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The Block

EXCLUSIVE: The Block’s Kirsty and Jesse open up about childhood struggles and their "very humble beginnings"

“We weren’t homeless, but we struggled.”

By Olivia O'Brien
Growing up in the NSW country town of Kurri Kurri, The Block's Kirsty and Jesse never dreamed they'd ever set foot in a luxury home in a posh Melbourne suburb – let alone be designing and building one!
"Jesse and I both come from very humble beginnings.
"My parents were only teenagers when they had me, so it was always going to be a situation of growing up tough.
"We weren't homeless or anything like that, but as a kid you definitely know your parents are struggling with money," Kirsty tells Woman's Day.
The Block stars had very humble beginnings before hitting TV screens. (Nine)
"It makes you appreciate these opportunities that we're given."
Husband Jesse, 32, says he gets emotional about how far Kirsty's come since he first met her in primary school, before the pair started dating at 16.
"I'm just so proud of what she's managed to achieve," he tells Woman's Day.
"There's a lot of people in similar positions who never get out of the rut."
Understandably, Kirsty says her parents are "so proud", too.
"I was the first person in my family to buy a house," she tells.
"I didn't think that was even on the cards for me growing up.
"And when [my mum and dad] got the news that we were going on The Block they were over the moon."
The reality star tells Woman's Day it was her parents who encouraged her to step into the entertainment business.
"We could never afford to go on holidays as a kid, but our one trip every year was to the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
"Mum and Dad would save up all year and we'd go there for the 10 days and camp – we never stayed in a motel and it was like 45 degrees – and I would busk every year.
"Mum would make me save up all my money from busking and that's what made me have enough money when I was 16 to record my very first EP," says the country singer, who has two prestigious Golden Guitar awards under her belt.
The 33-year-old – who's spent time writing and recording in the country music capital of the world, Nashville – hopes The Block gives her music career a boost.
"I was actually in the middle of recording an album when we found out that we'd made The Block," she says.
Kirsty and Jesse on their wedding day. (Supplied)
"I'll be releasing new music in the next six weeks or so."
But there's another big project in front of her first – creating a winning home!
"We've got no idea when it comes to designing – all we are doing is creating our dream house, really," says Kirsty.
As well as dealing with the biggest house on The Block, the couple have to contend with all the drama.
"We can't give too much away.
"But we'll just say we were lucky being on the other side of the street," says Kirsty, of trying to stay clear of all the gossip on site.
"All we are doing is creating our dream house, really," says Kirsty. (Nine)
But the singer did have the courage to go where not many Blockheads have gone before – standing up to formidable foreman Keith!
"I just don't appreciate how he talks to people sometimes," says Kirsty, who claims he's "100 per cent" as harsh as he appears on camera.
"I just let him know that there's a way you can talk to people."
Adds Jesse, "Kirsty's not backwards in coming forwards!
"She'll always tell you to your face. It's a really good quality."

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