Married at First Sight NZ returns to Three tonight in a storm of controversy. Tara Ward takes a closer look at the brides and grooms who will marry a stranger in search of true love.
Friends, we are gathered here today to lift the veil on a new series of reality juggernaut Married at First Sight NZ. Tonight 10 new singletons will take a trip down the aisle to get hitched to a complete stranger and climb aboard the love train, destination anywhere.
Sadly, MAFS NZ was a train wreck before the show even left the station, with last week’s allegations of domestic violence against one of the grooms. These revelations led to Mediaworks making the unprecedented move of cutting an entire wedding storyline out of the series, although at the time of writing, the groom continues to feature on a promotional image on the official MAFS NZ website. It’s a disaster on all fronts, and one that MAFS NZ will struggle to come back from.
But Mediaworks is determined not to let these disturbing allegations stand in the way of true love, and the show must go on, apparently. A fresh bunch of hopeful brides and grooms are about to commit on national television to a total random, a stranger who’s been matched with them by two relationship experts and our old mate science. Let’s meet the intrepid men and women whose romantic future rests in the hands of fate.
Rose, 45, Napier
The MAFS NZ scandals keep rolling down the aisle before a single episode has dropped, with Thursday’s news that ‘eyelash extension stylist’ Rose is still legally married to Sensing Murder ‘psychic’ Kelvin Cruickshank. Did anyone see this coming? Luckily Rose is a reality TV junkie, which means she won’t be shocked by anything MAFS NZ throws at her, not even a surprise poo in the loo from a rogue flatmate.
Vicky, 27, Auckland
Vicky’s a Pisces, which apparently means she’ll never be bored. That’s good, because I’ve been married for ages and last Saturday night my husband fixed the dishwasher while I washed mould off the windowsills and I think we can all agree that marriage is anything but boring.
Jonathan, 31, Auckland
Ex-Amazing Race contestant Jonathan has four Harry Potter tattoos, can walk on stilts and eat fire, loves dogs, and best of all, “has been almost struck by lightning twice”. Not wanting to steal Jonathan’s thunder, but hasn’t everyone ‘almost’ been stuck by lightning? No? As you were then.
James Hardy, 29, Christchurch
This isn’t the James Hardie that makes fibre cement, but it is the James Hardy who’s BFFs with Ling and Zing from The Block NZ. Coincidence? I think not.
Stefaan, 26, Auckland
Stefaan is an adrenaline junkie who owns a $25,000 jet ski, and is also a Leo, which means he is half lion. Plus, I like his tie.
Jordan, 26, Foxton
Foxton’s cool because it has a windmill, and now it has Jordan, your classic “down to earth” Kiwi bloke. Jordan loves a mullet and racing cars, and his favourite movie is Forrest Gump. That’s bloody handy, because MAFS NZ is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.
Carmen, 25, Auckland
Carmen’s a pastry chef who loves Harry Potter, and she’s looking for a tall man with a warm smile. If Daniel Radcliffe isn’t waiting for her at the end of that aisle, so help us all.
Ray, 31, Christchurch
Ray’s last name is WEDlake. Get thee to the psychic’s caravan, too spooky.
Anna, 25, Cambridge
Singer/songwriter Anna made the news before a single vow was made, but let’s not get distracted from why she’s here. Anna’s come back to Cambridge from LA to find a husband with “good vibes”, someone who’ll make her coffee in the morning, and who loves Celine Dion as much as she does. My heart will go on, Anna.
Christopher, 55, Auckland
Christopher’s kids signed him up to MAFS NZ, and he loves paddle boarding, whitebait (Christopher! No!) and “petite and exotic” women. He’s a true romantic at heart, so let’s hope nobody’s told Christopher that this is all an experiment being filmed and edited for prime time TV. It’s fine, it’ll be fine.