It’s been a long, brutal season of Married At First Sight Australia, but with the final episode fast approaching, expert Alessandra Rampolla is feeling positive.
“We do have love stories this year that I’m very proud and excited about,” the 48-year-old clinical sexologist tells, adding that the show’s youngest couple, Tahnee, 27, and Ollie, 26, have been “shining bright from day one” of the show.
She continues, “But aside from Tahnee and Ollie, I’m very excited about some of the couples this year that actually make it through and build good, strong relationships. It’s possible, it takes work and I think people are going to be surprised.”
Of course, it hasn’t all been love stories. The experts have spent a lot of time calling people out, including the experiment’s most controversial participant, Harrison, who’s been in an on-again, off-again relationship with Bronte.
“It’s very obvious that Harrison has some very polarising and very bad behaviour – the tone, the way that he deflects, the way that he throws grenades and his meddling,” Alessandra says. “It’s interesting when you see Bronte making excuses so often for the bad behaviours. I think it’s important that we call out when things that shouldn’t be made light of are being made light of.”
Alessandra, who shares the experts’ couch with John Aiken and Mel Schilling, wants to stress that the three of them don’t choose the MAFS participants – “there’s casting done and then we match according to the people who are cast” – and she doesn’t really know their motivations. “A lot of people want to be on reality TV just to be on TV,” she points out.
But Alessandra believes that doesn’t matter, so long as viewers learn from the show. “Ultimately, the idea is to get a message out there for people to maybe go, ‘Oh, I do that. I really need to stop,’ or perhaps, ‘I’m putting up with something that I shouldn’t be putting up with.'”
Alessandra is speaking to us from Colombia, where she’s attending a conference and having a check-up with the doctor who did her gastric bypass surgery in 2008. “Just taking care of my health and making sure everything’s good,” she explains.
Her home base is Puerto Rico, where she was born and raised, but Alessandra says she felt a connection to Australia from a young age. She explains, “I was a massive Olivia Newton-John fan when Xanadu came out years and years ago, so I’ve always had a thing for Australia.”
Feeling a calling to become a sexologist, Alessandra spent years appearing on TV shows in different countries, talking about sexuality and female pleasure, as well as taking on the occasional acting role.
“I don’t think I want to go changing careers, but I’m very open to life experiences,” she admits. MAFS came calling three years ago and now she spends several months each year in Australia. However, she’s no longer looking to date Aussie men.
“I’m seeing somebody,” she reveals, although she adds she has a lot of “great girlfriends” in Australia. “It feels very much like home in a strange way.”