Tough-talking Ksenia Smorodinova has faced plenty of criticism for how she treated her hubby Wayne McIntosh on Married At First Sight NZ, but few viewers could be as harsh as the Russian bride is on herself.
"I don't like the person I see on TV," she tells Woman's Day.
"I was watching from under a table, trying to hide from myself. It was very tough seeing the way I sound and look. How could Wayne even like me? I'm such a b****. I'm so horrible! What's there for anyone to like?"
Ksenia, 33, insists the show's editors made her look ruder than she was on her honeymoon, but she confesses, "I was moody and grumpy after the long flight, and I took it out on my husband. I totally regret the things I said – I'm not made of brick or stone."
The brunette beauty admits she's "100% the villain" of the Three show, although she adds, "Hopefully someone else will take that place from me. I think Ottie and Gareth will be the next ones, and then probably Julia and Dave. I can't wait for all eyes to be off me."
That said, she's friendly with everyone in the cast, saying, "The 10 people on the show are all really supportive – the other four million in New Zealand hate me."
How did you feel seeing yourself on TV?
It's reality TV, but it's not my reality. They [the editors] cut so much. It was like it was somebody else. It was very strange to see how I came across on TV. Like the fight with the barracuda, the agreement was that I'd pick lunch for him and he'd pick lunch for me. He ordered me groper, but they just showed me making him have barracuda. Overall, we had such a good time and so much laughter. We were very silly. It's a shame viewers didn't get to see that. Yes, I did tell Wayne I would drive him off a cliff, but first of all, I don't drive and, secondly, we were on a golf course – there was no cliff. Wayne is safe … for now!
Did you look at the comments online?
I didn't look at any comments – just the ones that were sent to me directly. If they weren't too bad, I answered to give them my point of view. If they're too rude, I just block and delete. For some reason, all the bad comments I get are from females – the guys don't think I'm too tough or mean. A guy recognised me in a café and I said, "Please don't punch me," but he said, "No, it's great that you don't take any s* from anyone."
Why were you so cold to Wayne on your honeymoon?
Yes, he was my husband, but he wasn't the husband of my choice. I was guarded, reserved and resistant.
What could your hubby have done to win you over?
What I don't like about Wayne is that he talks about how much he did for his ex-girlfriend, but he doesn't want to do nothing for me. He did nothing! He could be more ambitious. I like ambition. He's so laidback. Especially being 32 years of age, I'd like him to achieve something. He says he wants to have a family with children, but you can't just kiss them goodnight – it's such a huge responsibility to have kids. Is he going to be a stay-at-home dad? I don't want to throw him under a bus, but he should be able to provide for them.
Why did you sign up for the show?
My work colleague Michael signed me up. I never watched the show, but I'm single and can't get it right, so I thought someone else could do it for me.
Have you had any long-term relationships?
I've been engaged, but we just became friends. There was no passion in our relationship. We're still on good terms and very close. His auntie came to my wedding. I was in a relationship before that as well – it was too fiery. He threw something at me, but I wasn't innocent – I made him do it. I was playing with fire. It was such a bad break-up. I just need to find a balance. When you argue, you see how you feel for that person. You need the highs and lows or it's boring. I just need to find the person who complements me and brings out the best in me.
When did you move from Russia?
When I was 18. I'm from a small town on an island called Sakhalin. I went to Australia for my summer holidays and then my parents chose for me to study somewhere safe and nice, like New Zealand. I think they made a good choice.
Have your parents seen the show?
They have. I called my family and said, "Mum, how could I do that?" She was like, "That's you!" But they don't speak very good English so they don't get all of it. They know I'm not an angel. But seeing myself on TV, now I know it too.