We meet the Victorian contestants...who live right up the road!
JESSE, 29, & MEL, 31
Young auctioneer Jesse sold Hans and Courtney’s house last year and now he’s doing The Block with girlfriend Mel. He can talk the talk, but can he walk the walk?
Jesse was literally on the show last year, the auctioneer responsible for selling Hans and Courtney’s apartment, netting them a $410,000 profit.
A super fan from way back, Jesse engineered a way to appear on The Block last year and wasn’t content with that. He applied this year and got on, with his “secret weapon”, girlfriend Mel. Both St Kilda locals, they’re presently renovating just around the corner. But do they really have the insider advantage? Only time will tell.
Together Jesse and Mel feel there’s nothing they cannot achieve.
Jesse put his first application in to the show when he was 18 and has been obsessively dreaming of Block glory ever since.
“I always wanted to be a part of it,” says the tenacious young agent, who also trained as a professional tiler. “So I got into real estate. And as soon as I did, I was like, ‘I’m going to sell a property on The Block.’ That was my goal.”
Just two and a half years later he achieved his dream. Jesse says helping Hans and Courtney get a whopping profit last year is one of the proudest achievements of his life.
“We faced south, we had no outdoor space, the kitchen was disjointed from the living and dining room, the hall opened straight into the kitchen, but I loved the style and all the aesthetics about the apartment were fantastic,” he says. “For them to come third by $5000, well they were the real winners of The Block. Every agent I speak to says you guys won. That is phenomenal.”
Could this dream-big schemer be on one heck of a lucky streak? All part of his carefully laid plan for Block domination?
Jesse replies: “It’s funny, people who don’t know me would say, ‘Oh, you’re lucky.’ People who do know me say, ‘You are so motivated. And you work bloody hard.’”
Jesse in action last year selling Hans and Courtney’s apartment, netting them a $410,000 profit.
Mel, a contracts administrator, is a go-get-em kind of girl; someone who’s not afraid to get her hands dirty doing the task at hand – something that came in handy during the couple’s recent renovation.
“Mel was there helping on weekends. You couldn’t tell if she was a girl or a boy, she was all covered in black, wearing a hoodie. It was hilarious,” says Jesse.
A pragmatist, neat-freak and tomboy, Mel is also a doer, and she’ll be taking charge of the work onsite while Jesse heads out shopping.
“Jesse is very good with style, and he knows what the buyer wants,” she says, pointing out that their hobby of visiting open houses has given them an appreciation for what high-end buyers are after.
She plans to be on the tools while her boyfriend is out styling up a storm.
“I’m happy to be the labourer,” she says. “And I love being told what to do, learning new things. I’m not a girly girl.”
Mel plans to be on the tools while Jesse is out styling up a storm.
Jesse and Mel might have only been together three years, but this is it for these loved-up go-getters who have begun planning their life together, starting with a stint on The Block.
“This is all part of the plan,” says Mel, who is behind her boyfriend’s quest for Block success 100 per cent, even if it took her a while to come around.
“When Jesse told me we’d made the shortlist I just went quiet. I realised it was actually real, and it’s happening,” she says.
But she soon got swept up in his unflaggingly optimistic vision for their future and now she can’t wait to take their first step towards a happy life together.
“We definitely want to get married, but we want to get a house and have kids first. Marriage is just a bonus. We don’t need that piece of paper,” she says.
As for the stress of life on The Block? They’ll be fine. They hardly ever argue, and if all else fails they’ve got Jesse’s secret tradie background to fall back on. Tiling the bathroom? No problem!
“He’s my secret weapon,” says Mel, who, along with Jesse, is playing down the fact her boyfriend trained as a tiler and had his own successful business at the age of 23.
“Mel is my secret weapon,” Jesse counters. “She’s so organised. I’m fantastic when it comes to talking to people but I have really bad time-management skills.”
“Yep, I love everything about him except his time-management skills,” Mel concurs. “And not picking up after himself. But if that’s all I’ve got to worry about …”
“That’s why we’ll be together forever. The stuff we argue about, it’s so superficial, it’s nothing,” Jesse says.
Together they feel there’s nothing they cannot achieve. After all, if Jesse can wheedle his way into an auctioneer gig on the show after only being in real estate for two years, anything is possible. “I am always an optimist,” Jesse says. “There is never a situation where I think it’s not going to work out.”
Mel, perhaps thankfully, is far more pragmatic.
“It’s The Block. You just never know what’s going to happen,” she says.
Ain’t that the truth.
View all of Jesse and Mel's incredible room transformations HERE
Jesse and Mel accused of cheating - all the COPYGATE details HERE
Take a tour of Jesse and Mel's finished Block home!
A wrap up of all the room results and images HERE
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