Married at First Sight

MAFS' Christopher Wilson reveals he tried to pull out of the show before filming started

Close friends convinced him that he'd 'die wondering' if he didn't follow through.

By Karyn Henger
From the get-go Christopher Wilson liked to let his shirts do the talking.
In the build-up to his wedding day the Married At First Sight NZ groom took charge in the groomswear shop. Then each episode the 55-year-old creative director, who prides himself on his sense of style, would treat us to a new and even-more-daring-than-the-last statement shirt.
And this week at the second commitment ceremony, in which both he and his bride Rose Cruickshank chose to leave the experiment, he wore a T-shirt bearing the words, 'Two wrongs don't make a right'.
Rose dressed him, he announced, but there's no doubt he had a say.
"Is this how you see your relationship," MAFS expert Tony Jones asked.
Yes, they both replied.
So Christopher and Rose are no more - and the first MAFS season 3 couple to officially leave the experiment.
Will you remain friends? I ask him in an exclusive interview with Now To Love.
"Yeah, happily," he says. "I think I said after the commitment ceremony I hope we're good friends and Rose reacted to that and said 'well, probably friends - not good friends', but I think all my friends are good because I don't have bad friends.
"We have been in touch since [filming wrapped] and if I went to Hawke's Bay I'd pop in to see her, for sure."
Christopher says that for both parties there was just never any spark.
He had opted to leave at the first commitment ceremony and says that even after the couple spent that following week trying "a number of things together to make it work" there was still nothing.
"It's not that I don't believe in the slow burn. I think there is such a thing as a slow burn but there does need to be some form of initial spark and I think Rosie and I did lack that, even a small one.
"I think that even if you've got a tiny little spark to begin with the slow burn can work. We gave it a crack but we just kept on coming back to [the conclusion that] we weren't meant for each other."
It's not lost on him that his daughter Poppy didn't think Rose was his "type" when they met at the altar.
"When I said Rosie was taller than I had expected that was a polite way of me saying she wasn't what I was expecting coming down the aisle."
Christopher was often accused by Rose of acting like her dad, and Ray and James in particular viewed Christopher as "fake". He offended both Ray and Jono with his referencing of them as "the gay guys".
Does he have any regrets?
"No, not really," Christopher replies.
"Not everybody gets on with everybody and being the most mature of the cast I would say I would have the ability to think quite quickly about what I would say and how I was going to approach things.
"Some of the younger ones would just go in with great bravado and not think about what's going to happen from their reactions, so I think they probably saw me as being too calculated.
"And I think that's just a sign of maturity really, I don't have any beef with anybody from the cast.
"The 'gay guys' comment – yeah, I probably would say that a bit differently, but the funny thing is that we had been talking like that for a while anyway and it was just interesting that they responded the way they did then because they hadn't really responded like that previously - particularly Jono and I, we did get on very, very well and he had no issue with me saying he was gay..."
Christopher says some things were portrayed "slightly out of context" on the show.
"For example, when I said on the boys night that Rose is actually having a good time that was taken to the girls party saying that I said Rose was there for the fame; I said she was there for the good time."
So what did he learn from being on the show?
"That it's very difficult to find the right partner."
But surely you knew that before joining the show? I ask.
"Yes I knew that before," he laughs. "I think that no matter how much you can match people on paper there's other things like chemistry and just that wow factor that you can never really put down to one thing."
It was Christopher's children, Max, 22, and Poppy, 20, who had put him forward.
Christopher had tried to withdraw his application when it was still in the early stages because he felt he was too busy but close friends convinced him that he'd die wondering if he didn't follow through - and "Warner Brothers put a little bit of pressure on me as well".
This marriage, while not legally binding, was Christopher's second.
His first lasted 13 years and in the 10-year period between that ending and his appearing on Married At First Sight he was engaged for four years.
"Sadly that became unstuck due to some issues but that's okay. But they were both highly intelligent woman, my ex-wife is a lawyer and my ex-fiancée is a metrologist so we always had lots to talk about and exciting conversations all the time."
Poppy and Max have lived full-time with Christopher since his marriage ended.
"I love being a dad and my ex-wife was in a new relationship quite quickly after we separated. We wanted Maxwell and Poppy to adjust to that in their own time," Christopher explains.
"Even though my home is the primary home, they still spend time with their mum - and we all get on well as a family still.
"I have always put my children first and I think many of my short-term relationships have failed because of this."
Christopher has dated on and off using dating apps but has since sworn off them, saying, "I think I'm just going to trust the universe to deliver someone to me.
"Going forward I really need to find love with someone that has the same family values as I and wants to create a joint family full of love.
"The show was a huge experience, a wonderful thing to do. But now my life will go back to normal and we won't talk about Married At First Sight any more.
"I'm sure there is somebody out there. I'm a very active 55-year-old so we just need to find a very active person who will keep up with me."