Success on The Block measured in more than money for Courtney and Emma
If Courtney McKay could go back and take part in The Block all over again she would, but not for the money or the fame, she says.
The former Blenheim woman says the reality of her and teammate Emma Diamond finishing second and earning themselves $320,000 hasn't sunk in yet.
"When you are in the middle of the contest you say you will never do it again, but now that it is finished I just want to go back.
"Emma and I never did this for the money or the fame, which sounds weird I know, but we wanted to challenge ourselves. We have learned so much from it all ... we know how to build a house now."
The pair struggled in the contest and failed to win many challenges or critical room reveals. However, they enjoyed the underdog tag, Courtney says.
"Whenever we won any challenge, even the small ones, it was a huge achievement for us."
They had to remind themselves the judges' opinion was just the opinion of two people. "Even if we came last in a room reveal we would go back into the room and be like 'wow we love this room'."
Their belief in their work was vindicated at the auction when bidding went way beyond what they had hoped for, Courtney says.
"When Niki (Osborne) and Tiff (Mair) made $150,000 we didn't think we could beat it. We then got our reserve and saw it was higher than theirs, so we thought it was even more impossible."
However, bidders showed the home created by Courtney and Emma was hot property as the final sale price of $1,510,000 saw their earnings more than double that of the first team.
"The auction was over so quickly, I couldn't believe it. There had been such a big build up to it ... I hadn't been able to sleep the night before."
They then had a nervous wait as the final two houses went under the hammer, and it wasn't until the final auction for Sam Cable and Emmett Vallender's house that saw the girls lose their lead and the $100,000 winners' bonus.
The contestants have remained in daily contact since the show ended, Courtney says. "We have made friends for life. They are the only ones who understand what it was like (to be on the show)."
Courtney says she will be visiting Blenheim soon to spend time with her parents and take her mum out for dinner as she missed her birthday while on The Block.
It's then off to Japan to support partner Joe Wheeler who has signed with Japanese rugby club Suntory Sungoliath.
"It's been pretty whirlwind, having the auction, saying goodbye to Joe when he left for Japan, but I would do it all again."
- The Marlborough Express