TelevisionMade possible by

Married at First Sight NZ Power Rankings – Drowning sorrows at the cocktail party

Alex Casey power ranks the third week of Married at First Sight NZ, full of cocktails, baths and deep regret. 

I think I was more excited for this cocktail party than any Bachelor cocktail party, real-life cocktail party, or shrimp cocktail. After being kept in The Shining-style isolation in their respective lodges, estates and glamping tents, the couples were finally able to come together and gloat to each other about who hates who the most.

The winner is whoever is the most unhappy

The experts had high hopes for sophisticated mingling, rich conversation and rapid relationship growth, but the couples proceeded to do what we Kiwis do best: get shitfaced and talk shit about each other. It was the high school canteen, where the popular clique (Ben, Bel, Vicky and Lacey) reign supreme over the stoners (Luke and Andrew) the boring loved-up couple (Brett and Angel), the grouchy muscle man (Haydn), the school nurse (Aaron) and the weird mature students in the corner (Claire and Dom).

Also like high school: drama in the loo

All the while, Tony and Pani sat in their definitely real lounge watching some definitely real surveillance footage of the carnage play out. I’d totally watch a Gogglebox with the two of them, just by the by.

Pfft typical armchair psychology

Sidenote: if you like listening to people yarn hard about local reality TV, please subscribe to The Real Pod or listen to our latest episode in the player below:

Anyway, how are our lovebirds doing this week? Pour yourself a strong Martini and let’s dive in.

#1 Angel & Brett

Even though Angel called Brett ‘Brad’ by mistake, their relationship still seems as solid as McLeod’s Daughter’s status as an Aussie telly treasure. “It’s iconic” Brett reminded us, looking out over the Estate where the show was filmed. According to Angel, these two are still skyrocketing up a rainbow, riding unicorns, oozing sparkles and burping glitter. “Brett is so nice that if you cut into him, he would be rainbows.” Tfw you are already having murderous thoughts about your husband so you dress up like Marilyn Monroe to distract everyone:

The pair shared an outdoor bubble bath where Brad Brett laughed like a hyena, blew bubbles into Angel’s face and asked “what scares you?” in the space of about 0.4 seconds. So many big emotions, such a small bath.

The Angel and Brett train is an intense ride, but clearly the most successful pairing so far. In fact, if they don’t come out of this together, I swear here in writing that I will pick up a knife and fork and eat every inch of Brett’s unspeakably enormous hat.

Will the age gap be a problem? They alluded to it briefly whilst sampling Nigel’s rare collection of “birth wine”, which turns out to just be wine from the year you were born and not something much more grotesque. It was such a hike back to Brad Brett’s barrel that Angel thought she might need to put her running shoes on. Classic Angel, what a dag.

Witnessing the beautiful birth of a bottle of plonk

When they returned to Auckland, Brett was given his first assignment to hit the shops and buy Angel some hair ties. When he returned with rainbow coloured ones, Angel was laughing so hard that I thought her jaw was going to crack open like a snake about to eat a rat. Just wait till she finds out that he crafted them out of his own rainbow intestines. Surely, surely then the laughter will stop.

Pure horror

#2 Dom & Claire

Dom and Claire seem solid as a rock after their heated gazebo quarrel (and I don’t doubt for a second they didn’t christen the gazebo soon after if you know what I’m saying *long Jacinda wink*). In fact, they were mostly amping to get back to the cocktail party to see how many of the “puppies” (read: young people) had boned yet.

When they arrived at the cocktail party, they instantly became the parent figures for all the poor miserable pups in the dog box. Honestly, I think I would pay more for a sit down session with Claire and Dom than I would with Tony and Pani. First they sat down with Lacey and gushed over how great she was.

And then Dom took naughty Lucas aside for a man chat, where he executed his signature “come to Poppa” hug manoeuvre with beauty and finesse.

Five stars.

#3 Vicky & Andrew

It is a scientific fact that Waiheke Island lies several kilometres north of The Friendzone, which is why Vicky and Andrew escaped there faster than you can say ‘sleeveless camo hoodie’. In fact, Andrew was so dedicated he made sure to wear camouflage on the beach, just in case any vestiges of the friendzone spill washed up on the tide.

Vicky and nobody else arrive on Waiheke

He’s still a little overbearing – Vicky’s forehead has been kissed more than the Blarney Stone at this stage and there’s still no sexual chemistry. Andrew opened up over dinner with some of that signature, gentlemanly charm, announcing that “nobody deserves to be treated bad.” “Who said that?” said everyone else in the restaurant, for he was still wearing his military-grade camouflage vest.

Then, suddenly, Vicky revealed herself to be the Demon Barber of Onetangi. “Speaking of polishing” she crooned “how would you feel about getting a haircut?” Andrew was a bit spooked that a) Vicky could see him and b) that she was already wanting to shave his noggin five minutes into the relationship. I know how this worked out for Samson and Delilah, and Andrew is in big trouble and/or cornrows if he bends to all of Vicky’s hairstyling whims.

Please, tell me more about how much you don’t like my hair

With an appointment booked at Rodney Wayne and Vicky happier than ever, things were looking up until they received a telegraph (is that what they use on Waiheke?) that her sister was being induced into labour. Vicky was gutted that she couldn’t be there to give the baby their first haircut, or be there for the bottling of the sweet, sweet birth wine. Andrew took to comforting her by staying incredibly far away, using his state-of-the-art money print shorts to become perfectly camouflaged next to the rich man’s infinity pool.

When he finally tried to comfort Vicky, she pushed him aside and he cried “why are you so cruel.” Careful Andrew, another prominent New Zealander asked a similar question once… and we never, ever, saw him again. Also: never accuse a girl of being “frigid” ever.

It’s like you’re me mirror…. huuwooaaah

#4 Bel & Haydn

Bel and Haydn remain well and truly in a hell of their own creation, as it turns out their dramatic fight of which we shall never speak nor see nor hear was about Haydn adding one of her bridesmaids on Facebook. Since the fight, they have stopped communicating properly and taken the wedding bands off, but that doesn’t mean that Haydn has communicated more than a few humblebrags via the French cinematique art of mis en scene.

Humblebrags, humblebrags everywhere

Things got a bit better for the pair after Bel had a cup of tea in a cat mug and got old mate Tony on the blower for a yarn about her failing TV wedding to a tearful wrestler. It seemed to work a treat via they turned up to the cocktail party together soon after, although Bel may have left a cry for help in her loaded request for a Sprite… aka Lemonade… aka the scorned woman’s revenge album aka… how dare Jay Z add Beyonce’s bridesmaid on Facebook!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#5 Ben & Aaron

Thank god Aaron is a paramedic, because watching these two interact is starting to make my teeth, hair and nails fall out. Ben finally admitted that he wasn’t attracted to Aaron from the safety of his opulent bathtub, but not before he sat and sulked for a thousand million more years about it.

Ever the optimist, Aaron thinks a little picnic and a spot of glamping will fix everything, but Ben’s already started the next chapter of his life as a brick wall of a human. Aaron opens up about his relationship misdemeanours in the past, Ben calls them a red flag. Aaron tries to plan out a cute camping date, Ben grizzles that he hates camping. Aaron tries to make mimosas, Ben says “yuck”.

I feel for these two, stuck in a seemingly endless purgatory of empty Waiuku cafes and remote glamping sites where they can’t even escape their hellish reality to the comfort of an Instagram feed because there’s no reception. Also, I know I’m not the Minister of Justice, but I’m almost certain that forcing two people who loathe each other to take a photo in front of the L&P bottle is an act of high treason.

Go to jail

If a successfully shared bubble bath is the only measure of relationship success that we have at this stage – and it is – I think these two are circling dangerously close to the drain. Even if Vicky performed some quick hair wizardy on Aaron’s platinum locks at the cocktail party…

TFW suddenly black hair

#6 Luke & Lacey

The Real Pod team are lurking

Call the cryptkeeper, for these two are killing me softly. Luke botched their honeymoon via not letting down his walls, opening his heart and showing his internal rainbows. There were also rumours floating around from the wedding that he was only doing the show to become a famous comedian, which he and his humourous off-season reindeer sweater categorically deny.

At the cocktail party Lacey fulfilled the toilet-crying quota for the week, revealing to the gal pals that Luke only puts his arm around her for the cameras and that, for every night of their honeymoon, he slept on top of the blankets in all his clothes. Is Luke… a never nude?

Rare footage from the Lacey and Luke honeymoon

“It’s so exciting to see everyone else in love,” sighs Lacey, “and then… there’s my husband


Take a peek behind the curtains of romance reality TV by clicking below to watch UnREAL, exclusively on Lightbox:

This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. Do us and yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service.

The Spinoff Longform Fund is dedicated to facilitating investigative journalism. Our focus is on supporting in-depth reporting on important New Zealand stories. Your donation will help us sustain this most resource-intensive form of journalism, ensuring that the most complex and important stories still get told.