The Block Redemption’s Quinn and Ben: ‘we’ve learnt from our mistakes’

Why the Christchurch couple couldn’t resist the chance for redemption

There’s no doubt about what motivated Quinn and Ben Alexandre to wave goodbye to their two young children to compete in another season of The Block NZ – it was the chance to rewrite history.

The Christchurch couple was memorably gifted $30,000 by winners Alex and Corban Walls after winning a paltry $10,000 on auction night back in 2014.

“We didn’t do well at all in our season,” Ben, 38, recalls with a rueful grin. “We didn’t win any challenges or room reveals. When it hit Outdoor Week, we had no money left.”

Their efforts on that season were hampered by Quinn’s surprise pregnancy. She couldn’t stand the smell of paint, and really battled with morning sickness and fatigue.

“I checked out about halfway through – it was too much,” admits Quinn, 34. “I was always hungry and cold, the challenges drained me and I felt like I wasn’t even myself. I was about seven weeks pregnant when we started, so I had all those hormones. The highlight was shutting the door on the way out.

“At the time, we did the best with the knowledge and energy we had, but I’m so excited that now I can do the challenges, bring the stamina, be myself and really get into it. This time around, we’re having blast!”

Ben agrees, “We’re different now. We’ve learnt a lot, we’ve done a lot and we have something new to bring to the table.”

The fact the Alexandres have gone back for another round on The Block, after previously swearing they never would, has surprised fellow contestants from their series.

“We keep in touch with everyone from our first season, and obviously we’re happy to be doing it again with Maree and James [Steele],” smiles Quinn. “Alex [Walls] is shocked we went back but is pumped for us – she’s like, ‘Go get it, you can do it!’ However, [her husband] Corban thinks we’re mad!”

Alex and Corban gave the couple $30,000 from their winnings.

Of course, they have two other reasons for wanting to do well this season – their gorgeous children Cooper, seven, and Daisy, five.

“Oh, man, Daisy is the biggest ray of sunshine you’ve ever met,” gushes Quinn. “She’s the kindest, most thoughtful girl. I’ll mention I’m cold, and she’ll sneak away and get my slippers.

“And Cooper is so funny. He’s a really logical thinker and likes to work things out, so he asks a lot of questions. He’s strong, a real joker and so polite – he has the best manners.”

The couple want a victory for their kids Daisy and Cooper.

Leaving their kids behind for 13 weeks was the hardest decision for the smitten parents. Before that, there had only been one night where the kids hadn’t been with either parent.

“Leaving our babies was a biggie, but we realised it could actually end up being a positive for them – spending time with a grandparent and learning to be a bit independent of us,” Quinn explains. “I also hope that if they watch the show, they’re really proud of us and see the hard work we’re putting in.”

“Leaving our babies was a biggie,” says Quinn.

After 15 years together, it’s clear Quinn and Ben have developed a deep bond based on love and respect. Laughter also plays a huge part in their successful partnership.

“We’re relaxed,” Quinn tells Woman’s Day. “We just try to find the fun in everything. All I want to do is laugh – and Ben is so dry, I’m always doing it!”

Adds Ben, “Surprisingly, we’re still able to keep things fresh, make each other laugh and surprise ourselves.” With a cheeky grin, he adds, “The fire’s still burning!”

As well as being more mentally and physically prepared this time around, the couple also have far more experience on the tools. Since their season seven years ago, the couple have lived in eight different houses, doing up four of them and building one from scratch.

“All our renos we’ve done ourselves,” says Quinn. “Our skills have really evolved. Last time, we had no idea what we were doing – we just made it up every Monday! But we’ve since project-managed our own build in Christchurch, which taught us that once you get the process, planning and overall design right, you’re on to a winner.”

The couple enjoy building and renovating so much that they’re getting ready to do it again when they return home. They’ve purchased land in Canterbury and are finalising plans for their forever home – they hope a win on The Block NZ: Redemption will mean they don’t have to take out a massive mortgage.

“We’re having a really happy time,” Quinn enthuses. “Life is so good. Our little family is so happy and everything is the way we want it to be.”

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