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Pop CultureOctober 2, 2018

Married at First Sight NZ Power Rankings: Four weddings and a heart attack


Alex Casey walks back down the aisle for a second season of Married at First Sight NZ.

Dust off your matchmaker iPads, rouse the digital birds and get that Sodastream making effervescent farts: Married at First Sight NZ is back for another romantic rollercoaster of a season. Look, I tried to predict what season two would look and feel like after the burning flames of season one, and I didn’t do amazingly well. A lot has changed: we’ve lost the drawn-out Hen and Stag nights, said goodbye to Pani Farvid and hello to experimental black-and-white freeze frames and seamless product integration. 

Peep the ice cold sodastream fizz

Replacing Pani is Stephanie Dowse and guest MAFS AU expert Trisha Stafford, who have painstakingly matched six new couples alongside Tony Jones using only the finest in swipey tablet technology. The show has already front-footed the fact that this season is trying to avoid the toxicity of yesteryear, a lovely sentiment which secretly leaves me deeply worried about the drama stakes and the meme-ability of the show. Won’t someone think of the power rankers!

Speaking of which, let’s get right into it shall we?

1) Yuki and Dan

With my hand on my heart, my heart on my sleeve, and my body rapidly losing blood, I literally cried three times during Yuki and Dan’s wedding. I don’t even know where to start with these two. Yuki is a hairdresser with the most beautiful tresses I have ever seen in my life. Dan is a nice guy from Wellington with the kind soul and face of the baby in the Teletubbies sun. I am besotted with both of them and would happily marry either if this doesn’t work out.

Yuki was hoping for either a “clean cut douche” or a “sheep farmer” who can understand her “Jinglish” before admitting (with a disarming earnestness) that she had started to think she was going to die alone. Before the wedding, when asked by the makeup artist how much foundation she wanted to wear, she told her to simply “cover the truth.” Yuki RULES – especially when holding her cigarette with tweezers. An Audrey Hepburn icon. 

I know it’s bad, but is this not the coolest thing you have seen since Andrew’s money shorts?

The experts seem supremely confident in these two, and I believe in my new parents (Tony and Stephanie) and cool aunty (Trish). At the altar, Yuki quietly assured a cripplingly nervous Dan that everything was going to be OK. After the ceremony, they Skyped Yuki’s Mum in Japan and pashed big-time on the dance floor. But let us not sleep on the most encouraging sign of all: the fact that Dan is good mates with Angel and Brett from season one.

The only good people left imo

As soon as Angel and Brett appeared on screen my skin cleared, I got out of overdraft and my bald patch filled in instantly. They light up a room, they give great relationship advice and they would be extremely useful to have as close friends if you were about to enter, say, a marriage with a stranger. If they came to my wedding, I would feel very positive about the future of my relationship. If they came to my funeral, I would probably come back to life. Five star omen.

2) Fraser and Monique

The other thing I got wrong in my prediction post was the fact that I completely overlooked Fraser, who is born to be the Troy of this season. First of all: he said “nerdgasm” within three seconds. Second of all: musical tie. Third of all: who can forget his beautiful gospel hit ‘There’s rain and its probably the shower’.  He loves board games, card games and video games, and said maybe the worst thing anyone has ever said when asked what he is looking for in a woman.

The two-legged dream woman he’s been matched with is Monique, a sweetheart from Christchurch. A teacher who confesses to be in a constant state of cluckiness, Monique says she is “not your typical beauty person, but a good friend” which made me want to fold myself into an envelope and mail myself to jail via she is clearly the most beautiful angel to grace this hellhole. She told her parents in a not-at-all staged scene at Riccarton markets that she is getting married to a stranger… but I was distracted by other things.

A great deal and a great guy

A) $3 burgers which is an unbeatable deal for an artisanal market setting and B) that man holding a hot dog is one of the great men. Her parents were shell-shocked, but their reaction had nothing on Fraser’s sheepish call to “Dad Cellphone” to let his papa know that he was tying the knot with a stranger. Does Fraser know that you can save multiple contact numbers under one name? Why did he ask his Dad how it’s going “up there” like he’s in heaven? Also, what is wrong with his fingernails?! Call the ambulance cellphone stat, imo.

Actually, while you’re there, call the police cellphone to report Fraser’s extremely shameful confusion when the final bridesmaid walked in.

Luckily, he was equally as stoked when Monique finally made it through the door. Their kiss was halfway between a pash and a granny peck, their photoshoot came with another cheeky smooch and they generally seem on the same page. Before their first night as newlyweds, they both agreed there would be “no activities” in the marital bed.

Put down that travel Settlers of Catan Fraser – there’ll be no wood trading tonight.

3) Ottie and Gareth

She had the number plate ‘S1K’, he was a tattooed barber… can I make it any more obvious? At this stage, Ottie and Gareth are definitely the cool customers of Married at First Sight NZ, both sharing a love of tatts, dark humour and pretending to throttle each other. Ottie is a 32-year-old bogan who had her heart broken after a 13-year relationship, hoping for a “big, burly man.”

Curl, as you are, as you were.

I don’t know if Gareth is big or burly, but the pride of Cromwell certainly seems like a stand up bloke. He opened up about his struggles with depression, explaining how his mates got him through the dark times. Alas, the nightlife in Cromwell doesn’t lend itself to meeting new people, which seems crazy when you’ve got a hotspot like ‘Bargarita’ on your doorstep.


Also, did anyone else peep that Ottie chose Vicky’s dress from last year? Next thing you know she’ll be making Gareth get a haircut, which might be kinda weird for a barber but ah well.

Speaking of omens, Ottie and Gareth’s wedding was blessed with one of the most ambiguous of all: the presence of The Spinoff’s managing editor Duncan Greive. I’d be listening to The Real Pod this week to get the inside scoop from him, but that’s just an opinion from a neutral observer who is just genuinely interested in you getting the rich MAFSNZ content you deserve.

Listen to The Real Pod

4) Wayne and Ksenia

Wayne’s loud shirt and comedy moustache led me right the way down the garden path to believing he was the mad c*** of the season, but I was so wrong. This is one extremely earnest, salt of the Earth bloke from the ‘Naki. Sharing a tragic story about losing his father, and lamenting the loneliness of going to social gatherings alone, I really hope that Wayne has found his forever-love in Ksenia.

But I’m just not sure.

Ksenia loves feeding the ducks, works at an automotive company but can’t drive, and claims that wants to marry herself. She is undeniably an icon – it’s no wonder Wayne seemingly had a heart attack moments before the wedding. Maybe it’s nerves, maybe it’s a communication problem, but these two appeared to struggle from the outset. Check out some of the greatest hits from their photoshoot, for example.

A triptych of tension

But the real tension came when Ksenia began The Great Wayne Wedding Roast of 2018:

Finally, I have to point out yet another chilling omen that appeared during their wedding by way of this ashen spectre:

Like one of the groomsmen said: the relationship could be Cinderella or it could be Little Shop of Horrors. I’m just not sure yet.

TBC) Sam and Tayler

They haven’t met yet so I am not going to place them till next week. All I’ll say is: it makes sense on paper to match an electrician with what appears to be a robot man who requires charging every day.

So many wires, so few answers

Honourable mentions:

The pre-wedding card and gift tradition lives on

Honestly, Brett Renall should open a wooing company where he teaches potential MAFSNZ grooms about how to craft the perfect pre-wedding card… we can call it… House of Cards.

Also is this Kenny Rogers?

I guess… there’ll be time enough for countin’… when the wedding’s done…

Sorry. See you next week.

Keep going!