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Pop CultureOctober 28, 2018

Married at First Sight NZ Power Rankings: Now that’s what I call a reunion episode

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Alex Casey delivers her final sermon on season two of Married at First Sight NZ. 

As the experiment draws to a close, I have one thing to say to Married at First Sight NZ.

To borrow an ancient proverb from Ottie, I feel like we’ve all suffered through this experiment together, day by day, for what has felt like at least 13 years. After last week’s literal rollercoaster, it didn’t really feel like there was a lot of hope left for most of our lucky couples. Wayne and Gareth found each other in a hopeless place, Fraser and Monique logged off on the log flume, and Julia and Dave curdled harder than mascarpone in the hands of a moisturised metrosexual.

In the dramatic and devastating finale, all our questions have been answered. Who stayed together? Who called it quits? And who swore like a sailor? Onto the final power rankings.


First of all: has anyone ever sworn anywhere near as much as Gareth at the reunion dinner? Swaggering in with his new forever-love Wayne, Gareth lovingly told his wife Ottie to “shut the fuck up” at the dinner table, before she threatened to pull his ponytail. Ahh, don’t you just miss those gooey, loved-up early stages of a relationship?

It may look like a hug, but it’s a death grip

Gareth also went on a weird diatribe about what turns him off about women (those who work for an automotive company but don’t drive). That’s funny, because what turns me off is men who literally live under a giant peach but aren’t actively befriending invertebrates to go on a magical adventure with.

So while Gareth was trying out a whole new stint as a sexist Joker-type (he also has some odd views about women in business), Ottie rose out of the chaos a new-wave Disney heroine who you might have mistaken for a villain the whole time. Also, very cool homage to Seany from MAFS AU in the form of this glimmering gold jacket. Gorgeous.

FINAL THOUGHTS: They were our Joker and Harley Quinn. Cool and novelty for a while until you remember that, at the end of the day, you are still stuck watching Suicide Squad.


Nobody on this gassy green Earth has ever been as OBSESSED with vows as Julia has been for the past couple of episodes. She goes to sleep listening to Dave’s vows on loop, she says Dave’s vows three times into the mirror to conjure up that caravan clairvoyant, she etches Dave’s vows in Latin onto the walls of her Lockwood home. The good news is, I know what her debut musical project can be off the back of this show.

When Dave delivered his mic drop break-up vows, I don’t know if he knew that he was unlocking a portal to pure, unadulterated argument hell. “I wanted him to just be humble,” said Julia, who was clearly hurt by the fact that Dave wasn’t going to welcome her back into his life with an espresso martini in one hand and a bum cheek in the other. It’s all just a sad, sad situation, but by GOD was it good TV to watch them endlessly butting heads.

Honestly, I see myself in Julia. She reminds me of the time when I had a fight with my boyfriend about whether or not the host of The Mole actually had a prominent mole. I got so angry that I stomped out of the car in a McDonald’s drive-thru, tried to walk home, and got lost in the suburban streets, crying about a mole that never existed. Dave’s vows are her mole. And guess what? I was wrong about the mole in The Mole. But it took me a long time to get over my pride and admit it.

This is what it looks like when Daves cry

During the final therapy session, the experts had to step in a few times to stop a mud-slinging match breaking out on the cow skin couch (nobody has ever mentioned this, but it doesn’t seem very zen to make a couch out of a cow ). Dave had a quivering lip at first, which quickly turned into rage as he accused Julia of lying about their time in the experiment. Gah. No wonder she was dressed like she was going to a funeral. I’m sad. 

FINAL THOUGHTS: Men, moisturising is cool and you should definitely, definitely do it.


Classic double act

I know I’ve placed them weirdly high here considering they were the first to leave, but it was just so nice to see these two again. Ksenia was back at it with the art of the neg, and Wayne opened up about his emotions like some sort of bloody serum-using metrosexual type. Feelings! Beautiful feelings! He seemed genuinely gutted to have not found his special person, doing an emotional monologue about losing out on the opportunity to fast-track the journey to a relationship and a family.

But then also: check out this scuzzy wee exchange below!! I have a feeling Wayne is going to be juuuust fine.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Mating season of barracudas takes place in the spring. Males and females release eggs and sperm cells in the water where they will combine to form fertilised eggs. Females produce and release more than 1000 eggs but only few eggs will manage to survive until the adulthood.


Even though each of us come from different backgrounds, religions slash no religions, thank you to a higher power… Thank you for bringing us all here.

– Fraser Lee’s dinner prayer, 2018

I am inconsolable. Not even Fraser’s bowtie will cheer me up. Monique is an angel, Fraser is an angel, but sometimes even angels can’t make it work between them. Following the vow renewal ceremony, they decided that they would just leave their relationship as one between friends. What I want to know is: what the hell did Rainbow’s End do to these two? I thought it was supposed to be The Happiest Place on Earth??

At the final therapy session, it simply wouldn’t have been MAFSNZ if Fraser hadn’t had an enormous, beautiful cry. What got the waterworks started for him – and me – was the fact that Monique treated him with nothing but respect and empathy during the show. I know MAFSNZ has been set back in some ways re: masculinity, but can I just say shout out to the men of MAFSNZ for not being afraid to cry and also occasionally use toner. Great for the soul.

FINAL THOUGHTS: So they may not have come out of the experiment with The One, but they have found A One. Perhaps they can stand in for Rai and Bow one day. Just an idea.

BONUS CONTENT: I was waiting for the final week to reveal this EXCLUSIVE photograph of Fraser wearing a vest. Long live one of the great emerging reality stars of 2018. I hope to see you twerk your way to a week two elimination on DWTS next year.


Run me over with a sponsored Lime scooter, I really didn’t think this match was going to work. In a shock M. Night Shyamalan twist, Sam and Tayler entered the reunion dinner holding hands, before announcing to the room that they were going to give their relationship another shot. They found themselves gravitating back together as soon as they decided to leave the experiment, which is a huge endorsement for not trying to find love on someone else’s production schedule. Just a hunch.

Another thing that hit me like a wrecking ball was how quickly their role in the show changed in the reunion. While Julia and Dave were imploding over vows, and Gareth and Ottie were engaged in furious verbal capoeira with each other, Sam and Tayler became our eyes and ears in the room. Here’s a shot of Tayler having a nice time:

Here’s Sam having a nice time.

And here’s their crucial commentary on Dave’s wrath during the final group therapy session.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I wish we had seen this version of Sam and Tayler much sooner!


Dan and Yuki, I carry your heart in my heart. You are the air that I breathe, you are the Asahi that I drink, you have the dog that I want. I have nothing more to say except: thank you.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Can’t wait for the Brett and Angel/Dan and Yuki crossover episode. Truly will be the television event of the year. Omg and Cashew and Zara can get married. Okay bye for now! Oh, and listen to The Real Pod!

Keep going!