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Featured Image Credit: E4
One of the wildest reality series on television will be back on screens this month as Brunson, Mel Schilling and Charlene Douglas return to bring their expertise to the table to help singletons find a spouse.
A supersized batch of episodes will follow eight couples in search of a happy-ever-after that will lead to them saying 'I do' to a complete stranger, whom they’ll meet for the first time on their wedding day.
The matching process is not one taken lightly by the experts, particularly Brunson who specialises in this process. After this year's series of Love Island asked the public to match the islanders they wanted to see together, the experiment was mostly a failure, with the public seemingly choosing to match people based on their race and only Tasha and Andrew going the long run. Now, Brunson has explained to Tyla why having even slight input from the public would not work for MAFS UK.
"The reason why I don’t think that necessarily would work for Married at First Sight is because there is an immense amount of research that we do prior to matching the couples.
"You can’t just look at two people and not know anything about them and just match them because when you do that, that’s when you get all the Black people matched together."
He adds: "There’s an immense amount of homework that’s done. So, if the viewing audience can do all that homework and they have our 10-15 years of expertise then yeah, give it to them. But right now, given how successful we are with the matches, why should we give up that power? I think we’re doing quite well right now."
There are a host of format changes never before seen in a Married at First Sight series. In addition to 30 episodes plus a two-part reunion, two intruder couples will enter halfway through the series as well as a ‘love and hate week’ during which the couples will get to air their grievances about their partner.
“[Fans] are going to get a lot more bang for their buck this year,” Schilling teases, adding that the intruder couples ‘really shakes things up’.
As the Australian edition prepares to start filming for its next season, Schilling reflects on the Domenica and Olivia drama and whether we’ll see anything similar in the UK edition.
Highlighting that the UK team has the ‘fluidity’ and ‘openness’ to ‘learn from the mistakes that have happened in other regions,’ Schilling adds: “I don’t believe that there’s gonna be any kind of drama that’s going to be something we can’t handle.
"I think we’ve gotten to the point, particularly in the UK, where the support network both on camera and behind the scenes is so strong that I think if you ask any of our contributors they would say they feel very loved, very supported even when the cameras stop rolling, we’re there with them between takes.”
Douglas, who describes the new series as being ‘saucy’, adds: “Often times couples stay in a place of ‘Yeah we’re fine everything’s great, we’re attracted to each other so we’ll just keep staying in this space’ but I think the love and hate week helped couples to answer some very deep and honest questions.
"Some couples were okay with that and some couples really struggled.”
Last year’s edition had some success, with Tayah and Adam recently announcing they are expecting a baby together.
Douglas shared: “It’s a beautiful feeling like when Mel and I saw Tayah and Adam and Dan and Matt, you can just see the genuine joy and happiness in their eyes. They’re like the best of friends. It’s so adorable to see Tayah pregnant and still looking so gorgeous and glowing. It’s great to be a part of.”
E4 has also confirmed that the hit series will be back next year and the experts are on the lookout for more eager singletons looking to find love. Schilling says she would like to see people who are ‘genuine at the core’.
She adds: “We’re after people who genuinely want to find love. Maybe people who have tried everything maybe had some relationships that didn’t work out for them, maybe those people who keep repeating the same patterns and they’re starting to learn that they need to do something different but they’re not quite sure what that is yet."
Brunson continues: “It’s about having someone with genuine curiosity about the process”.