MAFS NZ Episode 8 – while Sam and Tayler grow closer a home visit unearths an obstacle for Yuki and Dan

Grab your tissues!

The couples’ first commitment ceremony got off to a tense start with Ottie and Gareth stonewalling the experts at every opportunity. But in this episode we see that the other couples are far less suspicious of feelings and weird stuff like that.

Ksenia and Wayne acknowledge their many differences but seem willing to continue searching for common ground. They both opt to stay and Ksenia’s reveal card shows she’s drawn love hearts.

Yuki and Dan opt to stay of course and the experts note that they seem very relaxed around one another.

Sam and Tayler – well, you might need tissues. Sam launches straight in with: “I’ve had a wall up… I’ve struggled from the start with opening up.”

Do you know why? Dr Trisha asks him and he is genuinely upset when he replies, “No I don’t, it’s really weird. I mean I’m normally such an open person with my friends and my family, and with Tayler for some reason I’m not.”

Sam starts crying and then that of course starts a domino effect. Yuki is crying, Dan is looking up at the ceiling, Julia’s heart is melting.

But Ottie is annoyed – “This is not Sam,” she whispers to Gareth.

Sam continues, “I came into this experiment thinking the worst and it’s literally turning the opposite.”

What do you mean? he is prompted.

“Being a gay male alone in Auckland is very hard… it’s hard to find your soulmate, find someone you connect with…”

“So your worst fear was you wouldn’t find the right person and you’ve been surprised?” expert Stephanie asks.

“Beyond surprised,” Sam replies. And there we have it – the breakthrough.

Sam has found it hard to tell Tayler how he really feels “but at the end of the day I feel it’s time to be more open to Tayler because he’s my husband.”

Sam has shown the vulnerable side of himself that Tayler needed to see and Tayler looks elated.

They both opt to stay and we get the feeling these two are going to be alright.

Monique and Fraser are up next and Fraser looks hurt when Monique says there are no sparks for her. He, on the other hand, believes he couldn’t have been matched with a better wife. (She regrets saying what she said the next morning because she does appreciate Fraser and knows he’s kind.)

They both opt to stay and we have our fingers crossed for Fraser.

Julia and Dave are up last and Julia is probably more harsh than she’d planned to be when she reveals she doesn’t find Dave masculine or attractive and feels like she’s wearing the pants in the relationship.


The experts remind her that when you see or expect the negative then a part of your brain will unconsciously start looking for it.

Dave tells the judges he wishes they could turn back the clock so that they could have spent more time alone together rather than double dating.

“Sometimes a group can become a distraction where you’re putting too much energy into certain members of the group and not into your partner and your relationship,” Dr Trisha acknowledges and Julia agrees but says “I haven’t done that”.

We’re not saying a word.

Anyway, after all that they both opt to stay and Julia says to camera she still has hope. But before they’ve even left the building she’s inviting Sam to go to K’ Rd with her and when he asks if Dave is coming she tells him “well, I’m going to tell him no.”

Dave reveals afterwards that he’s seen another side to Julia that has brought challenges.

The next day it’s surrender dates which are a “real opportunity to take control but also for others to relinquish control”, Tony explains.

“For those that will be relinquishing control it’s an opportunity for them to not feel that they have to take charge because every couple needs mutual support; it can’t be one way. That will only last for so long.”

And for the partner who is taking control, it’s a chance to shift the power balance in the relationship.

Dave takes Julia to jump off the Sky Tower and then have a meal at The Sugar Club. It’s a good date apart from the odd conversation about how well they communicate and afterward Julia says she feels warmer towards Dave.

Wayne takes Ksenia out to the country to learn to drive and they bond too. He is heartened by the fact she is willing to give new things a go.

Tayler takes Sam to Cable Bay Vineyards on Waiheke Island where they talk about the future. A couple of episodes ago Sam told Julia he wasn’t attracted to Tayler but now he’s telling us he is.

“It’s nice to see a romantic side of you and nice to see that you can actually do things your own way,” Sam tells Tayler. “It’s good to see two sides of you which is more attractive. Don’t let me walk all over you.”

Tayler promises and Sam says,”Deal? Everything’s going good so far.”

It is.

Home visits are on the agenda next and everyone is a little nervy. Ottie is not sure how Gareth’s family are going to feel about her not wanting to have children.

Ksenia is feeling pressure to impress Wayne’s friends and family and to be honest he’s laying on the ‘you have to impress them’ pretty thick.

And Dan is apprehensive about returning to Christchurch, where Yuki lives. Dan used to live in Christchurch too but left the city after the 2011 earthquakes. He had a near-death experience and afterward suffered from epileptic fits and post traumatic stress disorder.

He eventually quit his job and left the city and its bad memories for good.

When they arrive Dan admits being back is bringing up all sorts of memories but he’s glad Yuki is by his side and she has promised to support him. There is a minor setback when Yuki’s dog shows signs of not liking him but Zara’s probably just jealous. We’re sure Yuki’s fur baby will adjust. They visit Yuki’s hair salon where Dan shows off his handyman skills and then they go for a walk and this is where we now see Yuki break down.

She is scared of getting hurt and doesn’t know what Dan wants to do at the end of this experiment. Now that we know what Dan went through we’re asking ourselves can a man with PTSD return to the city that triggered his breakdown?

We move now to Wayne and Ksenia, who have just arrived at Wayne’s place in Taranaki. He’s invited his friends over for a barbecue that night and he and Ksenia are having a discussion beforehand about what he actually means when he says Ksenia has to impress them. Wayne is not getting Ksenia at all when she’s really just saying she is feeling pressured and it would be nice if he could just say ‘just be yourself – they’ll love you’.

He’s trying to make her understand how much influence his friends and family have on him and that their opinion of her will have an impact on how he feels about her… but she’s not stupid.

When his friends arrive he’s pleased to see she is making an effort but she’s getting a bit of a grilling from his female friends. In the meantime he’s out in the shed telling his guy friend he has doubts.

We feel a bit sorry for Ksenia.

Tomorrow night the home visits continue and there’s trouble in paradise for more than one of the couples.

Married At First NZ airs on Sundays at 7pm and continues Mondays and Tuesdays at 7.30pm on THREE.

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