"I declare The Block open for inspection!" Scott Cam told a crowd of over 20,000 Blockaholics as the doors officially swung open on The Block 2012.
Eager fans camped out as early as 3:30am for their chance to inspect the four properties. Our couples were out and about, meeting, greeting and entertaining fans as they queued for their turn.
The man of the hour, Scott Cam took it all in his stride, speaking with fans and hyping up the crowd.
"Lucky it's a cracking day in Melbourne," Scotty said. "We are all having a great time!"
And it wasn’t hard to see why — Melbourne put on a stunner of a day, and the energy of the Block festivities was infectious. Fans donned themed t-shirts and homemade Chump hats, while enjoying a full community fair, with market stalls from local food outlets. The Block's most famous neighbour, Father Bob even got in on the action with his own sausage sizzle.
It was a moment a long time in the making for our couples, and something Brad found difficult to comprehend.
Brad, while greeting his younger fans commented, "We just didn't realise this many people were going to come out. Road closures and the fair… It's all unbelievable."
Hailing from Newcastle, he and Lara were wrapped to be back in South Melbourne.
"We’ve been pretty spoilt since we've been down here. It is one of the best suburbs of Melbourne. We absolutely love it. Everyone is really friendly and when we go out to the pub, and everyone is saying G’day and stuff — it is really great."
To prepare for the opens, Brad and Lara kept it simple.
"We just did some cleaning and things like that. The hard part for us is really over. The build part is the hard part. It is up to the real estate and the public now."
Meanwhile, their neighbours Dani and Dan really went all out to impress the Blockaholics and potential buyers.
"So we did all our flowering orders yesterday and they all got delivered this morning," Dan said, when we caught up with him before the inspections began. "New candles, we had a vacuum, mop and all that, all the usual — really looking forward it all."
The couple was swarmed by eager fans as they walked out of their freshly renovated house.
"People have travelled from all around the country to be here. We have met people from Queensland, South Australia — thanks everyone for coming down, I hope everyone gets to see the house.”
And Dan doesn’t seem quite ready to say goodbye to South Melbourne, dropping hints that his stint on The Block may have convinced them to move over the other side of the Yarra in the not-too-distant future.
"Love South Melbourne. When we first came here, we thought, ‘We are going to move here it is that good,’ but we are still attached to Richmond [which was the location of the 2011 series of The Block]. When we are ready for a family, we will definitely come over this side of town. So close to the beach and the city."
If you are in Melbourne, on Sunday 17th of June, pop down from 10am to 2pm for your chance to inspect The Block for yourselves. Click here for info on how to get there.