“I’m really nervous,” says Dani, who is chatting to us ahead of their proceedings. “Dan is outside right now, signing autographs, and taking photos with fans, but I just couldn’t go with him! I was just too nervous.”
A sentiment shared by Lara, who admits that while she and partner Brad might look like they’re keeping it together, underneath their cool, calm and collected exteriors – they’re struggling to contain their nerves!
“What did you say before, Brad? That we’re like ducks in a pond! We might seem calm, but our legs are going like crazy under that water…"
“I actually woke up this morning and literally thought I would vomit!”
And she’s not the only one. Over in the kitchen, there’s one brother in particular who can’t wait for it all to be over.
“I feel sick as well,” Mike admits, looking a delightful shade of grey.
And brother Andrew should probably watch out – after all, he has form! In their first elimination challenge, Mike had everyone worried when he took a dizzy turn. And it’s starting to look as though history will repeat itself.
“I did start the show with a faint – maybe I could finish with one too?” he laughs.
Jokes aside, it’s a nervous wait for them all. With several houses passed in last year, it’s a particularly tense wait.
“I think if we don’t win any money, we’d be disappointed,” Dani admits. “We have put so much into this. The competition doesn’t matter anymore – it’s the fact that we put our life into this. To not feel rewarded for that, for people to not want our house, that would be really hard.”
Over at House Number One, Dale and Sophie are doing their best not to think about this too much. “I’m just kind of normal,” Sophie admits. “Well, I’m not calm or anything, but I’m nowhere near as tense as I am going to be when we get started. It just feels very strange right now.”
Outside it’s another story, with spectators excitedly gathering to watch as Scott introduces the couples. In the crowd are some familiar faces, including last year’s contestants Rod and Tania, and a familiar face from 2010 – Chez. She and partner Brenton walked away with over $90,000 in prize money. She’s come to check out the proceedings – and at eight months pregnant, she’s certainly standing out!
“I’m actually here today supporting my boss. She’s a buyer’s agent, and she’s here [to bid]. She likes the boys’, and also Brad and Lara’s house.”
So, from what she’s seen, who does Chez think might win?
“I think Brad and Lara,” she says. “But everyone seems to love Dale and Sophie’s house, so I don’t know.”
Rod and Tania aren’t sure either, although they admit that if last year’s results are anything to go by, it could still be anyone’s game.“After last year, I have this feeling there could be a ‘dark horse’ situation. Mike and Andrew might take it out,” says Rod.
“I think the kitchen/loungeroom could be the winning thing,” Tania adds. “But it’s hard to know. It might be someone who wants a bigger house, wanting to go for Brad and Lara? You just don’t know.”
One thing’s for sure – it’s still very much anyone’s game.
“It’s impossible to pick,” Scott Cam admits. “I don’t know why people would bet on this thing. I had a look before, and Dale and Sophie were at $3.10! According to that, Dale and Sophie are favourites, but I don’t know how they could be, because it comes down to the buying public.”
And as the auctions draw steadily closer, everyone’s all too aware that it’s those buyers who will end up deciding everyone’s fate. “We have worked so hard to get here today,” Andrew says. “Now it all comes down to the auction.”
And it’s just a case of wait and see – for us all!