Married At First Sight: Everything you need to know about the experts

Married At First Sight

• The singles will hand the keys to their heart to the relationship experts

Australia’s most talked about social experiment, Married at First Sight, is set to return Monday, January 31, at 7.30pm on Channel Nine and 9Now.

In the quest to find the love of their lives, some of Australia’s most attractive and adventurous singles will hand the keys to their heart to relationship experts John Aiken and Mel Schilling, and clinical sexologist Alessandra Rampolla, who together will match them up to determine whether science really can predict true love and long-lasting romance.

Alessandra Rampolla
Clinical Sexologist

Alessandra Rampolla, a certified clinical sexologist from San Juan in Puerto Rico with over 20 years’ experience, returns to Married at First Sight for its ninth season in 2022.

Alessandra began her career as a clinical sexologist counselling individuals and couples. She was educated in the United States, has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, and holds a number of other degrees and certifications in the field of sexology.

Alessandra has brought her expertise in sexology to television since starting out on a news program in Puerto Rico. She has starred in various programs around the world, such as the international Emmy Award-nominated School For Husbands seen throughout Latin America and Sex Hospital in the UK. She has also been a regular guest on international shows like Dr Phil. Alessandra has hosted her own radio show, is the bestselling author of five books, and maintains a close relationship with her fans, amassing over two million followers on social media.

She brings her particular expertise in sexology to Married at First Sight to contribute to the complex mix of components that ensures marriages not only work but thrive in the long haul.

“I couldn’t be happier to be back with John and Mel for another season of MAFS, Australia’s biggest social experiment. I remain dedicated to helping our couples build open, non-judgemental, pleasure-positive sexual connections as a means to nourish and strengthen loving, committed, romantic relationships,” she says.

“Although sex is perfectly natural, it is not always naturally perfect. We need to really know our own bodies intimately, understand and embrace our sexual preferences and erotic desires, communicate effectively with our partner, respect each other’s differences, and then of course practise, practise, practise.

Alessandra Rampolla

John Aiken
Relationship Expert

John Aiken has been working in the field of relationships for over 25 years. He has successfully run a private practice over this time, giving out practical advice to singles and couples.

He thrives in his role as relationship expert on Married at First Sight and says: “I’m so excited to be back for Season Nine of MAFS. Over the seasons my role has become very clear, to give out hard-hitting advice to the couples and hold them accountable for their actions during the experiment. I need them to listen, and then do better as they progress in the experiment and hopefully find love.”

As well as providing expert skills on Married at First Sight, John has hosted and provided expert commentary on a number of other TV shows, including ABC’s Making Couples Happy and Making Families Happy. He has appeared as the relationship expert on Nine’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair, and is the weekly dating and relationship expert for 9Honey.

John is also a bestselling author, runs exclusive relationship retreats, and is a sought-after speaker.

“This experiment is a unique and ground-breaking experience for all the couples who take part. They enter the process with dreams of finding someone special and are then confronted with their own problem patterns that they need to address,” he says.

“It’s our job as experts to hold a mirror up to them, to give them direct feedback, and hope that they break these toxic cycles and find love. It’s compelling, dramatic and heartbreaking, and has the possibility of a fairy tale at the end of the journey.”

John Aiken

Mel Schilling
Dating and Relationship Expert

Mel Schilling is a dating and relationship expert who is passionate about educating, motivating and inspiring people to be their best. She has the privilege of working with a variety of clients across all stages of life – from dating to relationships, parenthood, career and divorce.

She firmly believes that the number one ingredient for happiness is having great relationships, whether that’s with intimate partners, family, friends or work colleagues.

Of Married at First Sight, she says: “One of the great challenges for our couples is to let go of old behaviour patterns. When they enter the experiment, they have often been single for a long time and there are always underlying reasons for this. Our couples need to unlearn old habits, trust the process and take risks in order to learn new ways to not only communicate but also flourish in relationships.”

Mel has 20 years’ experience in both the corporate and therapeutic arenas. She has worked as a business and personal coach to people at all business levels, from graduates to C-suite professionals, and has operated across the Australasian and Middle East regions.

In 2021, Mel joined the UK version of MAFS which underwent a massive makeover, adopting the Australian format. She worked alongside sex therapist Charlene Douglas and “the world’s most influential matchmaker”, Paul C. Bronson.

Mel has also penned a new book and an online membership experience – The C Word. It is all about confidence, aimed at helping to guide high-achieving women to live extraordinary lives without leaving their comfort zone. Mel says: “Courage emerges when what you want is bigger than what you fear.”

On a personal level, Mel spent 10 years as a single woman in the Melbourne dating scene before mastering online dating, meeting her partner at 40, heading down the IVF road and having a child at the age of 42. In 2019, Mel and Gareth were married in Bali and their daughter, Maddie, is now seven.

Mel Schilling

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