: Yep, it’s very stress­ful. I would like to get one done and move on to the next, but we’re go­ing to have to do it all at once. I guess we’re on this band­wagon, so we may as well keep go­ing. We’re ready for the next ad­ven­ture in our lives.

Will your next place be your dream home? Josh: We want to keep flip­ping it for a while. Whether we ren­o­vate it or build a new house, we aren’t sure. El­yse: We want to do a top-end build where we can re­ally show what we can do our­selves, es­pe­cially com­ing out of The Block. We want to do some­thing very grand.

You aren’t sick of ren­o­vat­ing yet? Josh: Nah, we’re mov­ing on to big­ger and bet­ter [places]! El­yse: That’s what he says! I don’t know about it yet. [Laughs]

And you’ll have Clint on board to help, too, is that right, Josh? Is the plan for him to be­come your ap­pren­tice after the show? He men­tioned through­out the se­ries that he wouldn’t mind get­ting a trade, be­cause he loves the ca­ma­raderie around the job site, but now he’s back into the swing of things, I don’t know if that’s go­ing to hap­pen. Maybe on week­ends? [Clint and Han­nah] are look­ing at buy­ing a house around our area and he wants me to ren­o­vate it. He’s mov­ing into the area and we’re try­ing to move out – jokes.

You could buy your Block house! You won’t have to worry about ren­o­vat­ing again… El­yse: We wish we could put our hand up. We love that house, and know that an­other fam­ily will as well. It’s go­ing to be hard to part with it be­cause we built it with these amaz­ing fea­tures that we love and then we’re giv­ing it away. It’s a hard one.

You guys are the hot favourites to win. How do you feel about that? Josh: That’s sort of some­thing that’s out of our con­trol. All we wanted to do on The Block was put for­ward the best-qual­ity house and we aimed for the build qual­ity to be more im­por­tant than what is ac­tu­ally in it, so we are lucky to have that… El­yse has killed it with the styling, too. We’ll see how we go.

Who do you think will be your big­gest ri­vals come auc­tion day? Josh: Ja­son and Sarah [since] not ev­ery­one wants a pool.

How has The Block ex­pe­ri­ence changed your re­la­tion­ship?l ti hi ? El­yse: We’re stronger now. We’re more tol­er­ant and un­der­stand­ing of each other’s break­ing points.

We know you guys don’t love be­ing asked the wed­ding ques­tion. Are your par­ents al­ways ask­ing as well? El­yse: Ha. They just laugh be­cause Josh’s re­ac­tion only gets stronger. He says, ‘Ev­ery time you ask, it adds an­other six months.’ Josh: There’s no real rush. We’ve got goals set for the next three, five, 10 years and we know where we want to be and that’s what we want to do.

Be­sides ren­o­vat­ing, what else do you en­joy do­ing to­gether? El­yse: Spend­ing a day at the beach surf­ing, week­end trips where we go camp­ing, and we love qual­ity time walk­ing the dog.

Who looked after Isla while the two of you were on the show? Josh: Isla got looked after by a few dif­fer­ent fam­ily mem­bers. She stayed at our home, though, be­cause she gets a bit funny when she’s moved around a lot. Do you still do date nights? El­yse: Our date nights mostly in­clude go­ing out for din­ner with mates, or we are ex­hausted and end up on the couch watch­ing a movie with Uber Eats, no make-up and look­ing like a bum. Heaven!

Are you still re­cov­er­ing from the lack of sleep on The Block? Josh: Yep, we’re still sleep­ing now. We were run­ning on adren­a­line, to be hon­est. But it was cool, I loved it. I loved the chal­lenge. El­yse: You got to Satur­day night, though, and were like, one, ‘We are like walk­ing zom­bies.’ Two, ‘How are we go­ing to fin­ish paint­ing, be­cause our eyes are hardly open?’ And three, ‘Let’s not kill each other!’

How many hours of sleep were you av­er­ag­ing each night? El­yse: About four to five hours a night, and then on Friday and Satur­day night we didn’t sleep, or we’d maybe get two hours. That was gnarly, and that was over three months. Our bod­ies were just in shock the whole time.

So it wasn’t a breath of fresh air from the mod­el­ling world, El­yse? No, it was. It was nice to hang out with tradies and peo­ple that don’t give a crap what you look like with no make-up, just get­ting on the shovel and do­ing some dirty work, which is what I was brought up do­ing. It was good to get back to ba­sics and be­ing con­tent with your­self.

And will your mod­el­ling ca­reer take a back seat now? Is the plan to fo­cus more on ren­o­vat­ing? El­yse: I’ll be go­ing back to mod­el­ling, that’s al­ways been a full-time job for me. I’ve been do­ing it since I was 10 years old, so I’m not go­ing to give that up now. But if there are dif­fer­ent doors that open for me, then I’m will­ing to in­ves­ti­gate.

Would you con­sider act­ing? Will we ever see you on Home and Away? El­yse: I don’t know. I can’t re­ally mem­o­rise any­thing to save my life, so prob­a­bly not.

How did you han­dle be­ing in front of all those cam­eras, Josh? I was ter­ri­fied of them. I ob­vi­ously hadn’t had much to do with them be­fore­hand, and I’m a pretty shy per­son, and I don’t like the pub­lic light, so that was prob­a­bly the scari­est thing.

If there’s an­other All-stars se­ries of The Block, would you do it? Josh: I would! El­yse: No. Josh: Sticks and I talked about it. If the money was go­ing to go to a char­ity and it was for a bit of fun we’d do it, but I doubt The Block would do an­other All-stars.

The feud be­tween you guys and Ron­nie and Ge­or­gia has been epic. Do you think their pool prob­lems were karma? Josh: Yes, in a way. They laid their cards on the ta­ble from day one. It’s a com­pe­ti­tion for them and they weren’t want­ing to make friends.

Did you just try to steer clear of them as much as you could? Josh: We ig­nored it. We didn’t want to buy into that and we didn’t. We wanted to stay true to our­selves and stay pro­fes­sional. Some­times I wouldn’t see some of the other com­peti­tors for al­most a week, so it was good in that sense.

Who have you kept in touch with since the show fin­ished? Josh: Sticks and Wom­bat, and Clint and Han­nah on a daily ba­sis. El­yse: We miss them. We watch the show and the boys are up in Syd­ney and I’m like, ‘Aww, I just want to hang with you guys.’ I’ve got no-one to an­noy!

There’s no real rush for us to get mar­ried

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