Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Flip Trip Was Fun, Sweethearts Say ; Evansville Natives Featured on HGTV Show

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Flip Trip Was Fun, Sweethearts Say ; Evansville Natives Featured on HGTV Show

Article excerpt

John and Whitney Spinks can't even tell their families whether they took the $50,000 top prize on "Flipping the Block," but competing on the HGTV reality series premiering at 8 p.m. Sunday clearly has proved a winning experience for both Evansville natives. "Oh my gosh, it was a fantastic experience," Whitney said in a phone call from the couple's home in Jacksonville, Florida. "It was so good for us to take that leap."

The couple, Reitz High School sweethearts who met on a playground in the fifth grade and married in 2006, had long dreamed of starting their own home design business together, she said.

She is a 2010 University of Southern Indiana graduate who worked full time as a financial analyst for a surgical hardware company.

He is a Navy veteran interning at a large construction company while finishing a degree in construction management at the University of North Florida.

Both shared a passion for remodeling and design, which they shared on drabtofab.com, a blog Whitney had started.

When someone from HGTV contacted them at their blog to invite them to compete on "Flipping the Block," "we didn't know whether it was spam or a real email," Whitney said.

They responded, however, and in February found themselves in Glendale, California, as the Black Team, one of four two-person teams competing to remodel units in a dilapidated condo complex in Glendale.

Competing color-coded teams included sisters from Louisiana, brothers from Texas and a couple from California.

Over eight weeks each team lived in the unit they worked on, competing for weekly prizes, assistance and advantages as they transformed the condos on a $37,000 budget.

Their unit was bad, said John. "It was really bad. Grungy. It had holes in the walls, there was animal feces, rotten food stains in the carpets and walls and mystery things in the bathrooms.

It was good fun." It all played out before the lenses and microphones of video crews who stayed with them from when they got up until they went to bed. …

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