Each couple will meet for the very first time when they walk down the aisle on their wedding day, and their relationship will be under the microscope as Australia watches them experience the highs and lows of marriage at full speed.
Brides and grooms will be expertly matched in this social experiment, and their relationships will be fast-tracked through challenges and romantic hurdles that haven’t been seen before in any season of Married at First Sight.
Adrian Swift the head of content, production and development at Nine told Mediaweek Married at First Sight needs to continue to improve as the production team aims to perfect the experiment.
“Every year you put people in, and it gives a completely different result. Dare I use a science term, but it is a good experiment in that you get a completely different show every time.
“The problem is you can’t not show things that happened. When things happened that are really extreme you can’t take it out because you owe it to the people who were there to show what happened.”
The new and unfamiliar “normal” for dating in a post COVID-19 world adds yet another challenge for the newlyweds to approach together, as the show has had to alter its approach.
The couples will all live under the same roof and have the chance to compare the highs and lows of their relationships at the highly anticipated and explosive dinner parties. And more than ever, the experts will hold the couples accountable for their actions at the weekly commitment ceremonies – where secrets are revealed and bombshells dropped.
“We normally do what you call meet the Fockers, which is meeting the parents and all that sort of stuff, and overseas honeymoons which we had to take out. The fact we have a more closed environment has helped make the experiment more revealing.” Swift said.
The Brides and Grooms of MAFS in 2021 are:
Alana, 30, QLD Teacher
Beth, 39, WA, Retail Worker/Student
Coco, 30, NSW Pilates Studio Owner
Samantha, 31, ACT Property Developer
Joanne, 39, VIC Barber
Belinda, 29, VIC Door-to-door Sales
Booka, 31, WA Musician/Mental heath worker
Melissa, 31, VIC Workplace Trainer
Rebecca, 27, WA Business Manager
Brett, 31, VIC Student/Electrician
Bryce, 31, ACT Radio Announcer
Cameron, 32, VIC Crane Operator
Jake, 32, VIC Charity CEO
James, 44, VIC, Prestige Car Company Owner Melbourne, VIC
Jason, 35, QLD Construction Estimator
Patrick, 27, VIC Personal Trainer
Rusell, 37, SA Diesel Mechanic
Sam, 32, VIC, Construction/Clothing Brand Owner
Swift believes one of the keys to the show’s success this year will be the different approach that has been taken in choosing the brides and grooms.
“This year we have a cast that much better to represent Australia between the age of 23 and 46 in 2021. It is a much less extreme show, but the things that are happening in the relationships are what happens to all of us, and the way it plays out is dare I say instructive.
“There is no one that you would go ‘why the hell did you match that person with that person’, we always have a reason but this year it is more obvious from the start why this match was made. I think the audience needs to understand why they are together, and this year the psychologists did it really well.
“Have we overcompensated? I don’t think so.”
The show’s booming popularity can be seen in its swelling TV numbers.
Previous launch audiences metro:
2016: 769,000 (First series that year)
2016: 769,000 (Second series)
This year on Married at First Sight, Puerto Rican clinical sexologist Alessandra Rampolla joins relationship experts Mel Schilling and John Aiken in their endeavour to match hopeful new singles with the love of their lives.
Swift said that Rampolla brings genuine clinical experience and a completely different voice to the show from her experience living in Puerto Rico and Florida.
“She has that Latin perspective but also that American view which is a little bit less repressed than we are, and her views tend more on the side of sex and intimacy than process which gives a different opinion. Culturally her sitting on the couch and listening to Australians talk about their lives is really interesting.”